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Friday, April 01, 2016

The Skinny on the Playoff Race: Magic number stays at 5 as Boston and Detroit both win

Saturday won't be a playoff clinching day for the Isles and neither will Sunday.  Wins by the Bruins and Red Wings on Friday night mean that the magic number stays at 5.

(Through games of April 1)

Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 5)
xy Washington 55-16-6=116 points / 77 games (51 ROW) Beat Colorado 4-2
Pittsburgh        44-25-8=96 points / 77 games (40 ROW) Idle
NY Rangers     43-25-9=95 points / 77 games (40 ROW) Idle
ISLES              42-25-9=93 points / 76 games (37 ROW)  Idle
Philadelphia     38-25-13=89 points/ 76 games (35 ROW) Idle

Atlantic Teams in Wild Card Race
Boston             41-29-8=90 points/ 78 games (37 ROW)  Beat St. Louis 6-5
Detroit             39-28-11=89 points/ 78 games (37 ROW) Beat Minnesota 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)

  • 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: 4/2 @ 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  4/3 @ Chicago, 4/5 vs. Carolina, 4/7 vs. Detroit, 4/9 vs Ottawa
  • Detroit: 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)

Saturday's Games
Pittsburgh @ ISLES
Buffalo @ NY Rangers
Ottawa @ Philadelphia
Detroit @ Toronto
The Isles Magic Number to clinch a playoff spot will fall to:
  • 1, if the Isles win and the Red Wings lose in regulation
  • 2, if the Isles win and the Red Wings lose in overtime or a shootout OR the Isles lose in overtime or a shootout and the Red Wings lose in regulation
  • 3, if the Isles and Red Wings have the same result (both win, both lose in regulation, or both lose in overtime or a shootout)
  • 4, if the Isles lose in regulation and the Red Wings lose in overtime or a shootout OR the Isles lose in overtime or a shootout and the Red Wings win

When Can They Clinch?

Magic number is 5 vs. Detroit.
Isles host Pittsburgh Saturday and Tampa Bay Monday.  Detroit visits Toronto Saturday.
==> Isles would clinch spot Monday if they beat Pittsburgh and Tampa while Detroit loses in any fashion to Toronto OR the Isles go 1-0-1 vs. Pittsburgh and Tampa while Detroit loses in regulation to Toronto.
Magic number is 6 vs. Boston
Isles host Pittsburgh Saturday and Tampa Bay Monday. Boston is in Chicago on Sunday.
==> Isles would clinch spot Monday if they beat Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay while Boston loses to Chicago in regulation
Since the Bruins and Red Wings have a game left with each other (next Thursday), there are also some three-way combinations that would also see the Isles clinch on Monday: 
  • Isles beat Pittsburgh and Tampa, Boston loses to Chicago in overtime or a shootout and Detroit wins.  That would give the Isles 97 points and give Detroit and Boston a possible maximum of 97 as well.  However, only one could reach it because of their game against each other.
  • Isles earn 3 points vs Pittsburgh and Tampa, Boston loses to Chicago in regulation, and Detroit loses to Toronto in an overtime or shootout.  That would give the Isles 96 points and give Detroit and Boston a possible maximum of 96 as well.  However, only one could reach it because of their game against each other.

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