Playoff Hunt: This Week In the West

Monday, 03.19.2012 / 7:11 PM / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Playoff Hunt: This Week In the West
We're now into the final 10 games of the regular season for teams in the Western Conference and we finally have our first team to lock down a playoff spot with the St. Louis Blues clinching over the weekend.

Tracking The Playoff Hunt
March 2 - Weekend Preview
March 5 - The Week Ahead
March 9 - Weekend Preview
March 12 - The Week Ahead
March 16 - Weekend Preview
With the correct combination of results, Vancouver, Nashville, and Detroit all have the potential to join the Blues before next week. Chicago took major steps this weekend towards securing a playoff bid as well, but after that the playoff picture in the Western Conference remains as muddled as ever. Dallas, Phoenix and Colorado, the No. 3, No. 7, and No. 8 seeds in the Conference, are all tied at 83 points, one point ahead of San Jose and Los Angeles and two points better than Calgary.

We're tracking all teams within five points of the Preds or within six points of the No. 8 seed in the conference standings heading into Monday night's games.


Team Points* ROW^ Games Remaining* Max Pts** This Week's Schedule
#2 Vancouver 94 36 11 (6H/5A) 116 Mon at MIN, Wed at CHI, Thu at DAL, Sat at COL
#3^^ Dallas^^ 83^^ 33 10 (5H/5A) 103 Tue vs PHX, Thu vs VAN, Sat vs CGY
#4 Nashville 92 38 10 (5H/5A) 112 Tue vs EDM, Thu at PIT, Sat vs WPG, Sun at CHI
#5 Detroit 92 37 10 (7H/3A) 112 Mon vs WSH, Wed at NYR, Sat vs CAR
#6 Chicago 88 35 9 (4H/5A) 106 Tue at CBJ, Wed vs VAN, Sun vs NSH
#7 Phoenix 83 30 9 (5H/4A) 101 Tue at DAL, Thu vs COL, Sat at SJ, Sun vs STL
#8 Colorado 83 30 8 (4H/4A) 99 Tue vs CGY, Thu at PHX, Sat vs VAN
#9 San Jose 82 29 11 (6H/5A) 104 Mon vs ANA, Tue at LA, Thu vs BOS, Sat vs PHX
#10 Los Angeles 82 30 10 (5H/5A) 102 Tue vs SJ, Thu vs STL, Sat vs BOS
#11 Calgary 81 31 9 (5H/4A) 99 Tue at COL, Thu at MIN, Sat at DAL
* as of all games played on Sunday, March 18     ^ the first tie-breaker is regulation/OT wins (excluding shootout wins)
^^ Dallas currently sits in the No. 3 seed by virtue of leading the Pacific Division; division champions are guaranteed the top-3 seeds in both conferences
** the most points a team can finish with in the '11-12 regular season (based on games played as of Sunday, March 18)

Seeding Changes: Over the last seven days three of the eight teams in the Western Conference playoff picture changed seedings, with one team moving from outside the playoff picture into a top-8 seed ... Colorado made the most important move of the week sliding up 2 slots to No. 8, the final playoff seed in the Conference (from No. 10) ... Nashville moved up one slot to No. 4 (the final home ice seed), Detroit slid back one slot to No. 5 ... St. Louis, Vancouver, Dallas, Chicago, and Phoenix all closed the week in the same seed as the start of the week ... San Jose also jumped up two slots from No. 11 to No. 9 ... Calgary fell three slots opening at No. 8 (the last playoff seed) and closing in the No. 11 slot, while LA slid back one slot to No. 10.


The Last 10: 6 of the 8 teams in a playoff seed in the Western Conference have posted .500 or better records over their last 10 games, led by St. Louis, Chicago, and Dallas with 15 points. Nashville and Colorado have earned 13 points in the last 10 games played and Vancouver has earned 10 points over its last 10 ... Phoenix (3-5-2, 8 points) and Detroit (3-6-1, 7 points) are the only teams in the top-8 that have had losing records over the last 10 games played ...  Los Angeles (7-3-0) and Calgary (6-2-2) have earned 14 points over the last 10 games played, the most by any team in the Conference currently outside of a playoff seed.


