NHL schedule: Five questions for Sunday


A daily feature which asks the five hardest-hitting questions imaginable about this day in the NHL. Will our queries be answered? (That doesn't count as one of the five questions.)

1. Will the New Jersey Devils throw a wrench into the Eastern Conference's final week? The Devils have been all but eliminated, but that but gets a little bigger (heh) if they beat the Rangers in 60 minutes on Sunday afternoon.

2. Could this be one of the biggest nights in Columbus Blue Jackets history? Now, they're not close to clinching, even if everything goes their way on Sunday, but they would largely control their destiny in the season's last week if that happened. If Columbus wins and Dallas gets any sort of loss, it means the Blue Jackets are in the driver's seat: winning out would get them into the postseason. A loss (or a Dallas win) throws things into whack, but there's a real chance for Columbus to do some damage on Sunday.

3. Are the Minnesota Wild okay? The Wild are 3-6-1 in their last ten games and have fallen to an even goal differential of 115 for and against. Losing tonight against Calgary, coupled with Columbus and Dallas victories, gives the Wild a real problem headed into the final week. A win, however, puts them three points away from a clincher.

4. Will Dallas head into the final week controlling their destiny? A Stars win in Los Angeles would give them 49 points, at least ninth place in the Western Conference (and eighth if the Jackets lose in 60 minutes), and it would give the Stars three games left -- two of which are against the other teams currently fighting for the eighth spot. A win tonight gives the Stars a lot of control over the next seven days.

5. Will Florida clinch the best odds in the Draft Lottery? This is really not meant as mean-spirited, Panther fans. However, a Florida 60-minute loss, couple with a Colorado Avalanche win against St. Louis, would make the Panthers the heavy favorites in the Jones/MacKinnon/Whatever 2013 NHL Draft. It'd be a far fall from being an overtime goal away from the Conference Semifinals in 2012, but you gotta start again somewhere.


More in the NHL:

Bruins fans sing emotional national anthem

Six (!) outdoor games in 2014

Jimmy Howard’s case for the Vezina

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