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The Skinny on The Openers

"The Skinny" … on the Openers By Eric Hornick The NHL released the schedule for the 2016-17 season on Tuesday.  It'...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Skinny on the Playoff Chase

With the Rangers victory this afternoon, the Isles can no longer face Washington in the opening round of the playoffs. The Rangers will finish in 2nd place in the Atlantic and either 6th or 7th in the East.  The Isles will finish 3rd in the Atlantic and either 7th or 8th in the East.

Ottawa has two games remaining -- at home against Philadelphia tonight, and in Boston tomorrow.  Unless the Sens lose both games, each in regulation, the Islanders will finish 8th and face Pittsburgh.

Given that Consol is booked for Tuesday night, the series in Pittsburgh would likely open on Wednesday.


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 Rangers 48 games 26-18-4 56 points (22 ROW) Regular Season is Over
  • 7 NY Islanders 48 games 24-17-7 55 points (20 ROW) Regular Season is Over
  • 8 Ottawa 46 games 24-16-6 54 points (20 ROW) Final games: Saturday vs. Philadelphia, Sunday at Boston
If the season ended at 6pm today (underlined teams are locked in to that position):
#1 Pittsburgh - #8 Ottawa
#2 Boston - #7 Islanders
#3 Washington - #6 Rangers
#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)
  • 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 Ottawa.  The Isles have the same number of ROWs as Ottawa but the Sens won the season series.
Where Can the Isles Finish?
The Isles can finish either 7th or 8th basedon the result of  Ottawa's two remaining games.  The Senators host Philadelphia on Saturday night and visit Boston on Sunday night.

· Isles will finish 7th (and face either Boston or Montreal) IF Ottawa loses both of their remaining games in regulation.
· Isles will finish 8th (and face Pittsburgh) IF Ottawa gains at least one point in the final two games.

(While it doesn't affect the Isles, the Sens could finish anywhere between 5th and 8th, needing two wins and a Toronto regulation loss to claim 5th place.)

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.
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 1 1/2 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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