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

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Skinny on the Playoff Race -- Home Ice at Stake Tonight

The Rangers win in Washington this afternoon will give the Isles a chance to open the playoffs at home -- if they can beat Columbus (in any fashion) tonight.


It will be the 7th meeting of the Isles and Capitals in playoffs (Isles are 5-1, winning 18 of 30 games)

1983 Patrick Division SemiFinals  Isles won series 3-1
1984 Patrick Division Finals  Isles won series 4-1
1985 Patrick Division SemiFinals  Isles won series 3-2
1986 Patrick Division SemiFinals  Caps won series 3-0 (Arbour retired thereafter)
1987 Patrick Division SemiFinals  Isles won series 4-3 (LaFontaine 4 OT; only playoff series won by anyone other than Arbour)
1993 Patrick Division SemiFinals  Isles won series 4-2

(Isles have met Rangers 8 times in playoffs -- 7th time with Caps is 2nd highest total.)

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 4)
·         NY Rangers  53-22-7=113 points / 82 games (49 ROW)  Beat Washington 4-2
·         Washington  45-26-11=101 points / 82 games (40 ROW) Lost to NY Rangers 4-2
·         ISLES           47-28-6=100 points / 81 games (40 ROW)  Host Columbus
·         Pittsburgh     42-27-12=96 points / 81 games (38 ROW)   At Pittsburgh

After ROW, head-to-head record is the next tie-breaker.  Washington owns that tie-breaker against the Isles.
  • ISLES have 100 points, 40 regulation/overtime wins (ROW) & 1 game to play. They can finish with a maximum of 102 points.
  • Washington has 101 points, 40 ROW and 0 games to play. They finish with 101 points.
  • Ottawa has 99 points, 37 ROW and 0 games to play.  They finish with 99 points.
  • Detroit has 98 points, 38 ROW and 1 game to play. They can finish with a maximum of 100 points.
  • Pittsburgh has 96 points, 38 ROW and 1 game to play.  They can finish with a maximum of 98 points.
  • Boston has 95 points, 37 ROW and 1 game to play.  They can finish with a maximum of 97 points.

Isles, Washington, Ottawa and Detroit have all clinched a playoff spot.
Saturday' schedule: 
Isles host Columbus, 
Washington lost to Rangers 4-2 
Pittsburgh is at Buffalo 
Boston is at Tampa Bay 
Ottawa beat Philadelphia 3-1
Detroit is at Carolina.
(end regular season)

Ottawa's win clinches at least the first Wild Card for the Sens -- they will face either Montreal or Tampa Bay in the first round.  Detroit will finish ahead of them if they get a point tonight.

The Isles will finish second in the Metropolitan Division IF:
The Isles beat Columbus in any fashion

The Isles will finish third in the Metropolitan Division IF:
The Isles lose to Columbus in any fashion

Who can the Isles play in the First Round
Washington.
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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