We currently have eight teams within four points of each other, trying to wrap up the bottom four playoff spots. Goal differential says Chicago and LA are the best of the bunch, while Dallas, Anaheim and Columbus bring up the rear, but shot differential tells a different story:
[SR is each team's shot ratio. PDO = shot%*10 + save%. PSR and PPDO are the same quantities using PP shot rate as shots for, and PK shot rate as shots against (ie - PSR = PPSF/(PPSF + PKSF)]
These teams have virtually identical records, so score effects don't really come into play here. There's no question in my mind that Chicago is the best team in this group - they've dominated shots, dominated goals, and the only thing keeping them out of 3rd place is a ridiculously bad record in close games - 11-16 in one-goal games along with nine empty net goals allowed.
The next four teams are a toss-up as far as I'm concerned - Calgary, LA and Nashville are all equally likely to make the playoffs; Columbus is basically just as good, but they're four points back, so it's a tougher road ahead for them. As for Dallas, Anaheim and Minnesota...Well, good luck to them. They've somehow beaten the odds to make it this far (though the odds have caught up with Dallas) and hey, stranger things have happened. We'll probably see one of them sneak into the playoffs on the back of some huge breaks.