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, two spots available)

Washington Capitals — 2-6-0
Ottawa Senators — 5-4-0
Boston Bruins — 5-3-0
Florida Panthers — 7-1-0

Barring a horrendous collapse by the Capitals or a miraculous finish by the Panthers, this is a two-team race for one spot. The Senators and Bruins each have fairly challenging schedules to finish the season. Ottawa plays five playoff teams over its remaining nine games; Boston has five road contests in its last eight. Looking ahead, this could easily come down to the last day of regular season (Apr. 11), when the B’s are in Tampa Bay and the Sens are in Philly.

Western Conference (six bubble teams, four spots available)

Vancouver Canucks — 2-5-1
Minnesota Wild — 2-5-1
Los Angeles Kings — 4-4-0
Winnipeg Jets — 3-4-0
Calgary Flames — 4-3-1
Dallas Stars — 8-0-0

No more Avalanche or Sharks on the bubble list. The Stars are still there, barely, but it’s essentially a five-team race for four spots. The Kings have obviously done themselves a service by winning the first three games of a tough five-game road trip. The defending champs are in Minnesota to play the Wild tomorrow, before finishing the trip Monday in Chicago. Worth noting: both the Wild and the Blackhawks will have played the night before. The Flames, meanwhile, kick off their own tough five-game road trip tonight in Minnesota, with stops in Nashville, Dallas, St. Louis and Edmonton to follow. With just two wins in its last six, Calgary’s playoff chances have fallen from 91 percent on March 13 to 60 percent today.