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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Skinny on the Playoff Race: Magic Number Falls to 7 as Isles Win and Red Wings Lose

Over the space of 45 minutes or so on Tuesday, the Isles magic number dropped four separate times.

  • The magic number started the night at 11.
  • When the Isles game reached overtime, it dropped to 10.
  • As overtime was ending, so was the Bruins' regulation loss to New Jersey, pushing the number to 9.
  • Kyle Okposo's shootout goal pushed it further, to 8.
  • When Montreal closed out their win over the Red Wings, the number fell for the 4th time, to 7.

Elsewhere, the Penguins also won in a shootout, rallying from a deficit to defeat Buffalo 5-4.

(Through games of March 29)

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 5)
xy Washington 54-16-5=113 points / 75 games (50 ROW) Idle
NY Rangers    43-24-9=95 points / 76 games (40 ROW) Idle
Pittsburgh        43-25-8=94 points / 76 games (39 ROW) Beat Buffalo 5-4 (SO)
ISLES             41-25-9=91 points / 75 games (36 ROW)  Beat Carolina 2-1 (SO)
Philadelphia    37-25-13=87 points/ 75 games (35 ROW) Idle

Atlantic Teams in Wild Card Race
Boston          40-29-8=88 points/ 77 games (36 ROW)  Lost to New Jersey 2-1
Detroit           38-28-11=87 points/ 77 games (36 ROW)  Lost to Montreal 4-3
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/ 42 ROW
  • Boston            98 points/41 ROW
  • Detroit             97 points/41 ROW
Remaining Schedule:
  • Washington: 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: 3/31 @ 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: 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  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)

Wednesday's Game
Washington at Philadelphia

The Isles magic number to clinch a playoff spot will remain 7 after Wednesday's game.

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 

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