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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Skinny on the Playoff Race: Flyers Rally to Beat Caps in Shootout and Keep Pressure on Isles

There was only one game that affected the playoff race and it didn't go the Isles' way, as the President's Trophy winning Caps blew a 1-0 third period lead and dropped 2-1 decision in a shootout to the Flyers.  The Flyers' shootout win leaves them 2 points, and 1 ROW, behind the Isles.

(Through games of March 30)

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 5)
xy Washington 54-16-6=114 points / 76 games (50 ROW) Lost to Philly 2-1 (SO)
NY Rangers    43-24-9=95 points / 76 games (40 ROW) Idle
Pittsburgh        43-25-8=94 points / 76 games (39 ROW) Idle
ISLES             41-25-9=91 points / 75 games (36 ROW)  Idle
Philadelphia    38-25-13=89 points/ 76 games (35 ROW) Beat Wash 2-1 (SO)

Atlantic Teams in Wild Card Race
Boston          40-29-8=88 points/ 77 games (36 ROW)  Idle
Detroit           38-28-11=87 points/ 77 games (36 ROW) Idle
x Clinched Playoff Spot
y Clinched Division Title, Conference Title and President's Trophy

Best They Can Do (By Winning Every Game in Regulation or Overtime)

  • NY Rangers   107 points/ 46 ROW
  • Pittsburgh       106 points/ 45 ROW
  • ISLES             105 points/ 43 ROW
  • Philadelphia    101 points/ 41 ROW
  • Boston            98 points/41 ROW
  • Detroit             97 points/41 ROW
Remaining Schedule:
  • Washington: 4/1 @ Colorado, 4/2 @ Arizona, 4/5 vs. ISLES, 4/7 vs. Pittsburgh, 4/9 at St. Louis, 4/10 vs. Anaheim
  • NY Rangers: 3/31 @ Carolina, 4/2 vs. Buffalo, 4/4 @ Columbus, 4/5 vs. Tampa Bay, 4/7 vs. ISLES, 4/9 vs. Detroit     
  • Pittsburgh: 3/31 vs. Nashville,4/2 @ISLES, 4/3 vs. Philadelphia, 4/5 @ Ottawa, 4/7 @ Washington, 4/9 @ Philadelphia
  • ISLES: 3/31 vs. Columbus, 4/2 vs. Pittsburgh, 4/4 vs. Tampa Bay, 4/5 @ Washington, 4/7 @ NY Rangers, 4/9 vs. Buffalo, 4/10 vs. Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia: 4/2 vs. Ottawa, 4/3 @ Pittsburgh, 4/6 at Detroit, 4/7 vs. Toronto, 4/9 vs Pittsburgh, 4/10 @ ISLES
  • Boston  4/1 @ St. Louis, 4/3 @ Chicago, 4/5 vs. Carolina, 4/7 vs. Detroit, 4/9 vs Ottawa
  • Detroit: 4/1 vs. Minnesota, 4/2 @ Toronto, 4/6 vs. Philadelphia, 4/7 at Boston, 4/9 @ NY Rangers
On Their Own

  • If the Isles go 3-3-1 they will clinch a playoff spot regardless of what everyone else does.
  • If the Isles win their last 7 they will finish no lower than 3rd regardless of what everyone else does.

Magic Number
The Isles’ magic number is clinch a playoff berth is 7 over Detroit, 8 over Boston, 11 over Philadelphia, 16 against Pittsburgh and 17 against the Rangers.  Any combination of Islander points gained and Red Wings points lost totaling 7 will guarantee that the Isles finish ahead of Detroit.

The Isles need to finish ahead of eight teams to clinch a playoff berth.  Assuming the Isles finish ahead of teams currently in 10th to 16th place, the Isles also need to finish ahead of Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, the Rangers OR Pittsburgh in order to clinch a playoff berth.

Magic numbers vs. other teams to clinch playoff berth: New Jersey (2), Carolina (2)
Isles have clinched a better record than Toronto, Buffalo, Columbus, Montreal and Ottawa.
(Top 3 in each division, plus next two teams make the playoffs)

Thursday's Game
Columbus at ISLES
NY Rangers at Carolina
Nashville at Pittsburgh

The Isles Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot will fall to:

  •   5, if the Isles win 
  •   6, if the Isles lose in overtime or a shootout 

When Can They Clinch?

Magic number is 7 vs. Detroit.
Isles host Columbus Thursday and Pittsburgh Saturday.  Detroit hosts Minnesota Friday and visits Toronto Saturday.
==> Isles would clinch spot Saturday if they win twice and Detroit goes 0-1-1 OR if they go 1-0-1 and Detroit loses twice in regulation.

Magic number is 8 vs. Boston
Isles host Columbus Thursday and Pittsburgh Saturday. Boston is in St. Louis on Friday and Chicago on Sunday.
==> Isles would clinch spot Sunday if they win twice and Boston loses twice in regulation

Since the Bruins and Red Wings have a game left with each other (next Thursday), there are some three-way combinations that would also see the Isles clinch on Sunday: 
  • Isles win twice, Boston goes 0-1-1 and Detroit goes 1-1-0 (or 0-0-2).  That would give the Isles 95 points and give Detroit and Boston a possible maximum of 95 as well.  However, only one could reach it because of their game against each other.
  • Isles go 1-0-1, Boston goes 0-2-0 and Detroit goes 0-1-1.  That would give the Isles 94 points and give Detroit and Boston a possible maximum of 94 as well.  However, only one could reach it because of their game against each other.

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