It's March now. Time to talk about playoffs standings. The header pic will probably be a spoiler every week of the Avs' projected first round opponent.
Here's where we are this week (standings current going into Tuesday):
As the video shows, the battle for the playoffs is currently for that last wild card spot. Dallas, Phoenix, Vancouver, and even conceivably Nashville could come in at that #8 spot. The Avalanche have a comfortable 8-point lead over Minnesota with another game yet in hand for third in the Central, and are breathing down the necks of Chicago and St. Louis to contend for tops of the division.
Here's a quick little graph showing the ranges of points teams could end up with. I like this visualization because it shows where each team sits relative to the others in terms of potential for moving up and down. You can see from this, for example, that Edmonton has been mathematically eliminated from winning the Western conference (fewer maximum points than Anaheim's minimum), and that while it looks like Dallas and Vancouver are currently neck and neck, it may be less so than it looks. My sincerest apologies if you're colorblind, and click to embiggen.
If the playoffs started tomorrow
here's what your matchups would be.
Overall 1. Anaheim v Overall 8. Dallas
Other Division Winner. St. Louis v Overall 7. Minnesota
Pacific 2. San Jose v Pacific 3. Los Angeles
Central 2. Chicago v Central 3. Colorado
Yep. That Chicago-Colorado series Gotham deserves. If that happens I plan to kermit flail until it starts, then forget how to breathe for the next two weeks. You?