Devils vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

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 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 68 20 27 -13 47
J. Faulk 73 14 32 -18 46
E. Lindholm 72 16 20 -21 36
J. Skinner 68 18 12 -22 30
V. Rask 71 11 19 -12 30
R. Nash 67 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 69 7 17 -13 24
J. McClement 73 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 45 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 37 4 15 -9 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 19 21 5 .910 2.43
A. Khudobin 8 15 5 .903 2.62