NHL Playoff Watch Daily – The Dallas Stars won’t go away quietly

by Ryan


The Dallas Stars‘ 2021 season got off to a delayed start due to COVID-19 postponements, and through the season they’ve had some extra games remaining compared to their competition — a welcome sight as they’ve looked to make up ground in the race for a Central Division playoff spot.

The bad news is that extra buffer has been depleted, as they now have eight games left just like the Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks within the division. The good news is that with Monday night’s 4-3 victory over the Canes, they’re now just two points out of a postseason berth.

Dallas and Carolina are at it again at 8:30 p.m. ET tonight (streaming live on ESPN+). If Dallas wins again — and the Nashville Predators lose to the Florida Panthers — they’ll move into a standings point tie with the Predators for the No. 4 slot (though Nashville holds the head-to-head matchup edge, 4-3). This race is far from over.

As we enter the final stretch of the regular season, it’s time to check in on all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2021 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via Money Puck. Tragic numbers are courtesy of Damian Echevarrieta of the NHL.

Jump ahead:
Current playoff matchups
Race for No. 1 pick

East Division

Points: 67
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: E1
Games left: 7
Next game: vs. BOS (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: E2
Games left: 8
Next game: vs. NYI (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 63
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: E3
Games left: 8
Next game: @ WSH (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 97.8%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: E4
Games left: 9
Next game: @ PIT (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 94.6%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 7
Next game: vs. BUF (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 7.5%
Tragic number: 11

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 8
Next game: @ NJ (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 0.2%
Tragic number: 7

Points: 35
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 8
Next game: vs. PHI (Apr. 27
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 33
Regulation wins: 10
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 7
Next game: @ NYR (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Central Division

play

0:31

Nick Cousins breaks a 1-1 tie in the second period and the Predators don’t look back in a 4-1 win over the Panthers.

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 8
Next game: @ DAL (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 67
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 6
Next game: @ NSH (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 8
Next game: @ CHI (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: C4
Games left: 6
Next game: vs. FLA (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 61.7%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 54
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 8
Next game: vs. CAR (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 37.5%
Tragic number: 14

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 8
Next game: vs. TB (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 0.8%
Tragic number: 9

Points: 42
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Next game: @ CBJ (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 40
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 6
Next game: vs. DET (Apr. 27)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


North Division

play

0:42

Connor McDavid moves into second in the NHL in goals scored after lighting the lamp three times in the Oilers’ win vs. the Jets.

Points: 65
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: N1
Games left: 8
Next game: @ MTL (Apr. 28)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N2
Games left: 10
Next game: @ WPG (Apr. 28)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: N3
Games left: 8
Next game: vs. EDM (Apr. 28)
Playoff chances: 99.6%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N4
Games left: 9
Next game: vs. TOR (Apr. 28)
Playoff chances: 89.7%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 8
Next game: @ EDM (Apr. 29)
Playoff chances: 8.2%
Tragic number: 10

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: @ OTT (Apr. 28)
Playoff chances: 2.5%
Tragic number: 18

Points: 40
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 7
Next game: vs. VAN (Apr. 28)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 3


West Division

play

0:24

The Blues get a steal that eventually turns into a Robert Thomas goal as St. Louis defeats the Avalanche 4-1.

Points: 70
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: W1
Games left: 9
Next game: vs. COL (Apr. 28)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: W2
Games left: 10
Next game: @ VGS (Apr. 28)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 65
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: W3
Games left: 9
Next game: vs. STL (Apr. 28)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 48
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: W4
Games left: 10
Next game: @ MIN (Apr. 28)
Playoff chances: 68.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 7
Next game: @ SJ (Apr. 28)
Playoff chances: 20.3%
Tragic number: 13

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 8
Next game: vs. ARI (Apr. 28)
Playoff chances: 3.6%
Tragic number: 11

Points: 42
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 10
Next game: vs. ANA (Apr. 28)
Playoff chances: 7.3%
Tragic number: 14

Points: 35
Regulation wins: 9
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 7
Next game: @ LA (Apr. 28)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 1


Current playoff matchups

East Division

No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 4 Boston Bruins
No. 2 Washington Capitals vs. No. 3 New York Islanders

Central Division

No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 4 Nashville Predators
No. 2 Florida Panthers vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning

North Division

No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 4 Montreal Canadiens
No. 2 Edmonton Oilers vs. No. 3 Winnipeg Jets

West Division

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 4 St. Louis Blues
No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 3 Minnesota Wild


Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order at the top of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. New for 2021, a team may move up a maximum of 10 spots if it wins the lottery, so only 11 teams are eligible for the draw for the No. 1 pick. Full details on the process can be found here.

Points: 33
Regulation wins: 10

Points: 35
Regulation wins: 9

Points: 35
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 40
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 40
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 42
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 42
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 18

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 54
Regulation wins: 16

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 22





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