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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 ...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Skinny on the Playoff Chase

The Islanders earned a point in Buffalo, but it may not be enough to keep them away from Pittsburgh in the opening round of the playoffs. While the Isles regular season is complete, the Rangers host New Jersey on Saturday afternoon while Ottawa host Philadelphia on Saturday night and visits Boston on Sunday night.
The Standings (all teams have clinched):
  • 1 Pittsburgh (Atlantic Champion) 47 games 35-12-0 70 points (32 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Carolina
  • 2 Boston (NorthEast Leader) 46 games 28-13-5 61 points (24 ROW) Final games:  Saturday at Washington, Sunday vs. Ottawa
  • 3 Washington (SouthEast Champion) 47 games 26-18-3 55 points (23 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Boston
  • 4 Montreal 47 games 28-14-5 61 points (25 ROW) Final game: Saturday at Toronto
  • 5.Toronto 47 games 26-16-5 57 points (26 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. Montreal
  • 6 NY Islanders 48 games 24-17-7 55 points (20 ROW) Regular Season is Over
  • 7 Ottawa 46 games 24-16-6 54 points (20 ROW) Final games: Saturday vs. Philadelphia, Sunday at Boston
  • 8 NY Rangers 47 games 25-18-4 54 points (21 ROW) Final game: Saturday vs. New Jersey
If the season ended today (underlined teams are locked in to that position):
#1 Pittsburgh - #8 NY Rangers
#2 Boston - #7 Ottawa
#3 Washington - #6 Islanders
#4 Montreal -#5 Toronto
 
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  - (Boston 46, Montreal 47 puts Boston 2nd and Montreal 4th; while Ottawa 46, Rangers 47 puts Sens 7th and Rangers 8th)
  • Most ROW
  •  Head-to-Head record
  • Goal differential for the entire season
What do the tie-breakers mean to the Islanders?

The Isles will LOSE any tie in points with the Rangers or Ottawa.  The Isles have fewer ROWs than the Rangers and while they have the same number of ROWs as Ottawa, the Sens won the season series.

Where Can the Isles Finish?

Even though their regular season is over, the Islanders can still finish as high as 6th or as low as 8th based on the result of games this weekend.  The Rangers host the Devils at 3pm Saturday while the Senators host Philadelphia on Saturday night and visit Boston on Sunday night.
· Isles will finish 6th (and face Washington) IF neither Ottawa or the Rangers earn a point in their final games 
· Isles will finish 7th (and face either Boston or Montreal) IF either Ottawa or the Rangers earn a point in their final games
· Isles will finish 8th (and face Pittsburgh) IF both Ottawa and the Rangers earn at least one point in their final games

Remaining Eastern Conference Schedule:

Saturday, 4/27:
Carolina at Pittsburgh - no playoff implications; could it be Kirk Muller's last?
Montreal at Toronto - huge implications and a possible playoff preview.  If Toronto wins and Boston wins one of their final two these Original 6 foes will meet in the playoffs for the first time since 1979.
Boston at Washington - Bruins and Habs are tied for lead; Bruins have one fewer ROW but are currently ahead of Montreal due to having an extra game to play.  If Bruins lost last two in regulation, Montreal wins the Northeast.
Philadelphia at Ottawa - A long-time foe can help the Isles by defeating Ottawa.
New Jersey at Rangers - If the Rangers earn a point, they'll finish ahead of the Isles (and clinch 7th).  If the Devils win in regulation, the Rangers can finish no higher than 7th.
Florida at Tampa Bay - At least the weather is good.

Sunday, 4/28:
Ottawa at Boston - It's possible that all four Eastern Conference playoff match-ups will be determined by this game, which is the final one in the NHL this regular season.
 
There are 2 days remaining in the NHL 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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