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Monday, March 28, 2016

The Skinny on the Playoff Race: Race Tightens as Magic Number Stays 11.


It was not a good night to be idle as the Flyers and Red Wings both closed within 2 points of the Isles with home-ice wins against second division teams.

In Philadelphia, a Shayne Gostisbehere steal set up Claude Giroux for the Flyers' OT win over Winnipeg while in Detroit, the Red Wings survived a late Sabre rally for a 3-2 win.

Elsewhere, the Caps clinched the President's Trophy with their win over Columbus.  They did it before any other Eastern Team clinched a playoff spot.

(Through games of March 28)

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 5)
xy Washington 54-16-5=113 points / 75 games (50 ROW) Beat Columbus 4-1
NY Rangers    43-24-9=95 points / 76 games (40 ROW) Idle
Pittsburgh        42-25-8=92 points / 75 games (39 ROW) Idle
ISLES             40-25-9=89 points / 74 games (36 ROW)  Idle
Philadelphia    37-25-13=87 points/ 75 games (35 ROW) Beat Winnipeg 3-2(OT)

Atlantic Teams in Wild Card Race
Boston          40-28-8=88 points/ 76 games (36 ROW)  Idle
Detroit           38-27-11=87 points/ 76 games (36 ROW)  Beat Buffalo 3-2
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/ 46 ROW
  • ISLES             105 points/ 44 ROW
  • Philadelphia    101 points/ 42 ROW
  • Boston            100 points/42 ROW
  • Detroit             99 points/42 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:  3/29 vs. Buffalo, 3/31 vs. Nashville,4/2 @ISLES, 4/3 vs. Philadelphia, 4/5 @ Ottawa, 4/7 @ Washington, 4/9 @ Philadelphia
  • ISLES: 3/29 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: 3/30 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 3/29 @ New Jersey, 4/1 @ St. Louis, 4/3 @ Chicago, 4/5 vs. Carolina, 4/7 vs. Detroit, 4/9 vs Ottawa
  • Detroit: 3/29 @ Montreal, 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 5-2-1 they will clinch a playoff spot regardless of what everyone else does.
  • If the Isles win their last 8 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 11 over Detroit, 12 over Boston, 13 over Philadelphia, 18 against Pittsburgh and 19 against the Rangers.  Any combination of Islander points gained and Red Wings points lost totaling 11 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 (4), Carolina (5)
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)

Tuesday's Games
Carolina at ISLES
Buffalo at Pittsburgh
Boston at New Jersey 
Detroit at Montreal

The Isles Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot could fall to:

  •   7, if the Isles win and the Red Wings lose in regulation
  •   8, if the Isles win and the Red Wings lose in overtime or a shootout 
The magic number will fall to no more than 9 if the Isles win or if either New Jersey or Montreal win.

Wednesday's Game
Washington at Philadelphia

Thursday's Game
Columbus at ISLES
NY Rangers at Carolina
Nashville at Pittsburgh

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