So here's today's cartoon representation of the western conference playoff bubble -- not really the dramatic down-to-the-wire race for eighth that we saw last year, that's for sure.
This year, the top eight teams in the west have pretty solidly locked themselves in, and failing some sort of miraculous ending we'll see the eight teams below get to play past game #82. All is not lost, though, Ducks fans, because look at what's shaping to be a potential first round matchup:
Today's standings, stolen from TSN.
A second straight year of a first-round Battle of California, this time without any Duck blood on the line? Hell yes, sign me up.
Of course, with the grim outlook also comes the possibility that we're down to eleven games left to see Teemu Selanne, Scott Niedermayer, and Saku Koivu wear a Ducks uniform -- I truly hope there's some way to keep the band together for another year, but either way, I'll be watching the remaining games with an appreciative eye to those three in particular.
Prediction: Ducks look awesome, once again two months too late. One of the 3 B's (Beleskey, Blake, Bodie) keeps up his goal-scoring streak.