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Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Skinny on the Playoff Race -- Penguins tie Rangers; both teams 3 points ahead of Isles

The Isles' stay in 4th place is going to last a bit after Pittsburgh's big win tonight over Washington.  The Isles now trail both the Penguins and Rangers by 3 points heading into Monday's game with Philadelphia.  (Pittsburgh actually has moved into second place due to tie-breakers.
 (Through games of March 20)
Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 5)
x Washington 51-15-5=107 points / 71 games (47 ROW) Lost to Pittsburgh 6-2
Pittsburgh      40-24-8=88 points / 72 games (37 ROW) Beat Washington 6-2
NY Rangers   40-24-8=88 points / 72 games (37 ROW)  Idle
ISLES            38-23-9=85 points / 70 games (34 ROW) Idle
Philadelphia  34-24-12=80 points/ 70 games (32 ROW) Idle
Atlantic Team in Wild Card Race
Detroit           34-23-15=83 points/ 73 games (34 ROW) Idle
x Clinched Playoff Spot
Upcoming Schedule:
·           Washington: 3/22 @ Ottawa, 3/25 @ New Jersey, 3/26 vs St. Louis, 3/28 vs. Columbus, 3/30 @ Philadelphia
·           ISLES: 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: 3/21 vs. Florida, 3/23 vs. Boston, 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: 3/21 @ ISLES, 3/22 @ Columbus, 3/24 @ Colorado, 3/26 @ Arizona, 3/28 vs. Winnipeg, 3/30 vs. Washington
·           Detroit: 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, 20 over Philadelphia, and 24 over Pittsburgh and the Rangers.  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, the Rangers OR Pittsburgh in order to clinch a playoff berth.

Magic numbers vs. other teams to clinch playoff berth: Carolina (12), New Jersey (11), Ottawa (10), Montreal (6), Columbus (2), Buffalo (2).
Isles have clinched a better record than Toronto.
(Top 3 in each division, plus next two teams make the playoffs)
Monday’s Games
Philadelphia at ISLES
Florida at NY Rangers
The Isles Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot could fall to:
·       16 (with an Islander regulation win)
·       17 (with an Islander overtime/shootout win)
after play on Monday.

Tuesday’s Games
Washington at Ottawa
Philadelphia at Columbus
Detroit at Tampa Bay
Wednesday’s Games
Ottawa at ISLES
Boston at NY Rangers

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