Before Friday night’s schedule of games took place the Western Conference standings looked like this:
1. Vancouver – 115 points
2. San Jose – 103 points
3. Detroit – 102 points
4. Los Angeles – 98 points
5. Nashville – 97 points
6. Phoenix – 97 points
7. Anaheim – 95 points
8. Chicago – 95 points
Even though the Calgary Flames routed the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night they were still eliminated from playoff contention after the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks both clinched tie-breakers over the Flames.
That leaves only the Dallas Stars as the only other team not currently in the top eight in the Western Conference who could still make the playoffs. They’re in 9th place with 93 points and two games remaining.
After all is said and done the Canucks first round opponent still hasn’t been decided yet. If the current standings hold true until the end of the season the Canucks would have to face their current playoff nemeses in the Blackhawks.
The season series between the two is tied at two games a piece. That’s not the fact that really matters. The one that matters the most, to Canucks fans, is that the Blackhawks have eliminated the Canucks from the playoffs two years in a row now.
A fate that most Canucks fans, and players especially, would like to avoid repeating for a third year in a row.
The Canucks might avoid the Blackhawks in the first round though. The current logjam for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference still has to be decided. The standings we showed you earlier don’t mean much. Only five points separate 4th place L.A. and 9th place Dallas.
L.A., Nashville, Phoenix, Anaheim, Chicago and Dallas are all in the mix for 5 playoff spots. One team will be left out once the juggling of seeds is completed. And one will face the Canucks in the first round.
It’s all going to come down to tie-breakers and the Canucks might not have any idea who’ll they’ll be playing in the first round until the regular season has come to an end.
If it were up to you who would you like to see the Canucks play in the first round?