NHL Playoff Death Watch: Bruins’ big win, Pacific Division chaos

Since we’re down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.

As we noted on Saturday night, the Boston Bruins’ win over the New York Islanders gave them the last wild card spot, for the moment, and moved them to within one point of the Toronto Maple Leafs for third in the Atlantic.

This is great for two reasons: First, because the Ottawa Senators have Alex Burrows, and Alex Burrows in a playoff series with the Boston Bruins is, well, delicious; and second, because the Leafs are far too fat and happy in that third seed, and the only way we’re getting proper amounts of playoff crazy in Toronto is if they’re on the bubble.

As for the Islanders, it’s a tough loss – on the second night of a back-to-back – but they still have a game in-hand on Boston, as do the Leafs. But they have the Tampa Bay Lightning on their tails, and the Bolts have their next three games at home.

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.

Here’s the Eastern Conference:

According to MoneyPuck.com, the Islanders have a 23.7-percent chance of winning the last wild card, while the Tampa Bay Lightning are at 10.5-percent.

Are the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning toast? Well, yeah.

Are the Carolina Hurricanes going to make this thing even more interesting? They actually have a better chance (11.9 percent) at the last wild card than do the Lightning.

Here’s the Western Conference:

The Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets can both be eliminated if either loses a point on Sunday. Which is something we didn’t expect to be writing about either team on March 24.

The San Jose Sharks have lost six games in a row, and are now tied with the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers for the top spot in the Pacific with 91 points. The Calgary Flames are three points behind all of them. And they, like, all play each other. This is going to be fun.

Money Puck has the Sharks at 36.3 percent to win the Pacific.

Here’s the big colorful playoff wheel:

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.


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