The Western playoff battle heats up!

Sadly, the Edmonton Oilers’ amazing run to reach the playoffs has ended with a devastating loss to the Flames courtesy of Owen Nolan. Concurrently, the Nashville Predators found themselves down 3-0 against the St. Louis Blues, only to have a bunch of their grinders step up and take over as the Preds came back to win 4-3 in OT. A little later, the Canucks were up 2-0 against the Avs and looked in a solid position to strengthen their playoff bid… only to let in 4 unanswered goals.

Take a look inside for the Final 2 games of each playoff and division battling team.

In 1st, the Wings need just a lone point against the Blue Jackets or the Hawks to take the President’s Trophy and tops in the West. They have more wins than the Sharks.
The Sharks are guaranteed at least 2nd place, and barring a 3-game collapse by the Wings and 2 wins for SJ, they’ll finish there. They play Dallas and LA, and will likely win both.
We’ll skip 3rd for now.
The Ducks are all but guaranteed the 4th seed and home ice for the first round. They play LA and Phoenix, and unless Dallas wins all three of their remaining games, the Ducks are solid for 4th.
The Stars, who have been slumping massively and no longer look like that team that many (myself not included) said would win the Cup and take over Detroit for tops in the West, are tied in 5th with the Avs (same wins too), but they have 2 games in hand on them and one on the Flames, who are a point back. Since they are playing the Coyotes twice and the Sharks once, we can assume they’ll keep their 5th placed spot with wins over the Turris-led Coyotes. However, they may indeed consider resting some players and losing ‘on purpose’ to get a matchup with the NW division’s champion, rather than facing the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

That brings us to the 4 NW teams and Nashville.

The Wild are the division leaders and automatically ranked 3rd (just like the Canes or Caps will be in the East). They have 95 points with 43 wins with games against the Flames and Avs left to close out their season. Ironically, it is the Avs (in 6th, and with a sole game left against the Wild) and the Flames (with games left against the Wild and Canucks) that look to catch them. I believe a single point in those two games would clinch the division for the Wild, with a win certainly doing so. But they are by no means guaranteed that spot.

The Top 6 teams have made the playoffs already.

In 7th, the Flames need only a point to do so, or see the Canucks fail to win both their games (one, interestingly, against them and the other against the recently eliminated, possibly spiritless and downtrodden Oilers) and ditto for the Preds. The Canucks have already won the season series against the Flames despite the game that remains, having won 5 already. Thus that one point is crucial for the Flames to clinch.

The Preds, in 8th, gave themselves major breathing room and fate in their hands with their massive comeback win. They play two non-playoff teams in the Blues (again) and the Hawks. They are one point ahead of the Canucks with one extra win. Win both and they are guaranteed a playoff spot. Lose even one game in OT, and they risk the Canucks winning both games and taking the last spot as they’d be tied in wins and the Canucks hold the tie-breaker over the Preds (having gone 3-1 against them).

To recap:
z-1st Detroit 79GP 52W 111PTS
y-2nd SJ 80GP 49W 108PTS
y-3rd Minnesota 80GP 43W 95PTS
x-4th Anaheim 80GP 45W 98PTS
x-5th Dallas 79GP 43W 93PTS
x-6th Colorado 81GP 43W 93PTS
7th Calgary 80GP 41W 92PTS
8th Nashville 80GP 40W 89PTS
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
9th Vancouver 80GP 39W 88PTS

z- indicates probable Conference and President’s Trophy winner
y- indicates probable Division winner
x- indicates team has clinched a playoff spot

If I had to predict the outcomes of the following important games, I’d go with this:

April 3rd:

Calgary vs. Minnesota. Minnesota wins at home, possibly in OT to clinch the division. With an OT/SO loss the Flames clinch.
St. Louis vs. Nashville. The Preds win easily to put the pressure on the Canucks.
Dallas vs. Phoenix. The Coyotes win at home in Turris’s debut.
Edmonton vs. Vancouver. The downhearted Oilers try to play with passion but the solid play of Luongo keeps the Canucks’ playoff hopes alive, who have seen the Preds result over the Blues and know their game is a must-win.

In other games SJ kills LA and Detroit beats CBJ at home to clinch the President’s Trophy.