Back-to-Backs: 4 of the 10 teams of interest in the Western Conference have back-to-back sets on the schedule this week ... Chicago starts the week off with a Tuesday/Wednesday road/home back-to-back ... Vancouver has a Wednesday/Thursday road pair ... Nashville and Phoenix both have Saturday/Sunday split home/road back-to-backs.


Clinching Scenarios: Nashville has already secured a higher seed than four teams in the Western Conference (Anaheim, Columbus, Edmonton, Minnesota). To clinch a playoff spot, the Preds need to secure a higher seed over at least three of the six teams listed below as long as at least one of the three are either Calgary or Colorado ... The Pacific Division winner is guaranteed the No. 3 seed in the Conference playoffs regardless of point total; Nashville could finish with a higher point total than the division winner but still hold a lesser seed for the playoffs...

   vs. No. 11 Calgary: magic number of 8 points (7 points to force tie breaker) ... any combination of 8 points earned by the Preds or lost by the Flames would secure Nashville a higher placement than Calgary in the final standings ... Nashville leads the first tie-breaker (ROW) 38-to-31 (+7 wins, Flames have 9 games remaining) --- with 4 Preds games and 3 Flames games on the schedule this week, Nashville would need the correct combination in 4 of the 7 games to clinch over Calgary this week

   *vs. No. 10 Los Angeles: magic number of 11 points (10 points to force tie breaker) ... any combination of 11 points earned by the Preds or lost by the Kings would secure Nashville more points than LA in the final standings ... Nashville leads the first tie-breaker (ROW) 38-to-30 (+8 wins, Kings have 10 games remaining) --- with 4 Preds games and 3 Kings games on the schedule this week, Nashville would need the correct combination in 6 of the 7 games to clinch over LA this week

   *vs. No. 9 San Jose: magic number of 13 points (12 points to force tie breaker) ... any combination of 13 points earned by the Preds or lost by the Sharks would secure Nashville more points than San Jose in the final standings ... Nashville leads the first tie-breaker (ROW) 38-to-29 (+9 wins, Sharks have 11 games remaining) --- with 4 Preds games and 4 Sharks games on the schedule this week, Nashville would need the correct combination in 7 of the 8 games to clinch over San Jose this week

   vs. No. 8 Colorado: magic number of 8 points (7 points to force tie breaker) ... any combination of 8 points earned by the Preds or lost by the Avalanche would secure Nashville a higher placement than Colorado in the final standings ... Nashville has secured the head-to-head tiebreaker with Colorado --- with 4 Preds games and 3 Avs games on the schedule this week, Nashville would need the correct combination in 4 of the 7 games to clinch over Colorado this week

   *vs. No. 7 Phoenix: magic number of 10 points (9 points to force tie breaker) ... any combination of 10 points earned by the Preds or lost by the Coyotoes would secure Nashville more points than Coyotes in the final standings ... Nashville leads the first tie-breaker (ROW) 38-to-30 (+8 wins, Coyotes have 9 games remaining) --- with 4 Preds games and 4 Coyotes games on the schedule this week, Nashville would need the correct combination in 5 of the 8 games to clinch over Phoenix this week

  
*vs. No. 3 Dallas: magic number of 12 points (11 points to force tie breaker) ... any combination of 12 points earned by the Preds or lost by the Stars would secure Nashville more points than the Stars in the final standings ... Nashville leads the first tie-breaker (ROW) 38-to-33 (+5 wins, Stars have 10 games remaining) --- with 4 Preds games and 3 Stars games on the schedule this week, Nashville would need the correct combination in 6 of the 7 games to clinch over Stars this week


Highlight Games Of The Week: There are 6 head-to-head games among teams in the No. 3 - No. 11 mix in the Western Conference playoff picture

Monday
Washington at Detroit
Vancouver at Minnesota
Anaheim at San Jose

Tuesday
Edmonton at Nashville
Chicago at Columbus
Phoenix at Dallas
Calgary at Colorado
San Jose at Los Angeles

Wednesday
Detroit at NY Rangers
Vancouver at Chicago
St. Louis at Anaheim

Thursday
Nashville at Pittsburgh
Calgary at Minnesota
Vancouver at Dallas
Colorado at Phoenix
St. Louis at Los Angeles
Boston at San Jose

Friday
none

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