Believe it or not, we’re already down to the final few weeks of the season with teams having just 10 or fewer games left. Time is running out and with each passing day the playoff picture becomes easier and easier to nail down.
As usual, the fun mostly resides in the races for the eighth and final playoff spot and also as usual, the Western Conference is truly a dogpile. The separation from eighth-place Detroit to 13th-place Nashville is just five points.
Now, making up points at this point in the season is awfully tough, especially when there are no cross-conference games. It’s asking a lot for any team below the playoff cut line right now to make it up and take a berth, but with so many at least within range, it’s going to make for a fun stretch.
Right now the target is square on the backs of the Red Wings. Before the season GM Ken Holland delivered an honest assessment of his team, saying this could be the year the Wings don’t make the playoffs, a streak that goes back more than two decades now.