The Western Conference has its eight teams that will be playing for the Western Conference Championship and a chance to win the Stanley Cup. With Denver winning and Calgary losing last night, there will be no more bouncing in and out of the Western Conference play-offs race anymore.
The field is set...
...but not the final positions among that eight.
Anaheim was up 3 goals at two different times during last night's game against the Kings. The Kings managed to rally back in the third and pull of a win in the shootout. They're now one point ahead of us, both with three games left to play.
LA will play its last three games against Phoenix, Edmonton, and the Avalanche.
Detroit, as you know, has two against Columbus, and one against Chicago.
I'd like to reiterate that if Detroit wants 5th place they are going to have to win both games against the Blue Jackets. If they win all three of their last games they still might not make it that high because if Nashville wins out, we'd be tied in points but Bubba has more wins. LA needs to drop at least one game but probably won't. It's looking like either Vancouver or Chicago in the first round.
So all along Chicago is having all these reasons to celebrate. First, they clinch the division. Then, last night, they win their franchise record 50th game in a single season (didn't Detroit have a streak of 50 win seasons going into this year, and Chicago has only done that once....EVER?). Anyway, it was bittersweet for them again last night. I'm sure they were pleased as punch with themselves right up until the LA/ANA game concluded. If the play-offs started today? Detroit vs Chicago in the first round.