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West update: Avs creep on Blues, Stars add to wild card lead

Apr 9, 2014, 12:44 AM EDT

Colorado Avalanche v Edmonton Oilers Getty Images

For some time, it seemed like the Eastern Conference’s playoff races and seeding battles would be the most interesting as the 2013-14 regular season came to a close. As it turns out, this final week might be far juicier out West.

Let’s take a tour through an increasingly interesting situation in the competitive conference.

  • To begin, we’ll go with teams fighting for their playoff lives (rather than musical chairs for division/conference supremacy).
  • The Dallas Stars managed to take a shootout win against the Nashville Predators, eliminating the Preds from the postseason race in the process. The Stars slightly strengthened their hold on the West’s final wild card spot …
  •  … Because the Phoenix Coyotes could only manage a point against the Columbus Blue Jackets, ultimately surrendering in overtime on Tuesday. Phoenix isn’t totally collapsing as much as the Coyotes seem to be running out of gas; they’ve lost five games in a row but earned three points during that span.
  • Interestingly, the two teams will face the squads they rooted for tonight. Dallas takes on Columbus (and will trail the Blue Jackets 1-0 off the bat) in a game that was postponed to Wednesday. Meanwhile, Phoenix faces the Predators in Nashville on Thursday.
  • The Minnesota Wild went from clinching a spot in general to securing the top wild card spot by winning against the Boston Bruins in a shootout. Ilya Bryzgalov is on fire right now.
  • It’s not just the final West spots that are up for grabs in interesting ways thanks to the St. Louis Blues’ first three-game losing streak of the season.
  • The Colorado Avalanche’s win against the Edmonton Oilers leaves them only two points behind St. Louis for the Central Division crown (Blues 111, Colorado 109) and possibly the Western Conference’s top seed (idle Anaheim is at 110 points). All three teams have three games remaining this season, with Sunday’s season finale between the Ducks and the Avalanche suddenly holding even more interesting implications (at least potentially).
  • The idle San Jose Sharks aren’t out of the Pacific race, either. Ponder this: the runner-up in the Central race would face Chicago in the first round while the Pacific’s second-place team nets Los Angeles in an opening series. Yup, that’s plenty of motivation to finish strong.
  • (Especially if the top wild card team Minnesota stays as hot as they’ve been.)

That’s a lot of information to disseminate, so if you just want to do the math for yourself, here’s a look at the updated standings:

source:

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  1. trbowman - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:54 AM

    Outside of the PHX/DAL game on the 13th, none of this interests me anymore. Can just fast forward to the playoffs?

  2. muckleflugga - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:00 AM

    wow … it’s a good thing kings banked all those points during those streaks or there are those among us who might be looking forward to a b bbb blue blue blue christmas ;-}

    • blomfeld - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:03 AM

      “while the Pacific’s second-place team nets Los Angeles in an opening series. Yup, that’s plenty of motivation to finish strong” …

      With all kidding aside, what more can one say to ‘that’ which is fact ?

      summary: anyone facing the Kings in the 1st round will be crushed like a miserable ant !

      GO KINGS GO !!! … TODAY, TOMORROW AND FOREVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • hawksin5 - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:09 AM

        Blom…..
        LAK vs CHI 0-3
        LAK vs SJS 1-4
        LAK vs ANA 1-3
        LAK vs MIN 1-2
        i would be rather concerned if i were you and your mighty kings…

  3. gbatap - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    I know an OT or SO win would have kept the Preds in the race but I’m surprised they wouldn’t roll the dice, pull the goalie and try to win in regulation to increase their chances of maybe making the playoffs.

  4. mackattack29 - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:34 AM

    I honestly think the avs would have a better chance against the hawks than anyone so I kind of want them to finish 2nd. But it would be one heck of a turn around to go from 29th in the league to potentially first in the entire western conference and 2nd in the whole league, assuming they don’t pass boston which would be very unlikely..

  5. hardkor07mn - Apr 9, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    I refuse to cheer for any team that has D bag Brown on it. GO WILD!!!!

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