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The Skinny: Carolina 6, Isles 3 (Carolina wins series 4-1)

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Monday, March 28, 2016

The Skinny on the Playoff Race: Rangers and Penguins stretch lead over Isles. Magic Number Still 11.

Several people asked me what I thought the best result of Sunday's Rangers/Penguins game might be for the Isles.  A Penguins OT win was probably at the bottom of the list, but that's what happened.  Isles now trail Pittsburgh by 3 and the Rangers by 6, although the Isles hold two games in hand on the Rangers and one on the Penguins; they will also meet each team once over the final two weeks of the regular season.

(Through games of March 27)
Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 5)
xy Washington 53-16-5=111 points / 74 games (49 ROW) Idle
NY Rangers    43-24-9=95 points / 76 games (40 ROW) Lost to Pitts 3-2 (OT)
Pittsburgh        42-25-8=92 points / 75 games (39 ROW) Beat NYR 3-2 (OT)
ISLES             40-25-9=89 points / 74 games (36 ROW)  Idle
Philadelphia    36-25-13=85 points/ 74 games (34 ROW)  Idle

Atlantic Teams in Wild Card Race
Boston          40-28-8=88 points/ 76 games (36 ROW)  Idle
Detroit           37-27-11=85 points/ 75 games (35 ROW)  Idle
x Clinched Playoff Spot
y Clinched Division Title and Conference Title

Remaining Schedule:
·           Washington: 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: 3/31 @ 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:  3/28 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 3/29 @ New Jersey, 4/1 @ St. Louis, 4/3 @ Chicago, 4/5 vs. Carolina, 4/7 vs. Detroit, 4/9 vs Ottawa
 ·          Detroit: 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 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)

Monday’s Games
Columbus at Washington
Buffalo at Detroit
Winnipeg at Philadelphia

The Isles Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot could fall to:
·                  9, if the Red Wings lose in regulation
·                  10, if the Red Wings lose in overtime or a shootout

If the Red Wings win and the Flyers lose in regulation, the Isles magic number against the Flyers will also fall to 11 -- however their overall magic number will fall to 10 because the Red Wings and Flyers have a game against each other on April 6th and one team or the other is guaranteed to lose at least one point.

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

Wednesday's Game
Washington at Philadelphia

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

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