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

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72