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Estimating what the 14 non-playoff teams need record-wise to make the postseason

Erik Cole

Dallas Stars right wing Erik Cole (72) celebrates with teammates a goal scored against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Chicago, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)


The general rule for making the playoffs is that a team has to finish 10 games above .500 to give itself a legitimate shot. It’s not always bang-on accurate, but it’s bound to be pretty close. Last season, Detroit got the second wild-card spot in the East at 39-28-15, while Dallas got the second spot in the West at 40-31-11.

With that in mind, let’s look at the 14 teams currently on the outside of the playoff picture and estimate what record they’ll need in their remaining games to, at the very least, be close come April.

No Hope of Happening

Edmonton Oilers: 30-7-5

Buffalo Sabres: 27-8-7

Carolina Hurricanes: 29-8-6

Do You Believe In Miracles?

Arizona Coyotes: 26-12-6

New Jersey Devils: 26-10-5

Philadelphia Flyers: 26-12-5

So You’re Saying There’s A Chance

Colorado Avalanche: 24-13-6

Columbus Blue Jackets: 24-14-7

Ottawa Senators: 24-15-5

No Reason To Give Up

Minnesota Wild: 23-16-6

Dallas Stars: 22-16-6

Florida Panthers: 22-18-5

Boston Bruins: 21-15-6

Calgary Flames: 21-17-4

Again, achieving those records won’t guarantee any team a playoff spot. It would put them in the ballpark though.

On that note, plenty of interesting stories in that final group. Imagine if the Bruins or Wild miss the playoffs. Imagine if the Flames or Panthers make them. The Stars, meanwhile, are only in that group today thanks to a 9-2-1 run in their last 12.