April 4th:

Nashville vs. Chicago. The Preds barely squeak out a win. Personally, I could see the Hawks playing a huge spoiler (especially if they manage to beat the Wings today and keep their own hopes alive) and helping the Canucks. I hope it doesn’t happen.
Phoenix vs. Dallas. Dallas gets revenge, spurred on by a 3-point effort by Brad Richards, who breaks his current slump in Dallas.

Saturday, April 5th (the big mama):

Anaheim vs. LA. Anaheim beats LA to secure home ice advantage and the 4th seed.
Game of the Year (for their respective teams): Calgary vs. Vancouver. The Canucks will know prior to this game whether they have a shot at the playoffs or not, depending on what the Preds did. Tough call… I’m going to go with Iginla and his 50th goal of the season and 100th point as the game winner, with Kipper outplaying Luongo. Likely a one goal game that may see OT. Hopefully a Flames blowout to end the Canucks’ season.
Canucks fans end their season booing Luongo.

April 6th (final day of the regular season):
Possible division title to the victor between Minnesota vs. Colorado. Foppa and Sakic bring back memories of yore to win a huge game at home, but the Wild having won against the Flames win the division.

In other games the Sharks beat the Stars to close their season on a hot streak.

Predicted outcomes:
1st Detroit
2nd SJ
3rd Minnesota
4th Anaheim
5th Dallas (barely, based on more wins than the Flames)
6th Calgary
7th Colorado
8th Nashville

Bye Bye Canucks!! And Hello $500 for me!

Detroit beats Nashville.
SJ beats Colorado.
Calgary beats Minnesota.
Anaheim beats Dallas.

Detroit beats Calgary.
SJ beats Anaheim (barely).

Does SJ finally reach the Finals? I’ll side with the Wings against all the ‘odds’.

Of course, this is all ridiculous speculation. I could be wrong for most of these games, and had no real strong basis to judge. I just did what I thought would be interesting and a fun way to close each teams’ season.

PS. I know the Hawks are still technically in, but they need only loses in regulation from the Preds and Canucks, and need to win against the Wings once more and once against the Preds to do so. They are done. If not, I’ll eat Carey Price’s hat.


90 Responses to The Western playoff battle heats up!

  1. careyprice31 says:

    (singin mario tune in his head) bru bru bru bru brubru bru bru bru bru bru bru bru bru  bru bru brubru bru bru bru bru bru bru brubru brubrubrubru BRU dabru bru bru bru bru bru bru da bru.

  2. King-Luongo says:

    Just did the calculations from hockeydb.com and Kovalev, Hamrlik, Koivu, Dandenault, Brisebois and Smolinski have a combined 466 playoff games. Add to that the limited experience guys like Komisarek, Begin, Plekanec, Higgins and Ryder have and it becomes clear the Habs are not that inexperienced come playoff time. Only guys like the Kostitsyns, Price, O'Byrne, Grabs and Gorges will be newbies. Price and O'Byrne got a taste during last year's calder cup too.

  3. HABSSTAR says:

    Well as much as it happens when teams miss the playoffs by a couple of points they all like to look back and say it was this game or that.  But in the end it was the totallity of their season.  I don't subscribe to the "this game"  or 'that game" theory.  Missing the playoffs says that your season was not good enough, not because you lost a specific game.  

  4. HABSSTAR says:

    Ya, Gainey's a retard.  He's only managed to turn this team from a mediocre barely playoff material team to one of the top teams in the East.  Doing it all through astute drafting and everytime someone freaks on a trade or signing he does they end up being wrong and he ends up being right.  Doesn't have a clue what he's doing….you're right. 

    As for Guy Carboneau's smirk…get used to seeing it because it'll probably be right next to the Jack Adams trophy in June. 

  5. HABSSTAR says:

    That's right because it's actually the NE divy that's god's gift to hockey! lol!  Seriously the Central is still a weak division.  I think Detroit's problem with their division rivals can be chalked up to two things 1) Lack of motivation: it must be hard to get up for playing the Blue Jackets and the Hawks and the Blues and the Preds.  Despite their potential for the future most of those teams are dogs right now.  2) An Old-ish Wings team might have a problem with fast young teams..specially with two old goalies that are past their prime.

    That's just my opinion, it and $1.25 gets you a coffee at some places.

