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NHL Death Watch: Jets, Stars meet their demise; Islanders seek to avoid No. 8 seed

Greg Wyshynski
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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 Winnipeg Jets and Dallas Stars were both eliminated on Thursday night after valiant efforts to make things interesting late in the season.

Overtime wins for the Senators and Rangers happened while the Jets were playing Montreal at home. Winnipeg learned about its fate before the third period, and understandably gave up three goals in the final frame to lose.

Dallas battled Columbus while the Red Wings dropped the Predators, eliminating the Stars from postseason contention. Dallas can have its revenge on Saturday night, as it faces Detroit with a chance to really play spoiler.

Coming up, the playoff pictures for the East and West, as we shift the focus to playoff seeding. The full NHL standings and schedules can be found on Y! Sports.

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.

Team (Games Remaining) Place/Pts/ROW Tragic # % Chance of 6th % Chance of 7th % Chance of 8th
Toronto Maple Leafs (1) 5th/57/26 - 8 - -
Ottawa Senators (2) 6th/54/20 - 47 32 13
New York Rangers (1) 7th/54/21 - 40 42 18
New York Islanders (1) 8th/54/20 - 5 26 69

The Islanders visit the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night in a game that’ll help determine the final seeding in the Eastern Conference. With a win or an overtime loss, they’ll hop back to the No. 6 seed, waiting to see what the Rangers do against the New Jersey Devils and the Ottawa Senators do against the Flyers and Bruins this weekend.

If the Islanders lose in regulation, they’re the No. 8 seed even if the Senators drop their final two games, as Ottawa won their season series with New York.

The Sens can still pass the Leafs for the No. 5 seed with a pair of victories and a regulation loss by Toronto vs. Montreal.

Team (Games Remaining) Place/Pts/ROW Tragic # % Chance of Playoffs % Chance of 7th % Chance of 8th
St. Louis Blues (1) 4th/58/23 - IN - -
Los Angeles Kings (1) 5th/57/24 - IN - -
San Jose Sharks (1) 6th/57/17 - IN 16 -
Detroit Red Wings (1) 7th/54/21 - 78.8 31 47
Minnesota Wild (2) 8th/53/21 - 90.4 49 26
Columbus Blue Jackets (1) 9th/53/18 2 30.8 4 27

The stakes for the Blue Jackets, via Puck-Rakers:

If the Blue Jackets beat the Nashville Predators Saturday, and the Red Wings lose to the Dallas Stars in regulation, the Blue Jackets will make the playoffs for only the second time in the 12 seasons of existence. That's the most likely scenario, it would seem, but there is another possibility.

The Blue Jackets win on Saturday, and the Minnesota Wild earn one point or less in their final two games -- Friday vs. Edmonton, Saturday @ Colorado -- the Blue Jackets could get the final spot.

Michael Russo of the Star Tribune breaks down the scenarios for the bubble, for the Wild:

If the Wild wins out, it can finish as high as sixth if the San Jose Sharks lose in regulation to the Los Angeles Kings in their finale.

If the Wild wins out and the Sharks get a point, the Wild would finish seventh.

If the Wild wins one and the Red Wings lose Saturday, the Wild would finish seventh.

If the Wild wins one and the Red Wings win Saturday, the Wild finishes eighth.

If the Wild loses out and the Jackets get one point Saturday, the Wild is eliminated.

If the Wild loses out and the Jackets lose Saturday, the Wild finishes eight.

If the Wild finishes 1-0-1, the Wild would finish seventh or eighth depending on how they became 1-0-1 and if Detroit wins. I'm not going to burst any brains cells right now with those scenarios.

We’ve included the Blues, Kings and Sharks here because their dance for the Nos. 4-6 seeds isn’t done. The Kings and Sharks play in the season finale on Saturday; the Sharks need a win to hop over LA.

The Blues close vs. Chicago. If they tie LA in points, they’d lose the tie-breaker. If they tie the Sharks, they’d win the tie-breaker.

Which team would the Vancouver Canucks most like to see in the first round?

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