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The Skinny: Carolina 6, Isles 3 (Carolina wins series 4-1)

"The Skinny" By Eric Hornick Eastern Conference Round 1, Game 5 Carolina 6, Isles 3 Carolina Wins Series 4-1 School is out. Jack D...

Tuesday, April 04, 2023

The Skinny on the Playoff Race (thru games of April 4th)

 Tuesday's scores:     PIT 1 @ NJD 5
                                  BUF 1 @ FLA 2
                                  OTT 2 @ CAR 2 (OT)
The Wild Card Race
1.     Florida 87 points (34 RWs/38 ROWs/40 Ws) in 78 games (Thursday vs. Ottawa)
2. Isles 87 points (33 regulation wins, 38 ROWs, 39 Ws) in 78 games (Thursday vs. Tampa Bay)

3. Pittsburgh 86 points (29 RWs,37 ROWs, 38 Ws) in 78 games (Thursday vs. Minnesota)
4. Buffalo 81 points (28 RWs, 36 ROWs, 37 Ws) in 76 games (Thursday at Detroit)
5. Ottawa 81 points (29 RWs, 35 ROWs, 37 Ws) in 78 games (Thursday at Florida)

Remaining Schedule
Isles  Thu vs TB, Sat vs PHI, April 10 @ WAS, April 12 vs MTL  (3H/1R; one in playoffs, three out)
Pittsburgh Thu vs MIN, Sat @ DET, April 11 vs. CHI, April 13 @ CBJ (2H/2R; one in, two out, one on edge)
Florida, Thu vs OTT, Sat @ WAS, April 10 vs TOR, April 13 vs CAR (3H/1R; two in, one out, one on edge)
Buffalo Thu @ DET, Sat vs CAR, April 10 @NYR, April 11 @NJD, April 13 vs OTT, April 14 @CBJ (2H/4R; three in, one out, two on edge)
Ottawa Thu @ FLA, Sat vs TB, April 10 vs CAR, April 13 @Buf (2H/2R; two in, two on edge)

Isn't it Magic?
Florida can reach 95 if they win their final four games and Pittsburgh can reach 94 points if they win their last four games.  That makes the Isles' Magic number 9 over Florida and 8 over Pittsburgh.  Pittsburgh’s loss on Tuesday gave the Isles back control over their own destiny for making the playoffs, however Florida has one additional regulation win with the same number of points and games remaining as the Isles. If Florida wins their last four games in regulation, they would assure themselves of being the first wild card.

Isles tie-breaker scenarios
Florida currently has an advantage over the Isles with one more ROW and one more overall win.
The only way Pittsburgh wins a tie-break with the Isles is to win their final four games, all in regulation; if so they would finish with 33 RWs, 41 ROWs, 42 Ws and 94 points.  Isles would need to go 3-0-1 to finish with 94 points with at least one of the win wins in regulation to lock them out.
Buffalo can still finish with 93 points and as many as 34 RWs.  If they do that, the Isles would need to go 3-1-0 with two wins in regulation to lock them out.
Ottawa can still finish with 89 points and as many as 33 RWs.  One Islander regulation win in the final four games would lock them out.  Note that Ottawa has games left with both Florida and Buffalo.

Islander clinching numbers vs. other East Conference teams:
  DET (2), OTT (3). BUF (7)

The Isles have clinched at least 12th place in the East, as CBJ, MTL,PHI  and WAS cannot catch the Isles.  With one more win, they will clinch at least 11th in the East; if it is in regulation, they will clinch at least 10th place.  They will clinch a playoff spot by guaranteeing a finish above eight other Eastern Conference teams, and they will clinch the top wild card if they guarantee themselves a finish above nine other teams.

Wednesday's schedule:
No games that affect the East WC race.  However, Tampa Bay plays the Rangers at MSG (7:30 TNT).  This means that the Lightning will be on the back-end of a back-to-back when they face the Isles on Thursday.

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