Is The Wild Card Race Over?

The Western Conference Wild Card Race —

by Carlo Todaro

As the 2013-14 playoff drive turns for home and heads down the stretch in the Western Conference Wild Card race, one team, the Minnesota Wild, have started to distance themselves from the pack.  They have a six point lead and a game in hand on Phoenix, nine points and two games on Vancouver and ten points and a game on the Winnipeg Jets.  With the additions of Moulson, Pominville, Parise and Suter in the last two years, this is not a team likely to fold down the stretch.


The Dallas Stars occupy the last Wild Card spot.  They have a one point lead over Phoenix with two games in hand, four points over Vancouver with three games in hand and five points over Winnipeg Jets with two games in hand.  However, this is where it gets interesting.  For the last three years, the Dallas Stars have had a playoff spot all but sewn up and proceeded to choke horribly at the end on every occasion.

In 2010-11, they lost six straight games and eight of nine down the stretch to miss the playoffs by a point .  In 2011-12, they lost six of seven and their last five games to miss out and last year they again lost their last five games and six out of seven to be on the outside looking in.  So although the Jets and Phoenix are trailing, they might have the right team to chase.  

The last Wild Card spot will probably come down to Dallas or Phoenix with an outside shot to the Jets (who might not recover from the loss of rookie Mark Scheifele) if they could get out of this world goaltending and above average shooting percentage (the Maple Leafs model) the rest of the way .  

The Canucks probably don’t have a realistic chance with Daniel Sedin out,  Eddie Lack put in a terrible spot and now with Kesler being out at least three games.  With four weeks to go, will it be status quo?

You can follow Carlo at  


Blog Stats

  • 180,695 hits