NHL Playoff Watch Daily: Who will win the West’s fourth spot?

NHL News

One of many unique aspects of the 2021 NHL season is that teams are playing all of their regular season games against division opponents — and those divisions were realigned for this season as well. They will continue this intradivisional format through the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs. In other words, these teams are quite familiar with one another.

In the West Division, three teams have distanced themselves from the pack a bit: the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild all have a 99.1% chance or better of going to the playoffs, per Money Puck.

And then there’s the No. 4 spot.

After a strong start, the St. Louis Blues — Cup champions in 2019 — have left the door open for the Arizona Coyotes and the San Jose Sharks. And hey, even the Los Angeles Kings still have an 8.5% chance of getting into the postseason bracket.

All eight West Division teams will be in action Wednesday, starting with the Coyotes-Wild game at 2 p.m. ET, and all the way through Sharks-Ducks at 10:30 p.m. ET streaming on ESPN+.

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.

East Division

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0:33

Anthony Mantha makes a positive impression with a goal in his Capitals’ debut, and Alex Ovechkin records his 728th career goal in Washington’s 6-1 win over Philadelphia.

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: E1
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. BUF (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 99.4%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: E2
Games left: 14
Next game: @ BOS (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 98.7%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: E3
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. PHI (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 98.3%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 50
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: E4
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. NYI (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 77.6%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 46
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. NJ (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 19.6%
Tragic number: 25

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: @ PIT (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 6.5%
Tragic number: 22

Points: 34
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: @ NYR (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 14

Points: 27
Regulation wins: 7
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: @ WSH (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 5


Central Division

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0:23

Frank Vatrano rips a power-play goal in overtime to propel the Panthers to a 3-2 victory over the Stars.

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. NSH (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. FLA (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 13
Next game: @ TB (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 99.6%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 49
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: C4
Games left: 12
Next game: @ CAR (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 61.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: @ DET (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 9.3%
Tragic number: 22

Points: 42
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. CBJ (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 29.3%
Tragic number: 23

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: @ DAL (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 0.1%
Tragic number: 14

Points: 36
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: vs. CHI (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 11


North Division

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0:31

Elias Lindholm passes to Johnny Gaudreau, who dekes the goalie and scores the goal to lift the Flames past the Maple Leafs in overtime.

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N1
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. WPG (Apr. 15)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N2
Games left: 14
Next game: @ OTT (Apr. 14)
Playoff chances: 99.5%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: N3
Games left: 14
Next game: @ VAN (Apr. 16)
Playoff chances: 96.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N4
Games left: 17
Next game: vs. CGY (Apr. 14)
Playoff chances: 92.4%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Next game: @ MTL (Apr. 14)
Playoff chances: 8.5%
Tragic number: 22

Points: 35
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 19
Next game: vs. EDM (Apr. 16)
Playoff chances: 2.7%
Tragic number: 28

Points: 32
Regulation wins: 10
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. WPG (Apr. 14)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 13


West Division

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: W1
Games left: 14
Next game: @ STL (Apr. 14)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: W2
Games left: 15
Next game: @ LA (Apr. 14)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: W3
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. ARI (Apr. 14)
Playoff chances: 99.1%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: W4
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. COL (Apr. 14)
Playoff chances: 42.5%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: @ MIN (Apr. 14)
Playoff chances: 33.3%
Tragic number: 26

Points: 40
Regulation wins: 12
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. ANA (Apr. 14)
Playoff chances: 16.7%
Tragic number: 26

Points: 38
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. VGK (Apr. 14)
Playoff chances: 8.5%
Tragic number: 25

Points: 33
Regulation wins: 8
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: @ SJ (Apr. 14)
Playoff chances: 0.1%
Tragic number: 15


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: 27
Regulation wins: 7

Points: 32
Regulation wins: 10

Points: 33
Regulation wins: 8

Points: 34
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 35
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 36
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 38
Regulation wins: 14

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 11

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 40
Regulation wins: 12

Points: 42
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 15

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 46
Regulation wins: 17

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