The NHL's Western Conference has nine teams in contention for the eight playoff spots. San Jose will finish 3rd. The rest? Well, it boils down to this:
THE BATTLE FOR THE TOP: Seeds 1, 2 & 4 COMBATANTS: Detroit, Colorado & Vancouver Detroit [80pts, 35-16-8-2 with 21 games left] Colorado [80pts, 33-14-10-4 with 21 games left] Vancouver [75pts, 32-19-7-4 with 20 games left] HEAD-TO-HEAD: February 24 - Detroit at Vancouver March 3 - Vancouver at Colorado March 5 - Vancouver at Detroit March 8 - Colorado at Vancouver March 25 - Detroit at Colorado March 27 - Colorado at Detroit
THE BATTLE FOR THE BOTTOM: Seeds 5 through 9 COMBATANTS: Dallas, Nashville, Calgary, St. Louis & Los Angeles Dallas [70pts, 30-22-10-0 with 20 games left] Nashville [69pts, 30-22-7-2 with 21 games left] Calgary [68pts, 30-23-5-3 with 21 games left] St. Louis [67pts, 29-23-7-2 with 21 games left] Los Angeles [67pts, 23-17-14-7 with 21 games left] HEAD-TO-HEAD: February 23 - Nashville at Los Angeles February 25 - Los Angeles at Dallas March 2 - Calgary at St. Louis March 5 - Calgary at Dallas March 11 - Nashville at St. Louis March 13 - Calgary at Nashville March 14 - Calgary at St. Louis March 16 - St. Louis at Los Angeles March 20 - Nashville at Calgary March 20 - St. Louis at Dallas March 22 - Dallas at Calgary March 27 - Los Angeles at Calgary April 2 - Calgary at Los Angeles April 3 - St. Louis at Nashville
THE FLAMES: 30-23-5-3 for 68 points in 59 games IGINLA WATCH: 30 goals and 24 assists for 54 points in 58 games
That'd be interesting. If the NHL is locked out for the entire year, the Stanley Cup could theoretically be won by the champions of the next-most-prestigious league. I hadn't even considered that possibility...