  6. CofRED says:

    I'm a fan of a NW division team and I disagree about all of us thinking our division is God's gift to Hockey.  I certainly don't, and most of the people I know don't either.  The thing about the NW is that it's so close.  All 5 teams beat the hell out of each other all year long and don't give each other any ground, and that much shows in the standings.  They're definitely not the most skilled division, simply the most evenly matched.  Every division has one team thats a dog (statistically) – Tampa, Isles, Leafs, Kings, and Blues, and while they may not lose many games within their own division, they aren't even close to bumping the top teams in their respective divisions down either.  The lowest seeded NW team is currently 9 pts behind the first and 5 pts behind the second.  The race for the division crown came right down to the wire.  I don't think this division is the best, but I certainly think it makes for some of the most exciting races down the stretch.

  7. flamingsenator says:

    haha…oh god no

    flames are my team..but its hard to have confidence in them this year..and even last

    wats ur team in the east bru?

  8. CanadianbornPlaya says:

         Agreed, it's too bad the Oil didn't make it in when thethere. They are always an exciting playoff team to watch.
         My comment concerns Souray. I absolutly love 60% of his game. The physical leader with a booming shot. His ability to move the puck through the neutral zone and in the offensive zone. He'll fight anyone in the league and you really have to hit him hard to knock him off the puck. Great PP guy.
         The other 40% of his game is awful. I am a Hab fan and seen it with my eyes. He is often a liability in his own end, and usually is the last guy to make it up the ice on a rush(sure he a dman but you can't be 3 secs late everytime). His All-star season with MTL he had 28goals, 38assists but finished the year with a +/- of -28 (atrocious). And he is usually injured.
         He may be worth keeping to teach some young defencemen to play tough offensive hockey, but defencivly he won't help much. I think he has seen his best days. He's been a -player almost his entire career.

  9. CanadianbornPlaya says:

    One more thing, if the Habs see Carolina in the playoffs this year, Samsonov is a deadman. If I owned the Habs there would be a bonus for whoever ends his career.

  10. CanadianbornPlaya says:

    It was #99 wasn't it? Was that a question? Blasphemer.  Whatever part of the southern U.S you are from, it is obvious you have never seen a real hockey game.
        Send your  full name and address along with a cheque in the amount of 500$ to the Canadian Government and we will allow you to continue breathing. Should this happen again Dave Semenko will be dispatched to your residence the begin your re-education.

  11. careyprice31 says:

    Lol to be honest ive rather put a bounty on eirc stall i hate his face. And good point about sourray very true

  12. Cake says:

    Sorry but this is a hockey site not a rap rumor site "Playa". And no I'm not American and you probably shouldn't be on here bashing because of where people are from. Were you even born when Gretz played?

  13. Radio says:

    lol as he looks at through a mirror with the name "Claude Julien: 2007-2008", on it.

  14. HABSSTAR says:

    Ya because a guy who takes a non playoff team to barely making the playoffs has a better claim to it then a guy who took a non playoff team and takes them to the hights of the conference…sure.

  15. BruMagnus says:

    Ask the CAnes if they feel that way having lost their season finale at home to the Panthers… now they must pray for a regulation loss by the Caps against the same Panthers… or they're out.

    On a strange flipside, Washington can go from 9th to 3rd if they just make OT or win….

  16. BruMagnus says:

    You're wasting your breath.

    I've written these facts our countless times on here and still no one pays attention to them. Ignoramuses keep saying that if the Wings played in the NW they'd barely make the playoffs, etc…. just shows how ignorant most hockey fans on here are. You'd think they'd appreciate the hockey lessons we impart with our superior knowledge, wouldn't you?

  17. BruMagnus says:

    I could and do say the same about the Atlantic, where teams like Philly pulverize their opponents… and a team like the NYR has beaten the NJD 7 straight times!! NJ would be clearly in first if not for this. Just as the Habs would be struggling if not for their raping of the Bruins.

    Once again though, 4 teams from the NHL's best Atlantic will be playing in the playoffs. It's just too bad that two, if not 4 teams, will faceoff in the first round (NJD vs NYR; Pitty vs Philly), or we'd likely have seen an Atlantic division Eastern semi-Finals.

  18. CofRED says:

    I'm just saying the NW is the tightest, top to bottom, thats all.  The difference between first and fifth is a mere 9 pts.  In contrast, the Central has a difference of 38 pts, the Pacific is 37 pts, the Atlantic is 23 pts, the NE is 19 pts, and the SE is 21 pts.  Every team in the NW was still in the dogfight until the Oilers second last game in the season.

