Thursday’s busy night of action shuffled things up in both conferences.* The West’s bubble situation was even more active than the East’s today, so to keep you up to date, let’s look at what happened in order of each team’s position as of this very moment.
7. Los Angeles Kings: 62 points in 55 games (26 wins)
The Kings remain in sixth place but lost a 3-1 game to the Florida Panthers and face a harrowing stretch run schedule. It might seem like they’re above the fray, but it turns out that might be a naive assumption.
8. Phoenix Coyotes: 60 points in 55 games (26 wins)
The Phoenix Coyotes continue to heat up with a 2-1 overtime victory against the Calgary Flames, which amounted to a battle for a temporary hold on the West’s eighth seed. The ‘Yotes are currently on a four-game winning streak.
9. Dallas Stars: 58 points in 53 games (28 wins)
The Stars bested the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 to put themselves in a great position. They aren’t in the top eight right now but they hold edges against the two teams ahead of them when it comes to games in hand (two more) and wins (two more as well). The one mark against the Stars is that they’ve played three more home contests than road ones.
10. Minnesota Wild: 58 points in 54 games (25 wins)
The Wild began Thursday in eighth place but a 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks made them take quite the tumble. They’ve lost three consecutive games and hold a 3-5-2 record in their last 10, so things are just getting ugly right now. The one silver lining is pretty promising, though: the strong home team has 17 games left in Minnesota vs. just 11 contests remaining on the road.
11. Calgary Flames: 58 points in 55 games (25 wins)
The Flames could’ve been in eighth place if they notched a win against Phoenix. Instead, Calgary watched its stock drop all the way to 11th, which shows just how close this race is right now. They don’t really hold any significant advantages over the other bubble teams, though, so they’ll just need to play great hockey – or cut bait.
Inactive: 12. Colorado Avalanche: 57 points in 55 games (27 wins)
The Avs aren’t totally out of the picture, especially with a solid 27 wins. Still, they’ll need to make up some ground to top the other contenders for one of the final two spots.
* – Click here to read about how the Southeast Division shuffles made a significant impact on the East’s picture.