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The Skinny: Carolina 5, Isles 3 (Carolina leads series 2-0)

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Eastern Conference Round 1, Game 2 Carolina 5, Isles 3 Carolina Leads Series 2-0 Sebastian Aho and Jo...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Skinny on the Playoff Chase

All in all, not a bad off day for the Isles as the Rangers won, but in a shootout, leaving the Isles in 7th place, while the Devils (0-4-4 in the last 8) lost again, injuring the Bruins' Brad Marchand in the process. 

The Standings:
  •          3 Washington (SE Leader) 40 games 21-17-2 44 points (18 ROW) Next game: Thursday vs. Carolina
  •          5. Toronto 40 games 22-13-5 49 points  (22 ROW) Next game: Saturday vs. Montreal
  •          6  Ottawa  39 games 19-14-6 44 points  (15 ROW) Next game: Thursday at Philadelphia
  •          7  NY Islanders 40 games 20-16-4 44 points  (17 ROW) Next game: Thursday at Boston
  •          8  NY Rangers 40 games  20-16-4 44 points  (16 ROW) Next game: Saturday at Isles
  •          9  Winnipeg 41 games 20-19-2 42 points (19 ROW) Next game: Thursday vs. Florida
  •         10  New Jersey 40 games 15-15-10 40 points (13 ROW) Next game: Friday vs Ottawa
What's a ROW?
Regulation or Overtime Wins. Wins earned in a shootout do not count towards the first tiebreaker.

What are the tie-breakers?
  • Fewest games played  (That's why Ottawa is 6th and the Isles 7th)
  • Most ROW (That's why the Isles are 7th and the Rangers 8th)
  • Head-to-Head record
  • Goal differential for the entire season

What does this mean for Saturday?
Since the Rangers won the February 7th meeting at MSG in regulation, they have five points in the season series to the Isles' three.  The Isles need a REGULATION win on Saturday to split this tie-breaker.  Obviously the Isles could finish with more regulation/overtime wins to make this tiebreaker moot, but an Isles regulation win could make the fourth tie-breaker necessary (which could in theory come down to the final score of the Ranger-Devil game on April 27th).

Isn't it Magic?
The Islanders' magic number (points earned by the Islanders or lost by the team that is not in a playoff position but has the highest possible points) for clinching a playoff spot is 13. Of the teams currently not in a playoff spot, Winnipeg and New Jersey can reach the highest total (56 points). 

Clinch #s:
The Isles will qualify for the playoffs if they can finish ahead of 7 other teams.  Here are the maximum point totals, and respective Clinch #s for the seven teams currently not in a playoff spot.

Winnipeg 42 points in 41 games.  Maximum points: 56.  Clinch #: 13
New Jersey 40 points in 40 games. Maximum points: 56.  Clinch #: 13
Buffalo 38 points in 40 games. Maximum points: 54.  Clinch #: 11
Philadelphia 37 points in 39 games. Maximum points: 55. Clinch # 12
Tampa Bay 36 points in 39 games. Maximum points: 54. Clinch #: 11
Carolina 34 points in 39 games.  Maximum points: 52. Clinch #: 9
Florida 32 points in 39 games. Maximum points: 50. Clinch # 7

Upcoming Games:

Thursday, 4/11:
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay - the Penguins clinched the Atlantic Tuesday; the Lightning are on life-support
Montreal at Buffalo - the Habs fell out of first place Wednesday; the Sabres are 6 points out of a playoff spot
Florida at Winnipeg -the Jets can tie the Rangers in points (and the Isles, Caps and Sens if they don't get points too)
Islanders at Boston- Isles are 7-1-1 in their last 9; Isles have 24 points in 18 road games, which is their highest total in the Post-Cup era.
Ottawa at Philadelphia- Fans chanted "Last Place Flyers" on Tuesday; could be chanting "Let's Go Flyers" on Thursday
Carolina at Washington- Caps continue to win; Kirk Muller is 1-12-1 in his last 14 games.

Friday, 4/12:
Ottawa at New Jersey

Saturday, 4/13:
Rangers at Islanders
Pittsburgh at Florida
Montreal at Toronto
Boston at Carolina
Tampa Bay at Washington
Philadelphia at Buffalo

Sunday, 4/14:
Tampa Bay at Buffalo

Monday, 4/15:
Philadelphia at Montreal
Ottawa at Boston
New Jersey at Toronto

Tuesday, 4/16:
Florida at Islanders
Toronto at Washington
Carolina at Ottawa
Rangers at Philadelphia
Tampa Bay at Winnipeg

Wednesday, 4/17:
Montreal at Pittsburgh
Buffalo at Boston

There are 17 days remaining in the NHL season.  The season ends on Saturday, April 27th, with 12 Eastern Conference teams in action.  The Jets play their final game on April 25th while the Islanders face the Sabres in their final game on Friday, April 26.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick

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