The 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs begin on Wednesday night. We know the eight teams who will represent the Western Conference. There could be some movement in the standings, but for the most part we know who will probably play each other.
With three days left in the regular season, let’s check out the state of the races (such as they are).
WHERE THINGS SIT
Chicago: They have 108 points. They’re locked into first place in the Central and will play the second wildcard team.
Minnesota: They have 104 points. They’re locked into second place in the Central and will play the third place team.
St. Louis: They have 95 points. They’re a point up on Nashville for third place in the Central and have a game in hand. They’ll probably finish in third place.
Anaheim: They have 103 points and lead the Pacific. If they get a point on Sunday against the Kings, they’ll win the Pacific. If the Oilers fail to win their two remaining games, the Ducks win the Pacific. In other words: they probably win the Pacific.
Edmonton: They have 99 points, are in second in the Pacific and two games left. If they win their two remaining games and Anaheim loses in regulation to the Kings on Sunday, the Oilers finish first. Otherwise, they probably finish second.
San Jose: They have 97 points and are third in the Pacific. If the Oilers lose their two remaining games and the Sharks beat the Flames on Saturday, then the Sharks finish second. Otherwise, they finish third.
Calgary: They have 94 points and are in the first wildcard spot. They’re ahead of Nashville by virtue of their regulation/overtime win tiebreaker. If they beat San Jose on Saturday, or Nashville loses in regulation, then they’ll finish in the first wildcard.
Nashville: They have 94 points and are in the second wildcard spot. If they get more points on Saturday than the Flames do then they’ll finish in the first wildcard. Otherwise? They stay in the second spot.
FLAMES FIRST ROUND OPPONENTS
Via Sports Club Stats, the percentage chances of Calgary facing a particular team next week:
- Anaheim: 55.5% – If Anaheim finishes first in the Pacific (via beating LA or Edmonton not winning twice) AND Calgary finishes in first wildcard (via beating San Jose or Nashville losing to Winnipeg)
- Chicago: 35.6% – If Calgary finishes in the second wildcard spot (via losing to San Jose)
- Edmonton: 8.9% – If Edmonton finishes first in the Pacific (via winning out AND Anaheim losing to LA) AND Calgary finishes in the first wildcard spot
PROBABLE FIRST ROUND
Here are the most likely first round matchups in the West as of this morning:
- Chicago vs. Nashville
- Minnesota vs. St. Louis
- Anaheim vs. Calgary
- Edmonton vs. San Jose