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Chiefs Notebook: Playoff picture TBD

The Chiefs are back in third place in the U.S. Division, with Portland lurking.

Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

With 23 games left in the regular season, the playoff picture will soon come into focus.

But a lot can happen between now and the middle of March.

Currently, the Chiefs sit in third place in the U.S. Division, four points behind Seattle and one point in front of Portland. Spokane has game in hand compared to Portland.

Finishing in the top three is obviously ideal, as that means the Chiefs avoid playing one of the two division winners.

So there's still a lot that can happen, and as we've seen so far this season, it's anyone's game in the U.S. Division.

The Chiefs just finished a three-games-in-three-nights span and came away with four of a possible six points. The Chiefs took two points from Seattle and Everett, and dropped a stinker to the Tri-City Americans.

The outcomes were a little curious if you're just looking at the standings, as Tri-City remains outside the playoff picture and Seattle and Everett both sit ahead of Spokane (four points and nine points, respectively).

But this entire season has been competitive for all teams, no matter their place in the standings.

Some notes on the three games:

Chiefs 5, Thunderbirds 4

This was the night the Chiefs retired Ray Whitney's no. 14 jersey - the first retired jersey in the team's history.

Seattle jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Chiefs were able to storm back in the second and third periods. The win gave head coach Don Nachbaur the all-time record for wins behind a Spokane bench. Nachbaur got his 234th win, passing Mike Babcock.

Americans 7, Chiefs 3

The Chiefs followed up an inspiring come-from-behind win against a good team with a poor effort the next night against a bad team.

It was anyone's game tied at three, but Tri-City scored the game's next four goals for the rout.

Chiefs 4, Silvertips 1

The third game in three nights saw the Chiefs on the road against the U.S. Division-leading Silvertips. Thanks to a hat trick from Dominic Zwerger and two power play goals, the Chiefs were able to have a pleasant bus ride home.

So with 23 games left in the season, and the standings as close as they are as of today, each game becomes that much more important. No team wants to look at their schedule at the end of the season and point to a game where they squandered a great opportunity. I have a feeling that 7-3 loss to the Americans could be that kind of game for the Chiefs, but we shall see.

Video Vault: Jason Frammer

Chiefs captain and defenseman Jason Fram played in his 300th WHL game on Sunday, becoming the 11th Chief to do so. In honor of that, here's a random video of him fighting Austin Fyten (do you pronounce that "fightin'"?) straight from the penalty box: