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Friday, March 25, 2016

The Skinny on the Playoff Race -- Isles magic number falls to 14 (and is now against Boston)

The Isles' magic number dropped for the third straight day, but it's now against a different team.  With Boston's regulation loss to Florida, the Bruins remain one point behind the Isles--- but Boston has only 7 games to play to the Isles' 10. That leaves the magic number to clinch a playoff spot at 14.  Elsewhere, the Isles got help from the Devils (who beat Pittsburgh), but not from Montreal (who lost to Detroit) or Colorado (who led 2-1 in the third but lost 4-2 to Philadelphia).
 
(Through games of March 24)
Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 5)
xy Washington 52-15-5=109 points / 72 games (48 ROW) Idle
NY Rangers    42-24-8=92 points / 74 games (39 ROW) Idle
Pittsburgh       40-25-8=88 points / 73 games (37 ROW) Lost to New Jersey 3-0
ISLES             39-24-9=87 points / 72 games (35 ROW) Idle
Philadelphia    36-24-13=85 points/ 73 games (34 ROW) Beat Colorado 4-2
 
Atlantic Teams in Wild Card Race
Boston          39-28-8=86 points/ 75 games (35 ROW) Lost to Florida 4-1
Detroit           37-26-11=85 points/ 74 games (35 ROW) Beat Montreal 4-3
x Clinched Playoff Spot
y Clinched Division Title and Conference Title
 
Remaining Schedule:
·           Washington: 3/25 @ New Jersey, 3/26 vs St. Louis, 3/28 vs. Columbus, 3/30 @ Philadelphia, 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: 3/26 @ Montreal, 3/27 vs. Pittsburgh, 3/31 @ Carolina, 4/2 vs. Buffalo, 4/4 @ Columbus, 4/5 vs. Tampa Bay, 4/7 vs. ISLES, 4/9 vs. Detroit     
·           Pittsburgh:  3/26 @ Detroit, 3/27 @ NY Rangers, 3/29 vs. Buffalo, 3/31 vs. Nashville,4/2 @ ISLES, 4/3 vs. Philadelphia, 4/5 @ Ottawa, 4/7 @ Washington, 4/9 @ Philadelphia
·           ISLES: 3/25 @ Tampa Bay, 3/26 @ Carolina, 3/29 vs. Carolina, 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: 3/26 @ Arizona, 3/28 vs. Winnipeg, 3/30 vs. Washington, 4/2 vs. Ottawa, 4/3 @ Pittsburgh, 4/6 at Detroit, 4/7 vs. Toronto, 4/9 vs Pittsburgh, 4/10 @ ISLES
·           Boston 3/26 @ Toronto, 3/29 @ New Jersey, 4/1 @ St. Louis, 4/3 @ Chicago, 4/5 vs. Carolina, 4/7 vs. Detroit, 4/9 vs Ottawa
 ·          Detroit: 3/26 vs. Pittsburgh, 3/28 vs. Buffalo, 3/29 @ Montreal, 4/1 vs. Minnesota, 4/2 @ Toronto, 4/6 vs. Philadelphia, 4/7 at Boston, 4/9 @ NY Rangers
 
Magic Number
The Isles' magic number is clinch a playoff berth is 14 over Boston, 15 over Detroit, 17 over Philadelphia, 20 against Pittsburgh and 22 against the Rangers.  Any combination of Islander points gained and Bruins points lost totaling 14 will guarantee that the Isles finish ahead of Boston.

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 just one other team in order to clinch a playoff berth.

Magic numbers vs. other teams to clinch playoff berth: New Jersey (9), Carolina (8),  Ottawa (3*), Montreal (2).
*Isles have clinched tie-breaker over Ottawa
Isles have clinched a better record than Toronto, Buffalo and Columbus
(Top 3 in each division, plus next two teams make the playoffs)
 
Friday's Games
ISLES at Tampa Bay
Washington at New Jersey  
 
The Isles Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot would fall to:
·                  12, if the Isles win
·                  13, if the Isles lose in overtime or a shootout
 
Saturday's Games
ISLES at Carolina
St. Louis at Washington
NY Rangers at Montreal
Pittsburgh at Detroit
Philadelphia at Arizona
Boston at Toronto
 
Sunday's Game
Pittsburgh at NY Rangers
 
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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