NHL Playoff Death Watch: Dallas closes wild card gap; Eastern bubble bobble tonight (Puck Daddy)

By at 25 March, 2014, 7:40 am

Since we’re down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.
The Dallas Stars’ 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets, combined with the Phoenix Coyotes’ overtime loss in New York, pushed them to within a point of the last wild card spot in the West.
Oh, and they have a game in-hand. Oh, and Mike Smith got totally hurt last night.
We look at another big night on the bubble in both conferences in today’s Death Watch
Here are the current standings. The Death Watch tracks the final Wild Card spot and the teams that are chasing it. Their “tragic number” is the number of points gained by the final wild card team or lost by the team chasing it.
All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats ; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their “Tragic Number” hits 0.
Here’s the Eastern Conference picture:

Team

Place/ Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance 1 st Wild Card

% Chance of 2 nd Wild Card B

Detroit Red Wings

WILD CARD 1/80/28 (5H/6A)

39

21

Toronto Maple Leafs

WILD CARD 2/80/27 (5H/4A)

14

20

Washington Capitals

9th/79/25 (5H/5A)

19

8

16

Columbus Blue Jackets

10th/78/31 (6H/5A)

20

4

10

New Jersey Devils

11th/75/31 (6H/4A)

15

4

10

Carolina Hurricanes

12th/71/30 (5H/6A)

13

0

1

Ottawa Senators

13th/71/25 (7H/4A)

13

0

1

New York Islanders

14th/63/21 (4H/7A)

5

The four teams surrounding the bubble are all in action tonight.
The Red Wings and Blue Jackets face off in a critical game for both in Columbus. The Leafs host the St. Louis Blues, the best team in the West. The Capitals host the Los Angeles Kings, who are coming off a win in Philly last night.
Here’s how incredibly tight the Eastern Conference wild card is: Depending on the outcomes, the Leafs could find themselves in the first wild card or in 10th place by night’s end.
Higher in the standings, the Rangers regained a one point lead over the Flyers, but Philly has two games in-hand. Montreal’s shootout win over Boston tied them in points with Tampa Bay, who lost a shootout to Ottawa.
Meanwhile in the Western Conference:

Team

Place/Record/Pts. (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance Wild Card A

% Chance of Wild Card B

Minnesota Wild

WILD CARD 1/85/30 (5H/5A)

71

21

Phoenix Coyotes

WILD CARD 2/80/29 (5H/5A)

14

35

Dallas Stars

9th/79/31 (4H/7A)

21

14

41

Vancouver Canucks

10th/76/28 (6H/3A)

14

0

2

Winnipeg Jets

11th/73/26 (3H/6A)

11

0

0

Nashville Predators

12th/72/30 (5H/5A)

12

0

0

Calgary Flames

13th/67/24 (4H/6A)

7

0

The Jets played hard in Dallas, but their loss drops their tragic number to 11.
The Coyotes are in Pittsburgh tonight to face a Penguins team that’s 26-6-2 on home ice. The Stars are in Chicago tonight to face a Blackhawks team that’s 23-7-7 on home ice.
Keep in mind that these two knuckleheads close the season out in Phoenix, so we might be doing this dance until the end.

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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Huge night for Leafs, Wings and Capitals (Puck Daddy)

By at 22 March, 2014, 7:19 am

Since we’re down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.
The Columbus Blue Jackets’ loss on Rick Nash Appreciation Night dropped them down to the second wild card in the East again.
By the end of Saturday night, they could be on the outside looking in.
The Detroit Red Wings’ game in-hand on Columbus is tonight at the Minnesota Wild. A victory, and the Wings will fly over the Jackets into the final wild card spot, with both team having 12 games remaining.
If the Wings lose in regulation or overtime, the Washington Capitals can hop into the last wild card with 79 points with a win over San Jose – although both Columbus and Detroit will have two games in-hand.
Here are the current standings. The Death Watch tracks the final Wild Card spot and the teams that are chasing it. Their “tragic number” is the number of points gained by the final wild card team or lost by the team chasing it.
All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats ; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their “Tragic Number” hits 0.
Here’s the Eastern Conference picture:

Team

Place/ Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance 1 st Wild Card

% Chance of 2 nd Wild Card B

Toronto Maple Leafs

WILD CARD 1/80/27 (6H/5A)

25

21

Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD 2/78/31 (6H/6A)

16

17

Detroit Red Wings

9th/77/27 (6H/7A)

25

21

20

Washington Capitals

10th/75/26 (5H/6A)

21

4

9

New Jersey Devils

11th/73/30 (8H/4A)

19

5

10

Carolina Hurricanes

12th/69/29 (5H/7A)

15

0

0

Ottawa Senators

13th/69/25 (7H/6A)

17

0

1

New York Islanders

14th/61/20 (5H/7A)

7

0

Florida Panthers

15th/60/19 (8H/4A)

