Canada’s Playoff Picture Continued

The playoff race in the Western Conference is still wide-open.  As of Tuesday, only the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks have clinched post-season berths, leaving 6 spots up for grabs.

Competition is fierce in the West with just 17 points separating the top 9.  If the playoffs started tomorrow, Canada would have three teams from the West in the post-season, a considerable improvement on last season when there weren’t any.

Here’s a look at the Western Conference Canadian teams and where they stand heading into the playoffs.

Vanouver Canucks Tickets

Vancouver Canucks

After a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night, the Vancouver Canucks have 98.5% chance of making the playoffs.  They are currently 2nd in the Pacific Division with 93 points and 7 games remaining.

Half of those games are part of a taxing four game road trip against the Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets.  The good news is that the Canucks have a strong record in enemy territory (22-12-3).  Still, winning these games will be crucial to solidifying their position in the post-season.

The Canucks hope to return to Rogers Arena for their remaining three games against the L.A. Kings, Phoenix Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers with that coveted “X” beside their  name.

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Winnipeg Jets Tickets

 

Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets have just 3 fewer points than the Canucks but, in a much tougher Central Division, they find themselves well below them in the standings, and barely holding on to the 2nd and final Wild Card spot.

The Jets currently have a 64% chance of making the playoffs with 6 games remaining.  The bad news is that their schedule isn’t an easy one, with 5 of their 6 final games against teams sitting in a playoff position and the L.A. Kings just two points behind. But the Kings’ loss to the Blackhawks on Monday night is helpful.

The Jets have a 3 game road trip against the Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues and the Colorado Avalanche coming up and will host the New York Rangers on Tuesday, the Canucks on Saturday and the Calgary Flames at MTS Centre before the season ends.

If the Jets a can win four of their remaining games, they have a good chance of making their first playoff appearance since returning to Winnipeg in 2011.

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calgary-flames-mark-giordano

 

Calgary Flames

With 91 points, the Calgary Flames are 3rd in the Pacific Division.

Thanks to their 5-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday night, the Flames’ playoff chances have risen to 84.6%, according to Sports Club Stats.  With the Kings’ loss, the Flames now have a much-needed 3 point edge on the biggest threat to their playoff chances, although the Kings have a game in hand.

The Flames are currently on a three game road trip with games remaining against the Blues and Oilers before they return to the Scotiabank Saddledome for games against the Coyotes on April 7th and the most important game left on their schedule against the Kings on April 9th. The Flames close out their season in Winnipeg on April 11.

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predators vs. oilers

Edmonton Oilers

These days, the only safe prediction in hockey is that the Edmonton Oilers will miss the post-season.

The Oilers were officially eliminated from playoff contention, for the 9th consecutive season, on March 9th, 2015.  This comes as no surprise after another disappointing season in which the Oilers rank 28th, with 57 points, and failed to trade for any legitimate help.

Still, with 7 games remaining, against the Flames, Canucks and two against the Kings, the Oilers could play spoiler for post-season hopefuls down the final stretch.  They have won three in a row for the first time since October and have outscored their opponents 12-4 during that span.

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