Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do


Using Sports Club Stats, here are the records each bubble team needs down the stretch to earn a better-than-50-percent shot of making the playoffs…

Eastern Conference (four bubble teams, one spot available)

Boston Bruins — 8-7-4
Ottawa Senators — 12-5-3
Florida Panthers — 11-4-2
Philadelphia Flyers — 12-3-2

Andrew Hammond and the Senators continued their roll this week, earning three out of a possible four points in two tough places to play, Minnesota and Winnipeg. Meanwhile, the Bruins had just one game (a shootout loss to Calgary) and the Panthers failed to beat a pair of non-playoff teams, Toronto and Dallas, at home. The Sens, one of the NHL’s hottest teams, appear to be the Bruins’ biggest threat now. Ottawa returns home to face Buffalo tonight, Calgary Sunday, then, after those two winnable games, the B’s come to town for a big contest Tuesday. Ottawa and Boston play twice down the stretch.

Western Conference (eight bubble teams, four spots available)

Vancouver Canucks — 7-8-3
Minnesota Wild — 7-9-2
Calgary Flames — 8-7-3
Los Angeles Kings — 10-8-0
Winnipeg Jets — 9-8-0
San Jose Sharks — 9-4-4
Colorado Avalanche — 13-3-2
Dallas Stars — 13-3-1

A bad week for the Jets, who only played once and lost at home to aforementioned Ottawa. Meanwhile, the Wild and Kings each won twice. As a result, Winnipeg’s playoff chances fell from 77.2 percent on Sunday to 53.7 percent today. On top of that, the Jets’ next four games are all on the road, in Nashville, St. Louis, Florida and Tampa Bay. Like the Jets, the Canucks also lost ground, getting smoked at home by San Jose then failing to beat an Arizona team that had lost 10 straight in regulation. Big game tomorrow between the Canucks and Sharks in San Jose. Oh, and welcome back to the list, Dallas. The Stars climbed back over the 1-percent chance mark with two wins this week.