6

The Rangers face the Devils tonight in a critical game for both teams, as Jersey fights for its playoff life and the Rangers seek to leave the wild card bubble and try to pry home ice away from the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Flyers host St. Louis on Saturday.
Montreal and Toronto play a game with plenty on the line. The Leafs could close within one point of the Habs for third in the Atlantic, which means a first-round battle against Tampa Bay rather than either Boston or Pittsburgh.
The Lightning are at the Penguins. Boston is at Phoenix, after clinching a playoff spot last night.
Meanwhile in the Western Conference:

Team

Place/Record/Pts. (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance Wild Card A

% Chance of Wild Card B

Minnesota Wild

WILD CARD 1/83/29 (6H/6A)

72

22

Phoenix Coyotes

WILD CARD 2/79/29 (6H/6A)

18

43

Dallas Stars

9th/75/29 (6H/7A)

22

7

28

Vancouver Canucks

10th/74/27 (7H/3A)

15

0

2

Winnipeg Jets

11th/73/26 (4H/7A)

16

0

2

Nashville Predators

12th/70/29 (4H/7A)

13

0

0

Calgary Flames

13th/63/23 (5H/7A)

10

0

0

Edmonton Oilers

14th/59/22 (8H/3A)

2

The Wild host Detroit while the Coyotes host the Bruins. Both West wild card teams have 12 games left.
The Dallas Stars have a game in-hand on both and host the Ottawa Senators tonight, needing a win after losing three games on an Eastern road trip.
A regulation loss for the Oilers to Calgary would eliminate them from postseason contention, as would any combination of two points gained by the Coyotes and lost by Edmonton tonight.

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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Jackets fall to wild card; Caps, Wings alive (Puck Daddy)

By at 19 March, 2014, 7:21 am

Since we’re down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.
The Eastern Conference playoff picture was shaken up on Tuesday night thanks to Carolina’s surprising 3-1 win at Columbus.
The Blue Jackets plummeted to the last wild card slot thanks to their loss and the New York Rangers’ win over Ottawa. The Rangers (78 points) kept pace with the Flyers (79) in the second and third spots in the Metropolitan, which essentially means jockeying for home ice while avoiding a potential first round matchup with the Boston Bruins that awaits the lowest wild card.
Here are the current standings. The Death Watch tracks the final Wild Card spot and the teams that are chasing it. Their “tragic number” is the number of points gained by the final wild card team or lost by the team chasing it.
All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats ; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their “Tragic Number” hits 0.
Here’s the Eastern Conference picture:

Team

Place/ Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance 1 st Wild Card

% Chance of 2 nd Wild Card B

Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD/76/30 (7H/7A)

10

14

Washington Capitals

9th/76/25 (5H/7A)

24

4

10

Detroit Red Wings

10th/75/26 (7H/7A)

27

16

20

New Jersey Devils

11th/71/29 (9H/4A)

21

3

8

Ottawa Senators

12th/69/25 (8H/6A)

21

1

2

Carolina Hurricanes

13th/69/29 (5H/8A)

19

0

1

New York Islanders

14th/61/20 (5H/7A)

9

0

0

Florida Panthers

15th/60/19 (8H/5A)

10

0

0

The Red Wings (+7.2 percent) and Capitals (+8.4 percent) increased their playoff chances with wins on Tuesday night, although the Caps are racing the clock considering both Columbus and Detroit have two games in-hand on them. The Devils, meanwhile, saw their playoff probability drop by 11.1 percent with their loss to Boston.
On Wednesday night: Another key showdown between the Tampa Bay Lightning (third in the Atlantic, 81 points) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (fourth in the Atlantic, first wild card, 80 points). The Bolts, however, have two games in-hand on the Leafs.
Meanwhile in the Western Conference:

Team

Place/Record/Pts. (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance Wild Card A

% Chance of Wild Card B

Phoenix Coyotes

WILD CARD/77/28 (7H/6A)

16

30

Dallas Stars

9th/75/29 (6H/8A)

26

12

37

Vancouver Canucks

10th/72/26 (8H/3A)

17

0

1

Winnipeg Jets

11th/71/25 (5H/7A)

18

0

1

Nashville Predators

12th/68/28 (5H/8A)

17

0

0

Calgary Flames

13th/63/23 (6H/7A)

12

0

0

Edmonton Oilers

14th/59/22 (9H/3A)

6

0

The Stars remain two points out of the last wild card with a game in-hand on Phoenix, despite their loss to Pittsburgh. The Minnesota Wild have the first wild card with 82 points and 13 games remaining.
Meanwhile, Chicago (93 points) faces the St. Louis Blues (101 points) while the Colorado Avalanche (93 points) play at Winnipeg.

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Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Roy vs. Gabby, Part 2; SJ circling Pac lead; Schneider against Lu, post-Canucks (Puck Daddy)

By at 14 March, 2014, 4:13 pm

Here is the Puck Daddy Viewing Guide: Spotlighting five things to watch for during tonight’s slate of games. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.

