Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do

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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 (five bubble teams, three spots available)

Detroit Red Wings — 1-6-0
Washington Capitals — 1-5-0
Boston Bruins — 2-3-1
Ottawa Senators — 5-2-0
Florida Panthers — 5-0-1

We’ve added the Wings to the list — just a little wake-up call, even if it’s very unlikely they or the Caps miss. This is still a two-team race for one spot between the B’s and Sens, except with the hunted and hunter roles reversed compared to Friday. Ottawa, losers of two this weekend, plays three playoff teams this week: at Detroit Tuesday, then home to Tampa Bay and Washington on Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Boston, which won twice this weekend, has it a touch easier, hosting Florida Tuesday, then traveling to Detroit Thursday before hosting Toronto Saturday.

Western Conference (four bubble teams, three spots available)

Vancouver Canucks — 2-5-0
Calgary Flames — 3-3-0
Los Angeles Kings — 4-3-0
Winnipeg Jets — 3-3-0

No more Wild on the list; they’re pretty much in. No more Stars either; that loss Friday in Edmonton all but officially doomed them. Of the four remaining teams, none is particularly safe. Not even Vancouver, which starts a tough four-game trip against Central Division opponents today in St. Louis. The Flames, meanwhile, got a huge win Sunday in Nashville to displace the Kings from third spot in the Pacific. The way Calgary keeps hanging around, you have to wonder if a playoff spot could be on the line when the Jets host the Flames on the final day of the regular season. Speaking of the Jets, who lost a heart-breaker yesterday to Chicago, here’s what their remaining schedule looks like:

source:

Not an easy finish.