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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Still on the brink

The Isles will enter Saturday's game against Ottawa still on the brink of elimination.

With Montreal's win in Philadelphia on Friday, the Isles can no lnoger finish ahead of Les Habitants.  While they can reach 84 points, which is Montreal's total, the Canadiens have won 38 times.  The Isles can win no more than 37.

The Rangers' win in Tampa on Friday guarantees that either the Rangers or the Flyers will also finish ahead of the Isles.  The teams play twice next weekend.  Even if they both lose all of their other games, either the Rangers or Flyers are guaranteed to get 84 points.  (If they split, the Flyers would have 84; if the Rangers sweep, they would have 84)  Both teams would win tie-breaks at 84 points from the Isles.  The Flyers already have 38 wins, and the Rangers, with a sweep over the Flyers, would have 37.  The Rangers come-from-behind win over the Isles Tuesday gave them the season series from the Isles (7 points to 6) and the second tie-breaker.

The Isels can still catch the Bruins, who have 82 points (but only 35 wins), either the Rangers or Flyers, and Atlanta.

Other Saturday games:
Atlanta-Pittsburgh
Rangers-Florida
Boston-Toronto

If the Isles beat Ottawa, they can not be eliminated on Saturday.
If the Isles earn one point, they would be eliminated if Boston beats Toronto
If the Isles lose in regulation, they would be eliminated if Boston gets a point vs. Toronto OR the Rangers beat Florida

The Isles enter play Saturday in a 3-way tie with Tampa and Florida.  With one more win than Florida, and one fewer game played than Tampa, the Isles currently are ahead of both teams, and in 26th place overall.

26th place carries with it the 5th seed in the NHL draft lottery, which will be held on April 13.

Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982. Visit my blog: forever1940.blogspot.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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