NHL Death Watch: Panthers eliminated; Stars jump Wings into eighth seed

Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.

Fare thee well, Florida Panthers. Their tragic number hit zero on Saturday night according to the NHL, making the defending Southeast Division champions the first team to be eliminated from playoff contention this season.

On the other end of the spectrum: How about those Dallas Stars, huh?

The Stars jumped Detroit into the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference with 45 points and the tie-breaker, as both teams have seven games remaining.

Writes Mike Heika:

The Stars on Saturday were like Hercules visiting the Temple of Zeus, like Rapunzel getting a glimpse of that tile portrait. They still have many, many battles to fight. We estimated at the trade deadline that 54 points would be needed to get into the playoffs, that a 9-2-1 record was necessary down the stretch. This five-game winning streak makes that a 4-2-1 record now.

Is that reachable? Can they keep this up against Chicago and Vancouver and St. Louis and Los Angeles and San Jose and Columbus and Detroit? Could they even dream of moving into seventh place for a first-round playoff match-up with the Ducks? What if they really pull this off and become the hottest team in the NHL? What if they really make some noise in the playoffs?

Luckily for Dallas, they’ve never had a shot at the playoffs and blown it late in the season. Oh … right.

Coming up, the playoff pictures for the East and West, as we shift the focus to playoff seeding. The full NHL standings and schedules can be found on Y! Sports.

All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their "Tragic Number" hits 0.

Team (Games Remaining) Place/Pts/ROW Tragic # % Chance of Playoffs % Chance of 7th % Chance of 8th
Ottawa Senators (7) 6th/48/17 - 97.3 27 14
New York Islanders (6) 7th/47/18 - 83.1 28 41
New York Rangers (7) 8th/46/17 - 93.5 36 24
Winnipeg Jets (6) 9th/44/20 10 31.9 3 14
New Jersey Devils (7) 10th/40/13 8 1.3 0 1
Buffalo Sabres (7) 11th/40/11 6 0.3 0 0
Tampa Bay Lightning (7) 12th/37/16 5 0.3 0 0
Philadelphia Flyers (7) 13th/37/16 5 0.1 0 0
Carolina Hurricanes (7) 14th/36/17 4 0.0 0 0

Big wins for the Rangers in OT over the New York Islanders and the Washington Capitals over the Tampa Bay Lightning in OT, as both victories kept them at arm’s length away from the Winnipeg Jets.

Boston has a key game against Ottawa Monday that could help the Bruins keep pace with Montreal for the division lead and put the No. 6 seed further in play.

Team (Games Remaining) Place/Pts/ROW Tragic # % Chance of Playoffs % Chance of 7th % Chance of 8th
Minnesota Wild (7) 7th/47/18 - 87.6 27 16
Dallas Stars (7) 8th/45/19 - 41.6 13 21
Detroit Red Wings (7) 9th/45/17 14 50.5 16 25
Columbus Blue Jackets (7) 10th/45/14 12 17.4 5 11
Phoenix Coyotes (7) 11th/43/15 12 15.3 4 10
Edmonton Oilers (7) 12th/39/14 8 0.3 0 1
Nashville Predators (6) 13th/38/13 5 0.0 0 0
Calgary Flames (7) 14th/36/15 5 0.0 0 0
Colorado Avalanche (6) 15th/34/12 1 OUT - -

We hesitate to put sixth-place St. Louis in this mix, but here’s the situation: They have 48 points and eight games remaining, with the Blackhawks up today. They’re three points up on the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds. Again, the Blues are in good shape. But a win today would go a long way.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes