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Friday, April 08, 2016

The Skinny on the Playoff Race: Isles Clinch Top Wild Card and Move into 3rd Place in Metropolitan

The Isles completed their first-ever season sweep of the Rangers with a 4-1 win on Garden ice.  The win assures the Isles of finishing ahead of the Flyers, meaning that they have clinched the first Wild Card.  The Isles tied the Rangers in points; the Isles have two games to play and the Rangers just one.

The Isles must finish with more points than the Rangers to finish ahead of the Blueshirts as the Rangers own the ROW tiebreaker.

Elsewhere, Boston beat Detroit, Philadelphia suffered a costly OT defeat to Toronto and Pittsburgh wrapped up the 2nd seed in the Met with an overtime win over the Caps.

(Through games on April 7)

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 5)
xy Washington 55-17-8=118 points / 80 games (51 ROW) Lost to Pitts 4-3 (OT)
x Pittsburgh     48-25-8=104 points / 81 games (44 ROW) Beat Wash 4-3 (OT)
x ISLES         45-26-9=99 points / 80 games (40 ROW) Beat NY Rangers 4-1
x NY Rangers  45-27-9=99 points / 81 games (42 ROW) Lost to Isles 4-1 
Philadelphia  39-27-14=92 points/ 80 games (36 ROW) Lost to Toronto 4-3 (OT)

Atlantic Teams in Wild Card Race
Detroit             41-29-11=93 points/ 81 games (39 ROW) Lost to Boston 5-1
Boston             42-30-9=93 points/ 81 games (38 ROW) Beat Detroit 5-1
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  
ISLES             103 points/ 42 ROW
NY Rangers   101 points/ 43 ROW
Philadelphia    96 points/ 38 ROW
Detroit             95 points/ 40 ROW
Boston            95 points/ 39 ROW

Remaining Schedule:
  • Washington:  4/9 at St. Louis, 4/10 vs. Anaheim
  • Pittsburgh:  4/9 @ Philadelphia
  • NY Rangers:   4/9 vs. Detroit    
  • ISLES:  4/9 vs. Buffalo, 4/10 vs. Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia:  4/9 vs Pittsburgh, 4/10 @ ISLES
  • Detroit:   4/9 @ NY Rangers
  • Boston: 4/9 vs Ottawa
On Their Own
If the Isles go 1-0-1 they will finish third in the Metropolitan regardless of what anyone else does.
If the Isles go 0-2-0, they will finish fourth in the Metropolitan regardless of what anyone else does.

Magic Number
The Isles have clinched at least a 7th place finish in the East.  Their magic number to clinch at least third place in the Metropolitan is 3.

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

The Races for 3rd and the 2nd Wild Card
Detroit holds the ROW tiebreaker vs. Boston so the Red Wings will finish third as long as they do as well as Boston... with one exception.  If the Red Wings win in a shootout and Boston wins in regulation or overtime, the Bruins will tie Detroit in ROW's, and will finish 3rd based on the head-to-head tie-break.

Philadelphia can make the playoffs regardless of what Detroit and Boston do, by winning their final two games. Otherwise, the Flyers can make the playoffs by earning two more points (in their two games) than either Detroit or Boston earn in their single remaining game.

Friday's Games
None affecting playoff race

Saturday's Games
Buffalo at Isles
Detroit at Rangers
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia
Washington at St. Louis
Ottawa at Boston

Sunday's Games
Philadelphia at Isles
Anaheim at Washington
The Isles magic number for clinching 3rd place in the Metropolitan is 3. 
  • If the Rangers beat Detroit, the Isles will need to go 1-0-1 or 2-0-0 to finish 3rd.
  • If the Rangers lose in overtime or a shootout, the Isles will need to go 1-1-0, 0-0-2 (or better) to finish 3rd.
  • If the Rangers lose in regulation, the Isles will need at least one point in the final two games to finish 3rd.

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