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Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The Skinny on the Playoff Race: Isles 1 point away from clinching 1st Wild Card

The Oilers retired Rexall Place tonight, but in the only game that mattered to the Isles, the Red Wings defeated Philadelphia 3-0 at the Joe.

The Flyer loss cuts the Isles' magic number for clinching at least the 1st Wild Card to 1.  

The Isles will go into Thursday with a chance to tie the Rangers for 3rd place and still have an outside chance to catch Pittsburgh for 2nd place

(Through games on April 6)

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 5)
xy Washington 55-17-7=117 points / 79 games (51 ROW) Idle
x Pittsburgh     47-25-8=102 points / 80 games (43 ROW) Idle
x NY Rangers  45-26-9=99 points / 80 games (42 ROW) Idle
x ISLES           44-26-9=97 points / 79 games (39 ROW) Idle
Philadelphia     39-27-13=91 points/ 79 games (36 ROW) Lost to Detroit 3-0

Atlantic Teams in Wild Card Race
Detroit             41-28-11=93 points/ 80 games (39 ROW) Beat Philadelphia 3-0
Boston             41-30-9=91 points/ 80 games (37 ROW) Idle
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)
Pittsburgh      106 points/ 45 ROW  
NY Rangers   103 points/ 44 ROW 
ISLES             103 points/ 42 ROW
Philadelphia    97 points/ 39 ROW
Detroit             97 points/ 41 ROW
Boston            95 points/ 39 ROW

Remaining Schedule:
  • Washington:  4/7 vs. Pittsburgh, 4/9 at St. Louis, 4/10 vs. Anaheim
  • Pittsburgh: 4/7 @ Washington, 4/9 @ Philadelphia
  • NY Rangers:  4/7 vs. ISLES, 4/9 vs. Detroit    
  • ISLES:  4/7 @ NY Rangers, 4/9 vs. Buffalo, 4/10 vs. Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia: 4/7 vs. Toronto, 4/9 vs Pittsburgh, 4/10 @ ISLES
  • Detroit:  4/7 at Boston, 4/9 @ NY Rangers
  • Boston: 4/7 vs. Detroit, 4/9 vs Ottawa
On Their Own
If the Isles go 1-1-1 they will clinch the first wild card regardless of what everyone else does.
If the Isles win their last three, they will finish no lower than third regardless of what everyone else does.

With Help
If the Isles win their last 3 and Pittsburgh loses to Washington and Philadelphia in regulation, the Isles would finish second in the East.

Magic Number
The Isles have clinched at least an 8th place finish in the East.  Their magic number to clinch at least 7th place is 1.

(Top 3 in each division, plus next two teams make the playoffs)

Thursday's Games
Isles at Rangers
Pittsburgh at Washington
Detroit at Boston
Toronto at Philadelphia

The Isles magic number for clinching (at least) the first wild card is 1. 
The magic number for clinching the first wild card will:
  • Remain 1 only if Philadelphia beats Toronto in regulation or overtime AND the Isles lose in regulation to the Rangers.  (If the Flyers win in a shootout they could no longer catch the Isles in ROW)
If the Isles lose in regulation to the Rangers, they will finish no higher than 4th in the Met.  (A Ranger regulation win and a Toronto win or shootout loss will assure an Islander - Panther first round matchup)

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