Push for the Playoffs: Colorado controls destiny in the West

Push for the Playoffs will run every morning through the end of the 2020-21 NHL season. We’ll highlight the current playoff picture in both conferences, take a look at what the first-round matchups might look like, see who’s leading the race for the best odds in the draft lottery and more.

The Golden Knights had a, well, golden opportunity to clinch the West Division title and lock up the Presidents’ Trophy Monday night, but dropped their game with the Avalanche in the third period. Playing with just 15 skaters, Vegas blew its chance at controlling its own destiny.

Now, Colorado can clinch the West with two wins over the Kings or a win and a Vegas loss on Wednesday night.

[Your 2020-21 NHL on NBC TV schedule]

Tuesday’s action doesn’t have much of meaningful consequence in the push for the playoffs. The Bruins clinched the third seed on Monday night and tonight face their playoff opponent — the Capitals.

Winnipeg has a chance for movement. The Jets clinch the third playoff spot in the North with a single point against the Canucks on Tuesday. A loss in regulation, and the Canadiens still have a chance to catch them and force the Jets to face top-seeded Toronto in the First Round.

IF PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY (matchups by total points)

EAST DIVISION
1. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 4. New York Islanders — series official
2. Washington Capitals vs. 3. Boston Bruins — series official

CENTRAL DIVISION
1. Carolina Hurricanes vs. 4. Nashville Predators — series official
2. Florida Panthers vs. 3. Tampa Bay Lightning — series official

NORTH DIVISION
1. Toronto Maple Leafs vs. 4. Montreal Canadiens
2. Edmonton Oilers vs. 3. Winnipeg Jets

WEST DIVISION
1. Vegas Golden Knights vs. 4. St. Louis Blues
2. Colorado Avalanche vs. 3. Minnesota Wild

TODAY’S KEY NHL GAMES
Canucks vs Jets, 8 p.m. ET

TUESDAY’S CLINCHING SCENARIOS

• Winnipeg will clinch the third seed in the North with a win or overtime or shootout loss to the Canucks.

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Penguins – Clinched division title
Capitals – Clinched
Bruins – Clinched
Islanders – Clinched
Rangers – eliminated
Flyers – eliminated
Devils – eliminated
Sabres – eliminated

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Hurricanes – Clinched division title
Panthers – Clinched
Lightning – Clinched
Predators – Clinched
Stars – eliminated
Blackhawks – eliminated
Red Wings – eliminated
Blue Jackets – eliminated

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Maple Leafs – Clinched division title
Oilers – Clinched
Jets – Clinched
Canadiens – Clinched
Flames – eliminated
Canucks – eliminated
Senators – eliminated

PLAYOFF PERCENTAGES (via MoneyPuck)

Golden Knights – Clinched
Avalanche – Clinched
Wild – Clinched
Blues – Clinched
Kings – eliminated
Coyotes – eliminated
Sharks – eliminated
Ducks – eliminated

draft lottery
Getty Images

DRAFT LOTTERY PICTURE (via MoneyPuck)

Sabres – 18.5%
Ducks – 13.5%
Devils – 11.4%
Blue Jackets – 9.3%
Red Wings – 8.3%
Canucks – 6.7%
Sharks – 6.6%
Senators – 6.2%
Kings – 5.8%
Coyotes – 3.4%
Flames- 3%
Blackhawks – 2.8%
Flyers – 2%
Stars – 1.5%
Rangers – 1%

ART ROSS TROPHY RACE

Connor McDavid, Oilers – 102 points
Leon Draisaitl, Oilers – 81
Brad Marchand, Bruins – 69
Mitch Marner, Maple Leafs – 67
Patrick Kane, Blackhawks – 66

ROCKET RICHARD RACE

Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs – 40 goals
Connor McDavid, Oilers – 33
Alex DeBrincat, Blackhawks – 32
Mikko Rantanen, Avalanche – 30
Leon Draisaitl, Oilers – 30

Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.

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