Create-a-caption: Bruce Boudreau and Patrick Roy meet for the second time this season. (Thanks to Indiana Matt from TheRoyalHalf.com for the picture)
• • • • •
Preview: San Jose Sharks at New York Islanders, 7:00 p.m. EST
Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Washington Capitals, 7:00 p.m. EST
Preview: Edmonton Oilers at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. EST
Preview: New Jersey Devils at Florida Panthers, 7:30 p.m. EST
Preview: Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:00 p.m. EST
Preview: New York Rangers at Winnipeg Jets, 8:00 p.m. EST
Preview: Calgary Flames at Dallas Stars, 8:30 p.m. EST
Preview: Anaheim Ducks at Colorado Avalanche, 9:00 p.m. EST
• • • • •
Five things to know about tonight’s NHL games …
1) Bruce Boudreau vs. Patrick Roy, Round 2, FIGHT! Believe it or not, this is the first time the Ducks and Avalanche have met since their catfight in the first game of the season .
2) Bad to worse in Vancouver, if that’s even possible. Well, Ryan Kesler kind of got what we he wanted. He’s out of the Canucks lineup … ‘at least a couple weeks’ with a knee injury . Kesler is second on the Canucks in points, first in goals, and tied for first in power play points.
3) Power of Peverley. Rich Peverley is out of the hospital, and spent time with his teammates on Thursday as they practiced. Just seeing Peverley up and about is bound to give the Stars a boost. Dallas was already a sleeper team to watch; now they’re a sleeper team on a mission to win for their teammate.
4) Sharks and Ducks and the Pacific Division. Anaheim had been leading the Pacific Division for a good amount of time. Thanks to the Ducks four-game slide, and the Sharks four-game win streak, they’re tied in the standings at 93 points. Both are behind league leading St. Louis by four points.
5) Cory Schneider vs. Roberto Luongo. This time last season, who would have thought this matchup would involve the New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers, and NOT the Vancouver Canucks?

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NHL Three Stars: Kessel leads happy homecoming for Carlyle; Avs win in OT (Puck Daddy)

By at 11 March, 2014, 12:59 am

Let’s begin with an obvious nod to the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets medical staffs for their proactive and immediate reaction to Rich Peverley’s health scare that postponed the teams’ game on Monday night.
No. 1 Star: Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs star had a goal and two assists in their 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks in Randy Carlyle’s return to Anaheim. He had a secondary helper on Tyler Bozak’s goal and scored his 34th in the first; he then assisted on Paul Ranger’s second-period goal. Jonathan Bernier had 43 saves in the win.
No. 2 Star: Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche
Duchene scored at 2:33 of overtime to give the Avs a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets. He schooled Dustin Byfuglien with a spin move in the corner, fired the puck off Tobias Enstrom and then collected the rebound for his 21st of the season.

No. 3 Star: Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins
Kunitz opened and closed the scoring for the Penguins in their 3-2 win at the Washington Capitals. He caught Mike Green flat-footed just 46 seconds into the game, and then tallied his 31st goal of the year at 12:40 of the second. Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists in the win.
Honorable mention: The New York Islanders scored seven third-period goals, including four in 5:08, to rally and beat the Vancouver Canucks, 7-4. Kyle Okposo had three assists. … The Los Angeles Kings scored the first three goals of the game and then held off a Calgary Flames’ rally for a 3-2 victory. Anze Kopitar had the game-winner. … Seth Jones collected a rebound of a Ryan Ellis breakaway shot at 3:49 of overtime in the Nashville Predators’ 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky had three point games in the loss. … Radim Vrbata scored the lone goal of the shootout as the Phoenix Coyotes topped the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3. Ondrej Palat had two goals and an assist. …
Did You Know? The Islanders tied an NHL record for road goals in a period with 7.
Dishonorable mention: Shea Weber and Roman Josi were a minus-3. … Craig Anderson was pulled after stopping 26 of 29 shots, following a collision with Milan Michalek. … The Canucks took three minor penalties in the third and gave up three power-play goals on seven times shorthanded.

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Laich injured 10 min. into 1st Capitals practice (The Associated Press)

By at 12 September, 2013, 4:14 pm

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Amid bright expectations and newfound stability, the Washington Capitals opened training camp Thursday. It didn’t take long for the mood to change.

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Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Breaking down the best studs and sleepers at defense (Puck Daddy)

By at 31 August, 2013, 7:44 am

Yahoo Fantasy Hockey is open for the 2013-14 season. To help give you a better chance to win your league, our pals at Dobber Hockey are returning for another season. They’ll be breaking down the top forwards, defense and goalies, and also giving you …

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Alfredsson dons winged wheel; Kadri staying mum; best and worst of Chiarelli (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)

By at 30 August, 2013, 12:01 pm

Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

• Welp, guess that really happened.
• After former NFL players were a…

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Penguins, Bruins, Blackhawks and Kings odds-on favorites entering 2013-14 season (Puck Daddy)

By at 29 August, 2013, 10:28 am

There’s been so much attention paid to the rechristening of the four divisions – Detroit in the Atlantic, the very existence of the Metropolitan – that you might have forgotten that the NHL rejiggered its playoff format as well.
Please recall t…

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What We Learned: Even with Grabovski, Capitals are just borderline playoff team (Puck Daddy)

By at 26 August, 2013, 4:59 am

Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.
The praise pou…

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