Theres still a month left in the NHLs regular season, but Dallas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan wont be fooled by those semantics.
"Its a playoff atmosphere," he said after the Stars beat Calgary 3-2 in a shootout on Sunday for their sixth win in seven games.
Nowhere is that atmosphere more apparent than in the Pacific Division. One week ago, the Phoenix Coyotes and San Jose Sharks were the only teams anybody outside Dallas and Los Angeles was talking about for the division crown.
But thanks to a two-game Coyotes slide on home ice and the Sharks 2-7-1 mark in their last 10 games, three points now separate the top four teams in the Pacific. Phoenix and Dallas are tied at 75 points, San Jose has 73 and L.A. has 72.
With Anaheim seemingly out of gas, one of those four teams will emerge with the division title and the coveted No. 3 playoff seed, which affords home-ice advantage in the first round. On the ominous flip side is the reality that one, maybe two of those teams will miss the po...