Like the Winnipeg Jets in the East, Monday’s win doesn’t propel the Detroit Red Wings into the West’s top eight. It just makes things a lot more manageable.
Detroit beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-0 tonight to push their points total to 50, just one behind the eighth place Columbus Blue Jackets. Here’s how the bubble looks now:
7. Minnesota – 51 points with three games left (20 regulation/OT wins)
8. Columbus – 51 points with two games left (17 ROW)
9. Detroit – 50 points with three games left (19 ROW)
10. Dallas – 48 points with three games left (20 ROW)
11. Phoenix – 46 points with three games left (15 ROW)
As you can see, this regulation loss doesn’t officially eliminate the Coyotes from the postseason, but it downgrades their shaky odds to a legitimate long shot. (They’d max out at 54 points and just 18 ROW if they won their final three without going to a shootout).
Detroit has a solid chance to leap the Blue Jackets and possibly even the Wild. In the case of Columbus, the Red Wings could hit 56 points if they win their remaining games while CBJ would max out at 55. (Naturally, things would get complicated if losses pile up in various forms.)
Here are the Red Wings remaining three contests:
Wednesday: home vs. Los Angeles
Thursday: home vs. Nashville
Saturday: at Dallas
In other words, you can roll out that classic stretch run cliche: they “control their own destiny.”