#Rainbowl #YouCanPlay #Chicago
Since we’re in the final stretch to the playoffs, it’s time to look at the current standings and project potential playoff candidates.
If teams continue to win out their season at their current win percentage, there will be very little shuffling in the standings.
In the Eastern Conference, the final stretch will go down to the wire. Most of the wild card teams have stayed within just a few points of each other much of the season. Unless one of these teams suddenly go on a tear, and win out the rest of their season, of course.
This could be the first year the Red Wings miss the playoffs in over 20 seasons - and it may come down to tiebreakers. Decimated by injuries to many of their top players, Detroit has limped through the season, bobbing in and out of wild card contention.
Columbus continues also be on the bubble. Washington made some excellent trades at the deadline that should see them finish the season strongly; the competition for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th slots behind Pittsburgh will be fierce.
Even if Buffalo could manage to win out the entire rest of the season, they’ll still only finish with 86 points - which probably isn’t enough to make the playoffs.
Over in the Western Conference, the top Central teams will continue to jockey against one another. The way this season’s schedule is set up, the Central division teams will play at least 30% of their remaining games versus teach other. All of Chicago’s Western Conference games are against Central rivals; for the rest, at least 50% of their remaining games are against the West.
Chicago: 8 WC games — all 8 vs Central.
Colorado: 13 WC games — 6 vs Central
Dallas: 12 WC games — 9 vs Central
Minnesota: 11 WC games — 7 vs Central
Nashville: 15 WC games — 9 vs Central
St. Louis: 14 WC games — 13 vs Central
Winnipeg: 13 WC games — 6 vs Central
Like Buffalo, the Oilers are pretty much eliminated at this point. If they win out their season, they’ll have 88 points, but in the ultra-competitive West, that probably isn’t going to be enough. While the top three in each division will probably not change, there should be a lot of competition for points among the wild card teams.
* Team records were compiled at 6pm CT on 3/5.