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Breaking Down Remaining Playoff Scenarios

Friday, 04.8.2011 / 10:35 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Breaking Down Remaining Playoff Scenarios
The Hurricanes are usually in the thick of a playoff race at the end of the regular season, but rarely have they experienced this many ups and downs.

Paul Branecky
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They’ve played as well as they have all season down the stretch, posting a record of 8-2-1 since March 15, which marks the most wins they’ve had in any 11-game stretch. Still, with ground needing to be made up, each point dropped and each point gained by their competition has been a serious setback – enough to nearly end their postseason aspirations.

The rollercoaster ride has never been wilder than the last five days. According to Sportsclubstats.com, the Canes’ chance of making the playoffs heading into Sunday’s game against Buffalo was 42.5 percent. An overtime loss in that game, coupled with the New York Rangers’ comeback win against Boston the following day, pegged the number down to a season-low 7.7 percent. A few days later, with a Canes win over Detroit and a Rangers loss to Atlanta, it’s back up to 36.9.

That swing will be even more dramatic after the Hurricanes’ game against Atlanta tonight. Win and they’re up another 25 percent. Lose, and the odds go down just as much.

Even with just two games left, there are still multiple scenarios that would see Carolina qualify for the playoffs. Thanks to the Rangers’ loss, they’re guaranteed of a spot by winning both games and avoiding shootouts. Depending on what the Rangers do against New Jersey on Saturday afternoon, they may only need to win one.

Here’s a breakdown of the possible outcomes and what they would mean for Carolina, taking into account the first tiebreaker (regulation or overtime wins) and the fact that Carolina owns the second tiebreaker by having earned more points in the season series with the Rangers:

CAROLINA RESULT
PLAYOFFS?
2-0-0 (wins in OT or regulation)
YES – CAR has more points or ROW tiebreak
2-0-0 (one win in shootout)
YES – CAR has more points or head-to-head tiebreak
2-0-0 (both wins in shootout)
NEED HELP – NYR must lose (fewer points) or win in SO (ROW tiebreak)
1-0-1
NEED HELP – NYR must lose (fewer points) or lose in OT or SO (ROW tiebreak)
1-1-0
NEED HELP – NYR must lose in regulation (ROW tiebreak)
0-0-2
NEED HELP – NYR must lose in regulation (head-to-head tiebreak)
0-1-1
NO
0-2-0
NO

Carolina could still pass Buffalo and finish seventh if Buffalo loses their final two games in regulation. Carolina would not pass Buffalo on a tiebreaker unless they can make up an 18-goal disadvantage in goal differential, which is the third tiebreaker. Carolina can do no better than match Buffalo in the first two tiebreakers, as the two teams tied their season series with five points apiece.


SCHEDULE

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81