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Making predictions is about the easiest way there is to look like a blockhead. Then again, the flipside is that once in a blue moon you get lucky and come off like a genius, a puck clairvoyant. I’m willing to roll the dice on either possibility by laying out how I see the playoff race in the Western Conference unfolding. Specifically, how it’ll go for the six teams, including the Oilers, who are battling for the final three spots.
The top five teams in the Western Conference will be Detroit, San Jose, Minnesota, Anaheim and Dallas, with the only the order to be decided. I know, how bold.
That leaves Calgary, Vancouver, Colorado, Nashville, Edmonton and Phoenix, all separated by just seven points going into action tonight, dicing for sixth, seventh and eighth.
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OK, OK, the fine people of Columbus would like it known they’re good enough, at the very least, to vault over Phoenix when all is said and done. They’re probably right, but I’m not laying out all the remaining games for the Blue Jackets.
Here’s how it looks to me. Or not…

RIGHT NOW (6:45pm Tuesday)

6. Calgary 37-25-10 for 84 points
7. Vancouver 37-26-10 for 84 points
8. Colorado 39-29-6 for 84 points
9. Nashville 36-29-8 for 80 points
10. Edmonton 36-32-5 for 77 points
11. Phoenix 36-32-5 for 77 points

CALGARY

March
18. at CBJ WIN OT
20. COL WIN OT
22. MIN LOSS
24. at COL LOSS
25. VAN WIN
29. EDM LOSS
30. at VAN LOSS OT
April
1. at EDM WIN OT
3. at MIN LOSS
5. at VAN WIN
RECORD 5-4-1

VANCOUVER

March
20. at EDM LOSS OT
21. MIN LOSS
25. at CGY LOSS
25. at CGY LOSS
26. at COL WIN OT
28. at MIN WIN
30. CGY WIN OT
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April
1. COL WIN
3. EDM LOSS OT
5. CGY LOSS
RECORD 4-4-2

COLORADO

March
20. at CGY LOSS OT
22. at EDM LOSS
24 CGY WIN
26. VAN LOSS OT
28 EDM WIN
30 at MIN LOSS
April
1. at VAN LOSS
6. MIN WIN
RECORD 3-3-2

NASHVILLE

March
18. WSH LOSS
20 DET LOSS
22 CHI WIN
25 CBJ WIN
28 at CBJ LOSS OT
30 at DET LOSS
April
1. at STL LOSS
3. STL WIN
4. at CHI LOSS OT
RECORD 3-4-2

EDMONTON

March
18. PHO WIN
20. VAN WIN OT
22. COL WIN
24. MIN WIN
26 at MIN LOSS
28. at COL LOSS
29. at CGY WIN
April
1. CGY LOSS OT
3. at VAN WIN OT
RECORD 6-2-1

PHOENIX

March
18 at EDM LOSS
20. LA WIN
22. ANA LOSS
25 SJ LOSS
27 at LA WIN
30. at SJ LOSS
April
3. DAL WIN
4. at DAL LOSS OT
6 at ANA LOSS
RECORD 3-5-1

AFTER 82 GAMES

6. Calgary 42-29-11 for 95 points
7. Vancouver 41-30-12 for 94 points
8. Colorado 42-32-8 for 92 points
9. Edmonton 42-34-6 for 90 points
10. Nashville 39-33-10 for 88 points
11. Phoenix 39-37-6 for 84 points
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—Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 5 pm on Total Sports with Bob Stauffer on Team 1260.