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Monday, March 12, 2012
Playoff watch: Idle Sharks slip to 11th

By Mark Stepneski

The race for those final spots in the Western Conference remains incredibly tight. Just three points separate 7th place and 11th after last night’s games.

Calgary and Los Angeles both won last night. The Flames, who beat Minnesota 4-3 Sunday, have won three in a row and are currently in the eighth spot.

The Kings bounced back from a disappointing loss in Detroit to win 3-2 in a shootout at Chicago. The Kings have won four of their last six games.

The Flames and Kings have identical 32-25-12 records, but the Flames hold the regulation/overtime wins advantage, 29-27.

The idle Sharks dropped to 11th in the standings after Sunday’s games, but I still see them as the seventh-seed right now. That’s where they stand as far as points percentage. They have two games in hand on both the Flames and Kings. But you have to win those games, and San Jose hasn’t done much winning lately. The Sharks are winless in their last five (0-3-2) and 2-8-3 over their last 13 games. They play at Edmonton Monday night.

Colorado, which had been in eighth and is now in tenth, plays Anaheim tonight. The Avs have won three of four and seven of ten.

As for the Stars, nothing changed after last night. They still have a three point lead in the Pacific Division and their lead over the ninth spot in the West remains five points.