NHL Death Watch: Devils, Oilers eliminated; Red Wings in must-win mode (Puck Daddy)

Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation. Fare three well, Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils, both eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday. In the latter’s case, welcome back to the lottery; in the former’s case, usual seat at the  table, sirs? With the Columbus Blue Jackets’ win over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday, the Detroit Red Wings find themselves three points back of the No. 8 seed with two games in-hand as they enter Monday night’s game vs. the Phoenix Coyotes. The Dallas Stars’ OT loss at the Los Angeles Kings also helped the Wings: They’re tied in points but Detroit has a game in-hand. All of this is to say that the Wings’ home game against the Coyotes is critical on several fronts, including that of Phoenix: The Yotes are two points away from Detroit and Dallas and five points off the No. 8 see. A win against Detroit gives them a heartbeat; a loss would be devastating. As for the Wings, the pressure to extend their 21-season playoff streak is mounting. From MLive.com, Mike Babcock and Henrik Zetterberg said: “If you’re one of these players who has a stake in the Red Wings, especially the ones who have put in a ton of time, they don’t want it (to end) on their watch either,'' Babcock said. “I think everyone feels that,'' Zetterberg said. “It's been a long time since we missed the playoffs and you don't want to be part of that team. Definitely, I take big responsibility in that.'' Coming up, the playoff pictures for the East and West, as we shift the focus to playoff seeding. The full NHL standings and schedules can be found on Y! Sports.

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