    The tightest division in the league.  That's all I'm trying to say.  I'm not saying it's the best.

  19. morrissey says:

    I doubt you've ever played hockey.

  20. Radio says:

    When your two best players are injured and out for the season and then three (now four) other guys who you rely on game-in-game-out also have signifigant injuries –> yes.

  21. peake19 says:

    We can all read stats bru thanks for that you asshat
    you better pray you penguins dont play the sens again or they're getting knocked out first round again

  22. peake19 says:

    i doubt hes ever public skated that asshat

  23. BruMagnus says:

    They didn't change from the original post:
    To recap:
    z-1st Detroit 79GP 52W 111PTS
    y-2nd SJ 80GP 49W 108PTS
    y-3rd Minnesota 80GP 43W 95PTS
    x-4th Anaheim 80GP 45W 98PTS
    x-5th Dallas 79GP 43W 93PTS
    x-6th Colorado 81GP 43W 93PTS
    7th Calgary 80GP 41W 92PTS
    8th Nashville 80GP 40W 89PTS

  24. BruMagnus says:

    The Habs.

  25. BruMagnus says:

    Cause Darryl Sydor never won a Cup, or two Cups, for that matter, right?
    Oh, and what about Gary Roberts, shortly due back from injury (2nd round at the worst)?
    Or how about Gonchar who made the Finals?

  26. BruMagnus says:

    Gary Roberts may play in tomorrow's game vs. the Flyers… he's supposedly injury-free just outta condition, but should be ready AT THE VERY LATEST for the 2nd round, if not the 1st.

  27. BruMagnus says:

    That was quick "morrissey"… only time I've ever read asshat on here.. that is unless peak19 is actually a different user and morrissey is so unoriginal he cannot come up with his own insults… both ways, morrissey loses.

    The Sens without Alfredsson and Fisher will be the worst playoff team out of the 16. Possible sweep for whichever of the Habs or Pens are lucky enough to face that pathetic has-been of a franchise.

  28. BruMagnus says:

    wow, logged in as morrissey, then logged out, then logged in as peake19….
    pathetic

  29. morrissey says:

    Over an hour apart? Idiot. You've never played hockey, in fact I don't think you even watched hockey prior to the Pens getting  Crosby.

  30. careyprice31 says:

    Thats a possibility

  31. CanadianbornPlaya says:

    I will not argue with someone that calls The Great One a diver. No Soup For You!

  32. CanadianbornPlaya says:

    That mirror won't say Bryan Murry, that's a certainty.

  33. BruMagnus says:

    I think morrissey is actually projecting.
    I think he only became an NHL fan and a 'closet' Sidney Crosby fan when Sid came into the League. He needs to just come out of the closet already.

    I've been a Penguins fan since the mid 80s.

  34. BruMagnus says:

    I won't argue with that.

    I will just say that before the NYI's pathetic slide (remember they were a playoff team for 50-60 games, then what happened?) and the Oilers crazy streak, that the Atlantic was in the same position.

    Heck, the SE was the closest at a point. Remember when 1st-4th in that division were 1 point apart from each other? With TB only like 6 or 7 back of that, albeit in last in the Conference.

  35. BruMagnus says:

    Hey, are you watching? Gary Roberts is playing.

    The Penguins, one of the best defensive teams in the NHL, have 7 superb NHL defensemen and have been rotating who to scratch. First Letang got the boot, then it was Sydor. Prior to that, they tried Ryan Whitney up on LW instead of scratching a D man.

    You have, and never will have, any knowledge of the Penguins, so don't pretend. You may have some knowledge about the ECHL though.

  36. BruMagnus says:

    Are you kidding? Wayne Gretzky was one of the biggest divers the game of hockey has ever seen! But no one will remember that because his amazing points overcame any cowardice he possessed and exhibited.

  37. morrissey says:

    You've never actually played hockey. You talk a lot of crap, but when it comes down to it, you don't know jack shit about hockey, that's why you are forever quoting stats at people, it's all you have.

  38. Cake says:

    Holy Crap Bru!!!!! We agreed on something.

  39. BruMagnus says:

    You were bound to see reason, logic and intelligence sooner or later! haha

  40. BruMagnus says:

    Hey morrissey, how did Gary Roberts and his broken leg look now?
    Aren't you glad you opened your mouth to show how your hockey knowledge a week ago?

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