With every team in the NHL's Western Conference having played 80 games through Wednesday night, there are only two regular season contests per team left, and the Dallas Stars are 3 points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. However, there's still a small chance they could win the Pacific Division.
|St. Louis Blues||80||48-21-11||107|
|Los Angeles Kings||80||40-27-13||93|
|Detroit Red Wings||80||48-27-5||101|
|San Jose Sharks||80||41-29-10||92|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||80||27-46-7||61|
Dallas' two remaining games are at Nashville, who is fighting Detroit (and potentially Chicago) for home ice in the 4/5 matchup and vs. St. Louis, who is only two points behind Vancouver for the No. 1 overall seed in the Western Conference. While both teams have already clinched playoff berths, neither are expected to rest starters. In order to make the playoffs, Dallas must earn at least three points:
Here are scenarios for Stars fans to watch out for, provided Dallas can find three or four points in two games:
- The best case for the Stars is to win both games, however, a win and a point from an overtime loss would mathematically keep them alive in potential tiebreaker scenarios. Three points is a must, but four is preferred.
- San Jose and L.A. are both ahead of Dallas in the Pacific Division race and the Western Conference, and play each other twice. The best case for the Stars is for one team to lose both games in regulation. San Jose is three points ahead of Dallas, L.A. four.
- Phoenix is tied with San Jose and only three points ahead of the Stars, but have the No. 7 seed by virtue of tiebreakers. That means they too could be caught, if the Coyotes lose out (in regulation) in their final two road games (at St. Louis, at Minnesota).
For more on the Dallas Stars, check out Defending Big D and SB Nation's NHL page.