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Tuesday Trends: A snapshot of the playoff picture. March 4

New weekly thingy. We'll keep you posted on what the upcoming playoffs look like and try really, really hard to refrain from using the PLAYOFFS?? meme but man is that hard.

Jonathan Daniel

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):

Teams GP Points Pace
St. Louis 60 86 117.5
Chicago 62 86 113.7
Colorado 61 83 111.6
Anaheim 62 91 120.4
San Jose 62 84 111.1
Los Angeles 63 76 98.9
Minnesota 62 75 99.1
Dallas 61 68 91.4
Phoenix 61 65 87.4
Winnipeg 62 66 87.3
Vancouver 63 66 85.9
Nashville 61 62 83.3
Calgary 61 53 71.2
Edmonton 62 48 63

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?