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Western Conference playoffs will be settled tonight — Here’s what can happen

Apr 27, 2013, 9:21 AM EDT

Sergei Bobrovsky, Henrik Zetterberg AP

The final two playoff spots in the Western Conference will be decided one way or another tonight. Columbus, Detroit, and Minnesota are vying to book a spot in the postseason and dates with either Anaheim or Chicago.

All three teams play tonight and that means we’ve got scenarios for how each can make the playoffs. If you’re a Columbus fan hoping to see them make the playoffs, you’re going to need a little help. Here’s how things play out:

Detroit: The Red Wings can clinch their 22nd straight playoff appearance by earning a single point tonight against Dallas. The Wings have 54 points and it’s going to take at least one point to clinch a spot for them. If they beat Dallas in any way they’ll lock down the seventh seed and draw Anaheim in the playoffs.

Minnesota: The Wild could’ve made tonight a walk in the park if they’d beaten Edmonton last night. Instead, they got their heads beat in 6-1 and now have to do it all again versus Colorado tonight. Minnesota locks down a playoff spot with a victory of any kind over the Avs. A win and a Detroit loss in regulation puts the Wild in seventh. A regulation loss makes them root hard for Nashville to win in regulation over Columbus.

Columbus: The Jackets are going to be rooting hard for the Stars and Avalanche tonight no matter what. Columbus needs points one way or another over the Predators tonight. A single point and a Wild loss in regulation puts them in. Two points and a Wild loss books their ticket for the postseason. A win and regulation losses by both Minnesota and Detroit puts Columbus in seventh place. A loss in regulation ends their season.

If all three teams end the night with 55 points, Detroit and Minnesota go to the playoffs based on having more ROWs than Columbus. Regardless, all eyes are on the West tonight.

  1. martysbetter - Apr 27, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    Wonder if tonight is the night Wild fans face the hard truth Devlis fans had to live with: Zach Parise doesn’t show up when it matters most.

    • Joe Yerdon - Apr 27, 2013 at 9:36 AM

      Asking Parise to score six goals to help your team win might be asking too much.

      • martysbetter - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:16 AM

        Apparently scoring more than 7pts and being better than a -9 down the stretch in April is asking too much as well.

    • juzzi7 - Apr 27, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      Wonder if you’ve seen the olympic final from 2010

    • tfaltin - Apr 27, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      He wasn’t one of the most valuable players in your playoff run to the finals last year, either. You’re just bitter he left you with Kovalchuk, who is showing some great heart today. You know how wouldn’t have let Callahan skate around him for that SH chance regardless of the standings? Parise. Jackass.

      • martysbetter - Apr 27, 2013 at 5:54 PM

        You’re right, he was nowhere near our MVP in the playoffs last year – thank you for proving my point.

  2. IN FIRST AT LAST - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    happy lumbus day, everyone!

    i hope last night the hockey fans were tucked all snug in their beds, while visions of bobrovskies danced in their heads. the sticks were all hung by the benches with care, in hops that st. letestu would soon be there.

  3. mclovinhockey - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Gotta stay up late in the east cost tonight… Lots to watch.

    If the wild finish 8th, that would mean the two teams people kept saying would win the cup grab both 8 seeds.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Only delusional people said the Wild were gonna win the Cup. Anybody without goggles on could see how significantly better built teams like Pittsburgh, LA, Vancouver, Chicago, the Blues and Boston are. If the Rangers win then they have the possibility of bumping up to the 7th seed (or even 6th if Ottawa blows both their last 2 games). I think it’d be funny for Minnesota to get knocked out since everyone has been anticipating whether it would be Columbus or Detroit snagging the 8th seed. They could both get in and Minnesota could be on the outs. It’d be an entertaining end to the saga of the West this year.

    • orangandblack - Apr 27, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      Stay up late??? The latest any of these games start is at 730 EST. I didn’t realize staying up til 10pm on a saturday night was late.

      • malcolmsbeard - Apr 27, 2013 at 6:24 PM

        2 games on at 10 and 1 at 10:30 EST. They do have schedules listed on the Internets.

      • orangandblack - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:26 AM

        you should look at said schedule. The columbus game ended at 930 and the Wild game ended at 1015. Stop watching replays

  4. gnrfan8804 - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    As a sabre fan, i would love it if the wild miss, then somehow win the lottery for he first pick, then have to give it to us for Pominville. Hahaha

    • 19to77 - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      I’m still rooting for the Devils to get first overall, if only to watch Lou Lamoriello’s Palpatine face twisted in rage as he’s forced to forfeit it.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        The draft is in New Jersey this year so I thought it was pretty much gone without saying that the Devils would surrender the pick next year, not this. They had from the 2011-2014 drafts to do it, no?

      • 19to77 - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        Huh. You’re right. Nevermind, I thought he had to give it up by 2013, not 2014. Awww. That’s a bit of a shame. Would’ve been hilarious.

  5. spochiefsfan - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    “Palpatine face” hahahahahahahahaha
    good thing I waited a sec to take a drink of coffee!
    High fives all around for some great puck today!

  6. csilojohnson - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Columbus in 7th and Detroit in 8th would make for the best first round IMO. Columbus has beaten the Ducks this year. Twice I think. Chicago v Detroit… No explanation nessesary. Otherwise I only see Detroit v Anahiem being a competetive match up.

  7. mblue24 - Apr 27, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Go Redwings!!!!

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