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The Skinny on the Playoff Chase

It was a relatively quiet Sunday in the Eastern Conference playoff race.  Philadelphia scored four goals in the third period to blow open a ...

Sunday, April 03, 2016

The Skinny on the Playoff Race: Magic Number 4 as Late Bruin Rally Fails; Pens Beat Flyers

The Bruins rallied from a 6-0 deficit but fell 6-4 in Chicago Sunday, trimming the Isles' magic number to 4.  
Elsewhere, the Penguins beat Philadelphia 6-2; the red-hot Pens are 11-1 in the last 12. With the win, the Penguins clinch at least the top wild card.  There will no Penguin-Capital match-up in the first round.

(Through afternoon games on April 3)
Metropolitan Division Standings (Top 5)
xy Washington 55-17-6=116 points / 78 games (51 ROW) Idle
x Pittsburgh     46-25-8=100 points / 79 games (43 ROW) Beat Philly 6-2
NY Rangers     43-26-9=95 points / 78 games (40 ROW) Idle
ISLES              42-26-9=93 points / 77 games (37 ROW) Idle
Philadelphia     39-26-13=91 points/ 78 games (36 ROW) Lost to Pittsburgh 6-2

Atlantic Teams in Wild Card Race
Detroit             40-28-11=91 points/ 79 games (38 ROW) Idle
Boston             41-30-8=90 points/ 79 games (37 ROW) Lost to Chicago 6-4
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    99 points/ 40 ROW
Detroit             97 points/41 ROW
Boston            96 points/40 ROW

Remaining Schedule:
  • Washington:  4/5 vs. ISLES, 4/7 vs. Pittsburgh, 4/9 at St. Louis, 4/10 vs. Anaheim
  • Pittsburgh: 4/5 @ Ottawa, 4/7 @ Washington, 4/9 @ Philadelphia
  • NY Rangers: 4/4 @ Columbus, 4/5 vs. Tampa Bay, 4/7 vs. ISLES, 4/9 vs. Detroit    
  • ISLES: 4/4 vs. Tampa Bay, 4/5 @ Washington, 4/7 @ NY Rangers, 4/9 vs. Buffalo, 4/10 vs. Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia: 4/6 at Detroit, 4/7 vs. Toronto, 4/9 vs Pittsburgh, 4/10 @ ISLES
  • Detroit:  4/6 vs. Philadelphia, 4/7 at Boston, 4/9 @ NY Rangers
  • Boston: 4/5 vs. Carolina, 4/7 vs. Detroit, 4/9 vs Ottawa
On Their Own
If the Isles go 2-3-0 they will clinch a playoff spot regardless of what everyone else does.
If the Isles win their last five, they will finish no lower than third regardless of what everyone else does.

Magic Number
The Isles' magic number is clinch a playoff berth is 4 over Boston, 5 over Detroit,  7 over Philadelphia, 11 against the Rangers and 14 against Pittsburgh.  Any combination of Islander points gained and Bruins points lost totaling 4 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)

Monday's Games
Tampa Bay at ISLES
NY Rangers at Columbus

When Can We Clinch?
Tuesday -- if the Isles beat Tampa Bay and Washington
 OR 
the Isles get 3 points vs. Tampa Bay/Washington and Boston loses in any manner to Carolina 
OR 
the Isles get 2 points vs. Tampa Bay/Washington and Boston loses in regulation to Carolina 

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