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Friday, April 01, 2016

The Skinny on the Playoff Race: Isles cut magic number to 5 and close in on NY Rangers

The Isles defeated Columbus on Thursday to cut their magic number to 5; they also got help from Carolina, who beat the Rangers.  Meanwhile, Pittsburgh jumped over the Rangers with a 5-2 win over Nashville.

(Through games of March 31)

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 5)
xy Washington 54-16-6=114 points / 76 games (50 ROW) Idle
Pittsburgh        44-25-8=96 points / 77 games (40 ROW) Beat Nashville 5-2
NY Rangers     43-25-9=95 points / 77 games (40 ROW) Lost to Carolina 4-3
ISLES              42-25-9=93 points / 76 games (37 ROW)  Beat Columbus 4-3
Philadelphia     38-25-13=89 points/ 76 games (35 ROW) Idle

Atlantic Teams in Wild Card Race
Boston             40-29-8=88 points/ 77 games (36 ROW)  Idle
Detroit             38-28-11=87 points/ 77 games (36 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   105 points/ 45 ROW
  • ISLES             105 points/ 43 ROW
  • Philadelphia    101 points/ 41 ROW
  • Boston            98 points/41 ROW
  • Detroit             97 points/41 ROW
Remaining Schedule:
  • Washington: 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: 4/2 vs. Buffalo, 4/4 @ Columbus, 4/5 vs. Tampa Bay, 4/7 vs. ISLES, 4/9 vs. Detroit     
  • Pittsburgh: 4/2 @ISLES, 4/3 vs. Philadelphia, 4/5 @ Ottawa, 4/7 @ Washington, 4/9 @ Philadelphia
  • ISLES: 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: 4/2 vs. Ottawa, 4/3 @ Pittsburgh, 4/6 at Detroit, 4/7 vs. Toronto, 4/9 vs Pittsburgh, 4/10 @ ISLES
  • Boston  4/1 @ St. Louis, 4/3 @ Chicago, 4/5 vs. Carolina, 4/7 vs. Detroit, 4/9 vs Ottawa
  • Detroit: 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 2-3-1 they will clinch a playoff spot regardless of what everyone else does.
  • If the Isles win their last 6  (including a regulation win over Pittsburgh) they will finish 2nd regardless of what everyone else does.

Magic Number
The Isles’ magic number is clinch a playoff berth is 5 over Detroit, 6 over Boston, 9 over Philadelphia, 13 against the Rangers and 14 against Pittsburgh.  Any combination of Islander points gained and Red Wings points lost totaling 5 will guarantee that the Isles finish ahead of Detroit.

The Isles have clinched at least a 9th place finish in the East.  The Isles also need to finish ahead of Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, the Rangers OR Pittsburgh in order to clinch a playoff berth.
(Top 3 in each division, plus next two teams make the playoffs)

Friday's Games
Boston @ St. Louis
Minnesota @ Detroit
Washington @ Colorado

The Isles Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot will fall to:
  •   3, if the Red Wings lose in regulation
  •   3, if the Red Wings lose in overtime or a shootout AND the Bruins lose in regulation       
  •   4, if the Red Wings lose in overtime or a shootout  OR the Bruins lose in regulation

Saturday's Games
Pittsburgh @ ISLES
Buffalo @ NY Rangers
Ottawa @ Philadelphia
Detroit @ Toronto

When Can They Clinch?

Magic number is 5 vs. Detroit.
Isles host Pittsburgh Saturday.  Detroit hosts Minnesota Friday and visits Toronto Saturday.
==> Isles would clinch spot Saturday if they beat Pittsburgh and Detroit goes 0-1-1 OR if they lose in overtime or a shootout and Detroit loses twice in regulation.

Magic number is 6 vs. Boston
Isles host Pittsburgh Saturday. Boston is in St. Louis on Friday and Chicago on Sunday.
==> Isles would clinch spot Sunday if they beat Pittsburgh and Boston loses twice in regulation

Since the Bruins and Red Wings have a game left with each other (next Thursday), there are some three-way combinations that would also see the Isles clinch on Sunday: 
  • Isles beat Pittsburgh, Boston goes 0-1-1 and Detroit goes 1-1-0 (or 0-0-2).  That would give the Isles 95 points and give Detroit and Boston a possible maximum of 95 as well.  However, only one could reach it because of their game against each other.
  • Isles lose to Pittsburgh in an overtime or shootout, Boston goes 0-2-0 and Detroit goes 0-1-1.  That would give the Isles 94 points and give Detroit and Boston a possible maximum of 94 as well.  However, only one could reach it because of their game against each other.

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