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The Skinny: Isles 3, Washington 1

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Game 30 Isles 3, Washington 1 Andrew Ladd and John Tavares scored goals in the first 1:34 of the 2nd ...

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Skinny on the Playoff Chase

Monday was supposed to be an important day in the playoff chase.  Of course, some idiot in Boston put it all in perspective.

The Leafs moved 6 points ahead of the Isles (both teams have six to play, but Toronto will win the tie-breaker).  Tuesday's games will help determine how big Thursday's Isles-Toronto game is to the Leafs; the Leafs can clinch a playoff spot on Tuesday.

The Standings:
  • 3 Washington (SE Leader) 42 games 23-17-2 48 points (20 ROW) Next game: Tuesday vs. Toronto
  • 5. Toronto 42 games 24-13-5 53 points  (24 ROW) Next game: Tuesday at Washington
  • 6  Ottawa  41 games 20-14-6 48 points  (17 ROW) Next game: Tuesday vs Carolina
  • 7  NY Islanders 42 games 21-16-5 47 points  (18 ROW) Next game: Tuesday vs. Florida
  • 8  NY Rangers 41 games  21-16-4 46 points  (17 ROW) Next game: Tuesday at Philadelphia
  • 9  Winnipeg 42 games 21-19-2 44 points (20 ROW) Next game: Tuesday vs. Tampa Bay
  • 10 Buffalo 43 games 17-19-6 42 points (13 ROW) Next game:Wednesday at Boston
  • 11 New Jersey 42 games 15-17-10 40 points (13 ROW) Next game:Thursday at Philadelphia
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 
  • Most ROW
  • Head-to-Head record
  • Goal differential for the entire season
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 10. Of the teams currently not in a playoff spot, Winnipeg can reach the highest total (56 points). Since the Jets have 20 ROW and the Isles 18, the Isles will need to beat Winnipeg in points to finish ahead of the Jets.

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 #: 10
  • Buffalo 42 points in 43 games. Maximum points: 52.  Clinch #: 6
  •  New Jersey 40 points in 42 games. Maximum points: 52.  Clinch #: 6
  • Philadelphia 39 points in 42 games. Maximum points: 51. Clinch # 5
  • Tampa Bay 37 points in 42 games. Maximum points: 49. Clinch #: 3
  • Carolina 36 points in 41 games.  Maximum points: 50. Clinch #: 4
  • Florida 32 points in 41 games. Maximum points: 46. CLINCHED -- Isles would win ROW tie-breaker
Upcoming Games:

Tuesday, 4/16:
  • Florida at Islanders  - Isles need to avoid the Post-Ranger letdown in their home finale.  Every other team in the East will have at least two home games left after Tuesday.
  • Toronto at Washington - The Leafs play their third in four nights.  Isles are one point behind Washington in overall standings.
  • Carolina at Ottawa - The Mullers broke a 7 game losing streak with a win over Boston on Saturday.  Ottawa is one point ahead of Isles; Sens also have a game in hand (which should have been played tonight).
  • Rangers at Philadelphia- Rangers have the easiest remaining schedule; if season ended today, none of their remaining opponents would be in playoffs.
  • Tampa Bay at Winnipeg - The Jets begin play in 9th place, 2 points behind Rangers, 3 behind Isles, and 4 points behind Ottawa and Southeast leader Washington
Isles can clinch finish ahead of Tampa and Carolina on Tuesday with win over Florida, and some help.

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

Thursday, 4/18:
Tampa Bay at Montreal
Washington at Ottawa
Islanders at Toronto
Florida at Rangers
Carolina at Winnipeg
New Jersey at Philadelphia

Friday, 4/19:
Pittsburgh at Boston
Rangers at Buffalo

Saturday, 4/20:
Buffalo at Pittsburgh
Washington at Montreal 
Toronto at Ottawa
Islanders at Winnipeg
Florida at New Jersey
Philadelphia at Carolina

Sunday, 4/21:
Florida at Boston
New Jersey at Rangers
Carolina at Tampa Bay

Monday, 4/22:
Pittsburgh at Ottawa
Winnipeg at Buffalo

There are 12 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.

* pending the rescheduling of Ottawa-Boston.  Unless the NHL allows them to play on Sunday, April 28th, the Bruins would likely be forced to play 4 games in 5 days the final week of the season.
 
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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