Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 04/07/14 at 09:52 PM ET
According to the Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek, the Western Conference's playoff field may be relatively set, but it's not for a lack of trying--and failing--by an inconsistent set of playoff-bound teams:
[T]here’s really only one battle of note. It’s for the second wild-card spot, between the Dallas Stars and the Phoenix Coyotes – two teams that have sputtered down the stretch. Dallas went on the road last week and managed a win over the Tampa Bay Lighting. But the Stars lost to two non-playoff teams on that trip, first to the Carolina Hurricanes and then, more ominously, the Florida Panthers. Had Dallas beat the lowly Panthers, it would have all but locked up that final playoff spot.
Both teams are in action Tuesday: Phoenix is travelling to Columbus to play the Blue Jackets, and Dallas starts a three-game homestand against Nashville. The Predators are technically still alive in the playoff race after unexpectedly defeating two of the West’s big boys, the Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks, on a California road trip last week.
That’s been the state of the West for a week or so: A lot of teams with a lot on the line, stumbling and fumbling their way to the finish line after being mostly great all season long.
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