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Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Skinny on the Playoff Race: Isles Stop Losing Skid and Cut Magic Number to 15

The Isles' magic number dropped for the second straight day, as they defeated Ottawa 3-1. 

 (Through games of March 23)
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) Beat Boston 5-2
Pittsburgh      40-24-8=88 points / 72 games (37 ROW)  Idle
ISLES            39-24-9=87 points / 72 games (35 ROW) Beat Ottawa 3-1
Philadelphia  35-24-13=83 points/ 72 games (33 ROW) Idle

Atlantic Team in Wild Card Race
Detroit           36-26-11=83 points/ 73 games (34 ROW) Idle
x Clinched Playoff Spot
y Clinched Division Title and Conference Title

Upcoming Schedule:
·           Washington: 3/25 @ New Jersey, 3/26 vs St. Louis, 3/28 vs. Columbus, 3/30 @ Philadelphia
·           ISLES: 3/25 @ Tampa Bay, 3/26 @ Carolina, 3/29 vs. Carolina, 3/31 vs. Columbus
·           NY Rangers: 3/26 @ Montreal, 3/27 vs. Pittsburgh, 3/31 @ Carolina     
·           Pittsburgh:  3/24 vs. New Jersey, 3/26 @ Detroit, 3/27 @ NY Rangers, 3/29 vs. Buffalo, 3/31 vs. Nashville
·           Philadelphia:  3/24 @ Colorado, 3/26 @ Arizona, 3/28 vs. Winnipeg, 3/30 vs. Washington
·           Detroit: 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 falls to 15 over Detroit, 17 over Philadelphia, and 22 against Pittsburgh and the Rangers.  Any combination of Islander points gained and Red Wings points lost totaling 15 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, the Rangers OR Pittsburgh in order to clinch a playoff berth.

Magic numbers vs. other teams to clinch playoff berth: 
New Jersey (9), Carolina (8),  Ottawa (3*), Montreal (4).
*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)


Thursday's Games
Montreal at Detroit
Philadelphia at Colorado

The Isles Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot could fall to:
  • 13, if Detroit loses in regulation
  • 14, if Detroit loses in overtime or a shootout
Friday's Games
ISLES at Tampa Bay
Washington at New Jersey  
 
Saturday's Games
ISLES at Carolina
St. Louis at Washington
NY Rangers at Montreal
Pittsburgh at Detroit
Philadelphia at Arizona

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