y - San Jose Sharks
x - Phoenix Coyotes
Based on the Avalanche lineup and effort last night, I'm not sure the team is all that concerned with their playoff seed. That works out well, because it looks like 8th is where they will end up. The Avalanche can no longer catch Nashville; the Preds are currently ranked below Detroit because they've played more games, but if those two teams finish the season tied, Nashville will jump ahead because of tiebreakers). The Avalanche can still catch Detroit or Los Angeles, but needs to win both remaining games and have the Kings or Red Wings lose all their remaining games for that to happen.
So, figure on the Avalanche playing Chicago or San Jose in the first round and Friday's game against Chicago will have a major impact on the battle for #1. If Chicago wins, they'll be one step closer to clinching the #1 seed - and a first round meeting with the Avs