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Photo Credit: Candice Ward / USA Today Sports

The 2017 Playoff Chase: down to the nitty gritty

Welcome to the 12th week of our Western Conference playoff race coverage. We’re at the point now where we can declare the Los Angeles Kings fundamentally dead – You have selected regicide!… – but there’s still probably going to be a bit of movement in the standings, primarily in the Pacific Division, before everything’s over.

Let’s check out the race as we begin the weekend!

WHERE THEY STAND

Team
GP
W
Pts
Pct
ROW
Div
Chances % Change
Blackhawks 77 49 105 .682 45 CEN IN none
Wild 77 45 98 .636 42 CEN IN none
Ducks 77 42 96 .623 39 PAC IN up 0.1%
Oilers 77 43 95 .617 39 PAC IN none
Sharks 77 43 93 .604 41 PAC IN up 1.0%
Blues 76 42 90 .592 41 CEN 100% up 0.2%
Flames 77 43 90 .584 39 PAC 99.9% up 1.7%
Predators 77 39 89 .578 37 CEN 99.8% up 1.2%
Kings 76 36 79 .520 34 PAC 0.4% down 3.0%
Jets 78 36 79 .506 33 CEN OUT down 0.1%
Stars 77 31 73 .474 31 CEN OUT none
Canucks 76 30 69 .454 26 PAC OUT none
Coyotes 77 27 63 .409 21 PAC OUT none
Avalanche 76 20 43 .283 20 CEN OUT none

(Chances courtesy Sports Club Stats.)

Here’s how things look, with the eight playoff teams basically decided:

The Central: Chicago is a virtual lock to win the division. Minnesota’s the runaway leader for second. St. Louis’ crazy schedule (with very easy opponents) has them with the inside track for third.

The Pacific: With San Jose’s slide, Anaheim and Edmonton are neck and neck for the division lead. It’s between San Jose and whoever doesn’t win the division for the other two spots (in whichever order).

The Wildcards: The Flames have the inside track for the first wildcard, the Predators look to be a virtual lock for the other spot.

In other words, the probable first round looks like:

  • Chicago vs. Nashville
  • Minnesota vs. St. Louis
  • Anaheim/Edmonton vs. Calgary
  • San Jose vs. Anaheim/Edmonton

C’mon, Battle of Alberta! (And yes, it does feel weird rooting for the Oilers to win the division for the sake of a fun first round.)

THIS PAST WEEK

The Flames won two of their three games this past week: they beat St. Louis and Colorado, but lost to Los Angeles.

THIS COMING WEEK

The Flames play four times before next Friday. They host San Jose tonight and Anaheim on Sunday, then head to Anaheim on Tuesday and Los Angeles on Thursday.

Focusing in on the teams in Calgary’s general vicinity:

  • Anaheim (six points up): they play Edmonton, Calgary (twice) and Chicago.
  • Edmonton (five points up): they play Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose.
  • San Jose (three points up): they play Calgary, Vancouver (twice) and Edmonton.
  • St. Louis (tied, one game in hand): they play Colorado, Nashville, Winnipeg and Florida.
  • Nashville (one point back): they play Minnesota, St. Louis, the NY Islanders and Dallas.
  • Justthateasy

    Play with speed and they win tonight. Get on the Sharks early and stay on them. Sharks are not fresh nor young. Play with speed and you draw penalties then you can work on your power play.
    4-1 Flames.