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The Skinny: Carolina 6, Isles 3 (Carolina wins series 4-1)

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Eastern Conference Round 1, Game 5 Carolina 6, Isles 3 Carolina Wins Series 4-1 School is out. Jack D...

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Skinny on the Playoff Chase

The Isles picked up a huge win in Boston, but Washington, Ottawa and Winnipeg all won as well leaving the Isles, Caps and Sens with 46 points and the Rangers and Jets with 44.

The Standings:
  •    3 Washington (SE Leader) 41 games 22-17-2 46 points (19 ROW) Next game: Saturday vs. Tampa Bay
  •    5. Toronto 40 games 22-13-5 49 points  (22 ROW) Next game: Saturday vs. Montreal
  •    6  Ottawa  40 games 20-14-6 46 points  (16 ROW) Next game: Friday at New Jersey
  •  7  NY Islanders 41 games 21-16-4 46 points  (18 ROW) Next game: Saturday vs. Rangers
  •  8  NY Rangers 40 games  20-16-4 44 points  (16 ROW) Next game: Saturday at Isles
  •   9  Winnipeg 42 games 21-19-2 44 points (20 ROW) Next game: Tuesday vs. Tampa Bay
  •  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 and why Washington is 3rd, the Rangers are 8th and Winnipeg is 9th)
  • Most ROW
  • 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 11. 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 44 points in 42 games.  Maximum points: 56.  Clinch #: 11
New Jersey 40 points in 40 games. Maximum points: 56.  Clinch #: 11
Buffalo 38 points in 41 games. Maximum points: 52.  Clinch #: 7
Philadelphia 37 points in 40 games. Maximum points: 53. Clinch # 8
Tampa Bay 36 points in 40 games. Maximum points: 52. Clinch #: 7
Carolina 34 points in 40 games.  Maximum points: 50. Clinch #: 5
Florida 32 points in 40 games. Maximum points: 48. Clinch # 3

Upcoming Games:

Friday, 4/12:
  • Ottawa at New Jersey: Devils are 0-4-4 in the last 8. Sens are tied in points with Isles.  If Ottawa loses in regulation, Isles will move into 6th place due to ROW tiebreaker.

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 IslandersToronto at Washington
Carolina at Ottawa
Rangers at Philadelphia
Tampa Bay at Winnipeg

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

There are 16 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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