2014 Playoff Tracker for April 7

Monday, 04.07.2014 / 10:49 AM
Mark Stepneski

The Stars had a chance to create separation in the playoff race Sunday but couldn't pick up any points, losing in regulation to the Florida Panthers. So, they'll head into the final week of the regular season with a one point lead over the Phoenix Coyotes for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Stars still control their own fate in the race, but Sunday's loss means the Coyotes are back in control of their own destiny as well. 

The Stars' losses to Carolina and Florida show there are no easy wins down the stretch, no matter who the opponent is. Ditto for Phoenix and its losses to Winnipeg and Edmonton at home. But the Coyotes got a point out of each of those games, and those points have them right in the thick of things heading into the final week.

The Stars and Coyotes both have four games left and play similar schedules. Both teams play the Predators and Blue Jackets and take on a top team in the West before meeting each other on the final day of the regular season. The Stars host Nashville, Columbus and St. Louis and then play at Phoenix. The Coyotes play at Columbus and Nashville and then host San Jose and Dallas. 

The first tiebreaker, in the event the teams end up with the same number of points, goes to the Stars. That's the regulation/overtime wins (ROW) tiebreaker and the Stars have clinched that, leading it 35-30 with four games to go.

Minnesota, which holds the first wild card spot, plays at Winnipeg Monday. The Wild are five points up on the Stars and six points ahead of the Coyotes.

Chicago beat St. Louis, 4-2, Sunday to pull to within two points of Colorado for second place in the Central Division. The Avalanche lost, 3-2, in a shootout to Pittsburgh.

Anaheim lost 4-2 to Edmonton Sunday. The Ducks remain one point ahead of San Jose for the top spot in the Pacific Division. The Ducks have a game in hand, which they'll play Monday night at Vancouver. The Canucks, along with Nashville, remain mathematically alive in the race for that final spot.

Playoff chances

The Stars' chances of making the playoffs were down after Sunday's loss to Florida, according to the sites that track playoff chances.

Hockeyreference.com's playoff probabilities report puts the Stars chances of getting into the postseason at 72.4 percent. Phoenix is at 27.3 percent. Minnesota is at 99.7 percent.

Sportsclubstats.com gives the Stars a 74.4 percent chance of the making the playoffs. Phoenix is at 25.5 percent. Minnesota is at 99.8 percent.

Western Conference Playoff Race

RK

CENTRAL DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1 x-St. Louis 78 52 19 7 111 43 68 L 4-2 @ CHI  
2

x-Colorado

78 50 21 7 107 45 30 L 3-2 (SO) vs. PIT  
3

x-Chicago

79 45 19 15 105 39 52 W 4-2 vs. STL  
RK

PACIFIC DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

x-Anaheim

78 50 20 8 108 48 49 L 4-2 @ EDM @ VAN
2

x-San Jose

79 49 21 9 107 39 47    
3

x-Los Angeles

79 45 28 6 96 37 31    
RK

WILD CARD

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

Minnesota

78 40 26 12 92 33 1   @ WPG
2

Dallas

78 38 29 11 87 35 6 L 3-2 @ FLA  
3

Phoenix

78 36 28 14 86 30 -12    
4 Nashville 78 35 32 11 81 33 -33   vs. ANA
5

Vancouver

78 35 32 11 81 30 -23    
x - clinched playoff spot

Playoff format

The playoff format this season has changed due to realignment. The playoffs are now divisional. In the first round, the division winner with the most points will play the wild card team with the fewest points. The division leader with the second-most points will play the wild card team with the most points. The second-place team in each division will play the third-place team in each division. The wild card teams will stay in the division they play in the first round.

For example, if the playoffs started today: The Central Division playoff would have St. Louis (division winner with most points) vs. Dallas (wild card with fewest points) and Colorado vs. Chicago. The winner of St. Louis-Dallas would play the winner of Colorado-Chicago in the division finals. The Pacific Division playoffs would have Anaheim (division winner with second-most points) vs. Minnesota (wild card with most points) and San Jose vs. Los Angeles. The winner of Anaheim-Minnesota would play the winner of San Jose-Los Angeles in the division finals.

The division champions would then play in the conference finals. There is no more reseeding of teams after each round, it is bracket play leading up to the conference finals.

The Western and Eastern conference champions, of course, then play for the Stanley Cup.

Wild card playoff race schedules

 

1. Minnesota

2. Dallas

3. Phoenix

4. Nashville

5. Vancouver

Points

92

87

86

81

81

ROW

33

35

30

33

30

Games Remaining

4

4

4

4

4

Home

3

3

2

2

3

Road

1

1

2

2

1

Apr 7

@ WPG

 

 

 

vs. ANA

Apr 8

vs. BOS

vs. NSH

@ CBJ

@ DAL

 

Apr 9

 

vs. CBJ

 

 

 

Apr 10

vs. STL

 

@ NSH

vs. PHX

vs. COL

Apr 11

 

vs. STL

 

 

 

Apr 12

 

 

vs. SJS

vs. CHI

@ EDM

Apr 13

vs. NSH

@ PHX

vs. DAL

@ MIN

vs. CGY

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