A game of putrid power could break the dreams of Canadians in series

Pushing for the playoffs will run every morning until the end of the 2018-19 NHL season. We will highlight the current playoff situation in both conferences, look at what the first-round matches might look like, determine who leads the race at the best odds in the draw, and more.

In the first 11 seasons of Bruce Boudreau's training as the NHL's head coach, he missed the playoffs just once. He separated between the Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks in 2011-12 (he was fired in mid-season by the Capitals and then hired a week later by the ducks).

Each year during which he led a full season behind a team bench, he not only participated in the playoffs, but also won eight division titles. His team wins. His team plays in the playoffs.

If his Minnesota Wild does not start again to rack up a few wins over his last 11 games, he may miss the playoffs for the first time in his season as a coach.

Saturday could play a decisive role in determining whether this happens or not.

The Wild, the losers of three straight games and five of their last six games, will be at home to face the New York Rangers in what is a match as decisive as the one you can get at this point of the season. They enter the day three points off the Wild Card's second place in the Western Conference, lagging behind a burgeoning Arizona Coyotes team that plays at home against the Oilers'. 39; Edmonton.

If you look at the remaining calendars for both teams, it's pretty clear that the Coyotes have an easier path in the far right. Only four of Arizona's last games are against teams eligible to play in the playoffs, while the Wild must play. new these teams in their remaining 11 games, including a face-to-face duel with the Coyotes.

Saturday is therefore probably a big problem for the Wild considering that he faces a team of troubled Rangers who had just played the night before (and who was crushed in the process) and whose schedule was discouraging yet to come.

First, this one game is a situation in which the Wild must leave with two points. Nothing less than that would be a huge disappointment given the circumstances in which the rangers, the nature, what they have in front of them and all that is at stake are.

You can not just drop this game if you are in Minnesota.

A wild win, combined with a loss to the Coyotes, would take Minnesota one point clear of the playoffs and completely change the prospects for the last 10 games. Suddenly, you are back in the quick.

But a defeat, combined with a Coyote victory, would push them to five points and could be enough to crush their last chances in the playoffs that already seem thin.

It's also another memorable day in the Easian Conference's Wild Card race: Columbus, Carolina and Montreal are back. After eliminating the Hurricanes on Friday night, the Blue Jackets visit the Boston Bruins for the second of their three games in two weeks, while Carolina joins the formidable Buffalo Sabers team. The Canadians, sitting two points behind the Hurricanes and Blue Jackets, host a team of Blackhawks who enter the game after winning four in a row.

If the series started today

Lightning vs Blue Jackets
Capitals against hurricanes
Islanders vs. Penguins
Bruins vs Maple Leafs

Flames against Coyotes
Jets vs. Stars
Sharks against the gold knights
Predators vs. Blues

Games today with contenders

Blues vs. Penguins (1 pm ET)
Islanders vs. Red Wings (1 pm ET)
Flames against Jets (7 pm ET)
Blue Jackets vs. Bruins (7 pm ET)
Blackhawks c. Canadians (7 pm ET)
Maple Leafs vs Senators (7 pm ET)
Capitals vs. Lightning (7 pm ET)
Sabers vs. Hurricanes (7 pm ET)
Rangers against Wild (8 pm ET)
Oilers vs. Coyotes (10h pm)
Predators against sharks (22:30 ET)

Critical Scenarios for the playoffs

  • Lightning takes first place in the Atlantic Division and No. 1 seed of the East Conference with a Boston Bruins victory and defeat in regulation
  • The Flames win the playoffs with at least one point or loss to Minnesota.
  • The Sharks qualify for the playoffs with a win; or they lose in overtime / shootout and Minnesota loses; or if Minnesota loses in regulation and Chicago loses.

Eastern Conference

Percentage of playoffs (via Hockey-Reference)

Lightning – nailed
Maple Leafs – 100 percent
Bruins – 99.9%
Capital – 99.7%
Islanders – 99.4%
Penguins – 97.9%
Hurricanes: 86.4%
Blue Jackets – 76.1 percent
Canadians – 36.8%
Flyers – 2.5 percent
Panthers – 1.3 percent
Sabers – Out
Rangers – Out
Devils – Out
Red Wings – Out
Senators – Out

Western Conference

Percentage of playoffs (via Hockey-Reference)

Jets – 100 percent
Flames – 100 percent
Sharks – 100 percent
Predators – 99.7%
Knights of Gold – 99.4%
Blues – 96.1 percent
Stars – 91. 4 percent
Coyotes – 68.6%
Wild – 22.3%
Avalanche – 10.8%
Blackhawks – 9.3 percent
Oilers – 2.3 percent
Canucks – 0.1 percent
Ducks – Out
Kings – Out


Senators – 18.5% *
Red Wings – 13.5 percent
Kings – 11.5 percent
Devils – 9.5 percent
Ducks – 8.5 percent
Canucks – 7.5 percent
Rangers – 6.5%
Sabers – 6 percent
Oilers – 5 percent
Blackhawks – 3.5 percent
Avalanche – 3 percent
Wild – 2.5 percent
Panthers – 2 percent
Flyers – 1.5 percent
Canadians – 1 percent

(* The choice of senators belongs to the Colorado Avalanche)


Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lighting – 115 points
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers – 100 points
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks – 99 points
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins – 92 points
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames – 91 points


Alex Ovechkin, Capitals of Washington – 46 goals
Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers – 42 goals
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks – 41 goals
John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs – 39 goals
Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets – 38 goals

Adam Gretz is a writer for Professional Hockey Conference on NBC Sports. Leave him a line to phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @ AGretz.

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