There were a lot of changes to the playoff scene yesterday. While it didn't quite work out perfectly for the Avalanche (they didn't clinch), but it wasn't all bad news either.
Here's what did happen:
- Detroit clinched the #1 overall seed. San Jose will be the #2 seed. Sorry, not sure how this idea popped into my head, as SJ can still end up at #1.
- Anaheim clinched a playoff spot and is assured of either the 4th or 5th seed.
- Dallas clinched a playoff spot.
- The Avalanche moved past Calgary into 6th.
- Vancouver moved past Nashville into 8th.
- Columbus and Phoenix were eliminated.
The seeds are starting to shape up
- Detroit clinches the top seed with 1 point (call it the "Selanne Factor").
- Minnesota needs just one win to lock up the NW division and the #3 seed.
- Anaheim needs just one win to lock up 4th place.
- Colorado clinches a playoff berth with a win - regulation or OT - against Vancouver on Tuesday. They also need a win (and Minnesota regulation loss) to have any shot at 3rd.
- Calgary clinches a playoff berth with a win - regulation or OT - against Edmonton Tuesday AND a regulation loss by Nashville. They also need a win to stay alive in the hunt for the NW title.
- Edmonton and Chicago both face elimination on Tuesday with a regulation loss IF Vancouver gets at least a point against Colorado.
There are no Western Conference games tonight. So, here's a breakdown of Tuesday's games:
Nashville at St Louis (7:30 pm eastern): If the Avs win later on, this game means nothing to us. And, personally, I'd much rather see Nashville in over Vancouver. Since there's no guarantee of an Avalanche win, though, I'm cheering for St Louis. EDIT: As Selanne points out below, a Nashville regulation loss here puts us in no matter what we do against Vancouver.
Calgary at Edmonton (9pm eastern): No question here: go Edmonton.
Colorado at Vancouver (10pm eastern): Duh. Vancouver is not going to make it easy for us. If Nashville wins earlier in the evening, Vancouver will be playing to get back into the final playoff spot. And if Calgary loses in regulation, the Canucks would move past the Flames into 7th by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker. No matter what, the Canucks will have plenty of motivation to come out fighting against the Avs.