Playoff Hunt: This Weekend In the West

Friday, 03.18.2011 / 12:13 PM / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Playoff Hunt: This Weekend In the West
Each teams schedules have ticked down to the final dozen games of the 2010-11 regular season, check out NashvillePredators.com's sneak peak at the match-ups of immediate concern to the Preds and the Western Conference playoff race.

We're tracking all teams within five points of the Preds in the conference standings heading into this weekend's play.


Team Points* Adjusted Wins^ Games Remaining* Max Pts** This Week's Schedule
#4 Phoenix 87 34 10 (7H/3A) 107 Fri at VAN, Sun vs CHI
#5 Los Angeles 85 33 11 (7H/4A) 107 Sat vs. ANA, Mon vs. CGY
#6 Dallas 84 33 11 (4H/7A) 106 Sat vs. PHI
#7 Chicago 84 33 11 (5H/6A) 106 Sun at PHX
#8 Calgary 83 29 9 (3H/6A) 101 Sun at ANA, Mon at LA
#9 Nashville 82 30 11 (8H/3A) 104 Sat vs. DET, Sun at BUF
#10 Anaheim 81 34 12 (5H/7A) 105 Sat at LA, Sun vs. CGY
#11 Minnesota 77 33 11 (7H/4A) 99 Sat vs. CBJ, Sun vs. MTL
* as of all games played on Thu, March 17     ^ the first tie-breaker is regulation/OT wins (excluding shootout wins)
** the most points a team can finish with in the '10-11 regular season (based on games played as of Thu, March 17)


Noteable: There are two out-of-conference match-ups in this weekend's mix with Dallas hosting Philadephia on Saturday and Nashville visiting Buffalo on Sunday ... There are four head-to-head match-ups involving teams in the playoff pack: Anaheim at Los Angeles on Saturday, Calgary at Anaheim on Sunday, Chicago at Phoenix on Sunday, and Calgary at Los Angeles on Monday.

The Week That Was: The eight teams in the playoff pack in the Western Conference posted a combined 8-7-0 record on the week. Phoenix appears to be the big winner of the week, posting a 2-0-0 mark, while Minnesota went 0-2-0. The other six teams each posted one win on the week; Calgary, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Nashville all went 1-1-0 on the week.

A Closer Look:
Currently the Pacific Division has all five teams in the Conference's top-10, but the teams in the Pacific have very back-loaded schedules with intra-divisional games. Anaheim (currently one point behind Nashville) and Los Angeles (currently three points ahead of Nashville) both finish the season with its last five games against fellow division opponents -- including a cross-town home-and-home series between the Ducks and Kings on the final weekend of the season. Phoenix (currently five points ahead of Nashville) closes its season playing Pacific Division rivals in five of its last six games. Dallas (currently two points ahead of Nashville) will play five of its next seven games against Divisional foes.

As long as those games finish in regulation, the Predators will be in position to gain ground on several of the teams in the Pacific Division over the closing weeks of the season.

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