As the Detroit Red Wings try to qualify for their 22nd consecutive postseason, we’re taking a daily look at the key games that could impact that pursuit.
Western Conference results from last night
Chicago Blackhawks 5, Dallas Stars 2
Vancouver Canucks 5, Nashville Predators 2
Columbus Blue Jackets 4, Colorado Avalanche 3 (ot)
Minnesota Wild 4, Calgary Flames 3
San Jose Sharks 4, Phoenix Coyotes 0
Current Western Conference standings (through 4/15/13)
1. Chicago Blackhawks — 70 points (x)
2. Anaheim Ducks — 59 points (x)
3. Vancouver Canucks — 54 points
4. Los Angeles Kings — 52 points
5. San Jose Sharks — 51 points
6. Minnesota Wild — 49 points
7. St. Louis Blues — 48 points
8. Detroit Red Wings — 47 points
9. Columbus Blue Jackets — 47 points
10. Dallas Stars — 45 points
11. Phoenix Coyotes — 43 points
12. Edmonton Oilers — 39 points
13. Nashville Predators — 38 points
14. Calgary Flames — 36 points
15. Colorado Avalanche — 35 points
(x = qualified for playoffs)
Tonight’s Western Conference games
Vancouver Canucks at St. Louis Blues
Minnesota Wild at Edmonton Oilers
Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks
Red Wings fans should be rooting for …
Vancouver, Edmonton and the LA-San Jose game to be decided in regulation.
There are two aspects of the Wings’ playoff pursuit in play right now: One being that Detroit is desperately trying to cling to that eighth spot; the other that spots five through seven remain very much attainable with a strong close to the regular season.
A Vancouver win would keep the Wings just a point back of St. Louis for seventh, while the Blues will no longer have a game in hand on Detroit after tonight. An Edmonton victory, meanwhile, would give Detroit an opportunity to catch the Wild in points tomorrow (though Minnesota holds a tiebreaker edge).
That final game only matters if the Wings get hot. The Kings sit five in front of Detroit, the Sharks four — a three-point game would leave the Wings with an awful lot of ground to cover with just six games remaining.