If the playoffs started today...
There are only three games in the NHL on Monday night, but they're huge ones when it comes to the wild card races in each conference.
Wild can clinch Monday
Out West, the Minnesota Wild have basically wrapped up a playoff spot, but they can seal the deal with a regulation or overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday at 8 p.m. ET.
A win will give the Wild 94 points through 79 games. The Phoenix Coyotes, who sit just outside the playoff picture, can max out with 94 points if they win their four remaining games. A regulation or OT win for the Wild on Monday would earn them the upper hand in any potential tiebreaker with the Coyotes, thus clinching a playoff spot.
Should Minnesota win, Phoenix's last hope for a playoff spot will rest in the final Western wild card spot, currently held by the Dallas Stars. Both the Coyotes and Stars are idle on Monday night. Through 78 games, Dallas has 87 points and Phoenix has 86.
Devils need points
The New Jersey Devils host the Calgary Flames at 7 p.m. ET, and they enter the night three points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the East's final wild card spot. It's the Devils' 79th game, while Columbus is idle tonight and have played just 78 games, so even if New Jersey wins, they still need help if they want to qualify for the playoffs.
Overall it's a pretty slow night with just three games on the schedule. The race gets a lot more hectic on Tuesday however with 10 games on the schedule -- including at least seven with major playoff implications ... and perhaps the apocalypse-inducing elimination of the Toronto Maple Leafs.