Where we sit
Games played: 1,094
Games to go: 136
Percentage left: 11.1%
Beginning on Friday, March 21, the 17th last day of the regular season, every single remaining game is between teams in the same division, a span of 113 games that will decide playoff races and seedings.A bit more analysis at the FanHouse.
The last 10 per cent of the season is going to be pretty interesting here as the games go all interdivisional, with the ramifications of that likely to be felt in the playoff races.
In the west, for example, this is bad news for the Northwest Division teams, four of which are currently in playoff position. There are going to be fewer points to be had here, for instance, than in the Central Division, where as of now only Detroit is on pace to make the playoffs.
As Minnesota, Calgary, Vancouver and Colorado slug it out with each other to close the season, Nashville should have the relatively easy task of taking a few points from their division's bottom feeders.
Likewise in the east, where teams in the Southeast Division should have some easy pickings when it comes to all the games against Tampa Bay and Atlanta. (The Thrashers really seem to have tanked hard lately, and are going to be right in the running for the first-overall pick.)
The divisional differences are set to come right out, and they could definitely have an impact on the playoff race.
UPDATE The above quote's slightly inaccurate, as there's one non-divisional game over the final 113-game stretch: Boston at New Jersey on April 2. My mistake.