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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'...

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Skinny on the Playoff Race - Isles lead over Pens cut to 1; Magic Number Still 19


It could have been worse – with the Penguins and Red Wings already winning and the Isles dropping a 4-2 decision in Nashville, the Rangers led Los Angeles 3-1 in the 3rd but fell to the Kings 4-3 in OT.  The Rangers open up a 3-point lead over the Isles but the Islanders once again have two games in hand.

Friday’s a day to exhale as none of the teams that the Isles are fighting with will play. They all play on Saturday, including the third of three Flyer-Penguins games in the season’s final three weeks.
 (Through games of March 17)
Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 5)
x Washington 50-14-5=105 points / 69 games (46 ROW) Idle 
NY Rangers   40-23-8=88 points / 71 games (37 ROW)  Lost 4-3 (OT) to Los Angeles
 ISLES          38-22-9=85 points / 69 games (34 ROW) Lost to Nashville 4-2
Pittsburgh      38-24-8=84 points / 70 games (34 ROW) Beat Carolina 4-2
Philadelphia  34-23-12=80 points/ 69 games (321 ROW) Idle
------------
Atlantic Team in Wild Card Race
Detroit           33-23-15=81 points/ 71 games (33 ROW) Beat Columbus 3-1
x Clinched Playoff Spot

Upcoming Schedule:
·           Washington: 3/18 vs. Nashville, 3/20 @ Pittsburgh, 3/22 @ Ottawa, 3/25 @ New Jersey, 3/26 vs St. Louis, 3/28 vs. Columbus, 3/30 @ Philadelphia
·           ISLES: 3/19 @ Dallas, 3/21 vs. Philadelphia, 3/23 vs. Ottawa, 3/25 @ Tampa Bay, 3/26 @ Carolina, 3/29 vs. Carolina, 3/31 vs. Columbus
·           NY Rangers: 3/19 @ San Jose, 3/21 vs. Florida, 3/23 vs. Boston, 3/26 @ Montreal, 3/27 vs. Pittsburgh, 3/31 @ Carolina     
·           Pittsburgh: 3/19 @ Philadelphia, 3/20 vs. Washington, 3/24 vs. New Jersey, 3/26 @ Detroit, 3/27 @ NY Rangers, 3/29 vs. Buffalo, 3/31 vs. Nashville
·           Philadelphia: 3/19 Pittsburgh, 3/21 @ ISLES, 3/22 @ Columbus, 3/24 @ Colorado, 3/26 @ Arizona, 3/28 vs. Winnipeg, 3/30 vs. Washington
·           Detroit: 3/19 @ Florida, 3/22 at Tampa Bay 3/24 vs Montreal, 3/26 vs. Pittsburgh, 3/28 vs. Buffalo, 3/29 @ Montreal

Magic Number

The Isles’ magic number is clinch a playoff berth is 19 over Detroit, 22 over Philadelphia, and 24 over Pittsburgh.  Any combination of Islander points gained and Red Wings points lost totaling 19 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, Detroit OR Pittsburgh in order to clinch a playoff berth.

Magic numbers vs. other teams to clinch playoff berth: Carolina (13), New Jersey (13), Ottawa (12), Montreal (10), Columbus (4), Buffalo (1).

Isles have clinched a better record than Toronto.
  
(Top 3 in each division, plus next two teams make the playoffs)

Friday's Games
Nashville at Washington

The Isles Magic Number will remain 19 after play on Friday.

Saturday's Games
ISLES at Dallas
NY Rangers at San Jose
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia
Detroit at Florida

The Isles Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot could fall to 15 (with an Islander win and a Red Wing regulation loss) after play on Saturday.

Sunday's Games
Washington at Pittsburgh


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