With a little more than three weeks left in the regular season, the positioning for the playoffs here is where things currently sit in the West. The Wild currently hold the seventh spot and if the playoffs began today (cliché…they don't) they would face Anaheim. They sit tied with St. Louis and are only four points out of the division lead which would net them the third seed.
Chicago is the class of the conference and maybe even the league. Barring a major collapse, the Blackhawks will have the top seed. Four of their final nine games are against current playoff teams.
Anaheim leads the Pacific and with nine points separating the Canucks, they will be the #2 seed. Only two of the Ducks remaining eight games are against teams currently in the playoffs.
Vancouver is only four points clear of the Wild. Six of their final nine games are on the road and the three home games are against Detroit, Chicago and Anaheim all of which are currently in the playoffs.
Los Angeles has five of their remaining eight games at home but their three road games are at San Jose, Minnesota and Detroit all of which are in.
San Jose will likely fall between four and seven. Five points clear of Detroit with nine games remaining has the Sharks in a good spot. As it stands now, a first round matchup with fellow Pacific division and defending Stanley Cup champ Los Angeles.
St. Louis holds the current tie-breaker with the Wild and are in the sixth slot. Their match-up Thursday in Minnesota is huge for both teams, but with a game in hand it could provide big distance for the Blues. Seven of the 10 remaining games are against teams still in the playoff hunt.
Minnesota is in the midst of a home stand that began with a 1-0 loss to Chicago. The St. Louis game is huge. They have a game in hand against Vancouver and with nine games left have the Canucks in their sites.
Detroit is two razor thin points clear of the Dallas Stars for 8th. Six of their nine remaining games are against playoff teams of teams 9-11 who are fighting for a spot.
1- Chicago (64) Detroit; @St. Louis ; Dallas; Nashville; Phoenix; @Vancouver; @Edmonton; Calgary; @ St. Louis
2- Anaheim (59) Colorado; @Los Angeles; Columbus; @Calgary; @Edmonton; @Edmonton; @Vancouver; Phoenix
3- Vancouver (50) @Calgary; @Colorado; @Nashville; @St. Louis; @Dallas; Detroit; Chicago; Anaheim; @Edmonton
4- Los Angeles (48) Colorado; Anaheim; @San Jose; Columbus; Dallas; @ MN; @ Detroit; San Jose
5- San Jose (47) @Detroit; @Dallas; @Phoenix; Los Angeles; Minnesota; Columbus; Dallas; @Phoenix; Los Angeles
6- St. Louis (46) @Minnesota; @Columbus; Chicago; Vancouver; Phoenix; Dallas; @Colorado; Colorado; Calgary; Chicago
7- Minnesota (46) St. Louis; Columbus; @Calgary; @Edmonton; @San Jose; Calary; Los Angeles; Edmonton; @Colorado
8- Detroit (43) San Jose; @Chicago; @Nashville; @Calgary; @Vancouver; Phoenix; Los Angeles; Nashville; @Dallas
9- Dallas (41) @Nashville; San Jose; @Chicago; Vancouver; @St. Louis; @Los Angeles; @San Jose; Columbus; Detroit
10- Columbus (41) St. Louis; @Minnesota; @Colorado; @Anaheim; @Los Angeles; @San Jose; @Dallas; Nashville
11- Phoenix (40) @Edmonton; @Calgary; San Jose; @St. Louis; @Chicago; @Detroit; San Jose; Colorado; @Anaheim