OK, so lots of stuff could still happen. And this isn’t to dismiss the Columbus Blue Jackets, who could squeeze out both Detroit and Dallas for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Heck, Minnesota might end up below the top eight.
It’s just hard to look at the schedule and not focus on next Saturday’s contest between the Red Wings and Stars at the American Airlines Center. The way things stand right now, the last game of the season for each club could easily be the one that decides things.
Stars fans would certainly appreciate the opportunity given the way the 2010-11 season ended, when a final-game loss to the lowly Wild cost Dallas a spot in the playoffs.
That one still hurts, we imagine.
First though, the Stars have to keep themselves in the race against some tough competition. They play in St. Louis tonight, then travel to Los Angeles (Sunday) and San Jose (Tuesday), before returning home to play Columbus (Thursday).
The Red Wings are in Vancouver Saturday, then come home for games against Phoenix (Monday), Los Angeles (Wednesday), and Nashville (Thursday).
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
Kane also tied Denis Savard (1985-86) for second-longest streak in Chicago history. Bobby Hull had a 21-game streak.