After a big weekend, things are a LITTLE bit clearer in the NW division/Western Conference playoff race. Three teams have clinched a playoff berth (Detroit, Anaheim and San Jose), and there has been some stratification within the six teams we're tracking. Essentially, Colorado, Nashville and Edmonton are fighting each other for the 8th seed in the west, and Minnesota, Calgary and Vancouver are fighting each other for the 3rd, 6th and 7th seeds in the west.
# Team GP/W/PTS
3. MIN 76/40/89
6. CGY 75/39/88
7. VAN 75/38/86
8. COL 76/39/84
9. NAS 76/37/82
10. EDM 76/38/81
Home/away winning percentages
MIN h .656 / a .543
COL h .657 / a .471
CGY h .655 / a .543
VAN h .613 / a .545
NAS h .618 / a .485
EDM h .595 / a .485
MIN: @ EDM, EDM, CAN, COL, CGY, @ COL
COL: CGY, VAN, EDM, @ MIN, @ VAN, MIN
CGY: @ COL, VAN, EDM, @ VAN, @ EDM, @ MIN, @ VAN
VAN: @ CGY, @ COL, @ MIN, CGY, COL, EDM, CGY
NAS: CBJ, @ CBJ, @ DET, @ STL, STL, CHI
EDM: MIN, @ MIN, @ COL, @ CGY, CGY, @ VAN
Total SOS score for remaining games
*Edmonton has an uphill battle. They have such a tough schedule ahead, they don't play Nashville, and they have one H2H with Colorado - but it's in Denver. Especially with their penchant for OT/SO games, I think the Grease are all-but done.
*Nashville's biggest problem is that they need to win two more games than Colorado does - in the same number of games. While their easier schedule makes that look possible, the Avs having four of 6 at home hurts Nashville. Even if Colorado goes .500, the Predators can't lose more than 1 more game from here on out. They still have to play Detroit, in Detroit, too...so there's that one game...
*Colorado looks pretty good for the 8th seed, but can they catch/pass Vancouver? They have 2 more H2H with the Canucks, so it's certainly possible.
*I would say Calgary has the inside track on the division title right now, were it not for that four-game road trip to end the season. They have to take advantage of the game in hand over the Wild.
*Of Minnesota, Vancouver, Calgary and Colorado, the Canucks have the worst home winning percentage. So, while they finish the season with four at home, that's of limited comfort. Also, the Wild and Flames each play the Grease twice. The Avs and Canucks only play them one more time.
*Minnesota looks pretty good to clinch a playoff berth. But winning the division title is not as solid. Sweeping (or even getting 3 points) out of the upcoming two games with the Oilers would be a very good thing. Especially because after that, their SOS will get much harder.