The Remaining Schedule
now let's get down to the raw numbers here;
25 games to go...
for those still dreaming of the central division crown:
...if detroit played at their current red-hot pace for the rest of the season they would finish with 118 points.. so IF they did that, it would mean we'd have to go an impossible 23-2-0 from here on out to simply tie them at that pace.
...if detroit simply plays .500 hockey (which admittedly isn't going to happen) for their last 26 games, they would wind up with 107 points, meaning we'd have to go 18-7-0 to beat them for the central division
...in the most likely scenario, say detroit plays 'only' .600 hockey from here to the end of the season, they wind up with 112 points. which means to beat them out we'd have to go 20-4-1 to finish with 113... so we'd have to play even better hockey than we did the first 25 games to start the season, which no one can realistically expect...
for the actual numbers probably needed;
anything short of us going about 18-7 to finish the season, means we're not going to have a chance to win the division no matter how detroit plays.
so where we finish is most likely going to come down to this;
...to finish 4th in the west.... will take 100 points at the minimum... means we would have to go 14-11-0 to finish at 100. this to me is the legitimate realistic goal at this point and time. would be a huge step in the development and advance of this franchise to get to this 'magic' number of 100 points, and would get us a home ice advantage series against probably either VAN, EDM, or COL.
..to finish 5th in the west... go 13-12 and finish with 98 points and we probably finish 5th and play one of those teams but with them with home ice advantage
...to finish 6th in the west... play slightly less than .500 hockey at say 12-13 and we finish at 96 points, and probably have to play Calgary (or worse, Dallas) in the first round
...to finish 7th... struggle along at 11-14 and we're probably 7th with 94 points, where we most likely draw Dallas in round one. certainly where i wouldn't want to be.
....to finish 8th.. go 10-15, the same record we're had over our last ten games pro-rated out over the rest of the season, and you finish with 92 points.. one more than last year. Anaheim(the current 9th place team) is currently on pace to finish with 92 points right now. so a 10-15 record actually puts us at risk of failing to make the playoffs. even if you sneak in here, you play detroit in the first round of course, something no sane person really wants to do.
so basically, every win over 10 for the rest of the year, will probably raise us one spot in the playoff finish.... so every game from here on out is of course, HUGE...
we need to start tonight
i wish more people realized that not making the playoffs is a very real possibility, especially given how tough our schedule is.
I think it would be a huge accomplishment to finish 6th and not have to play Dallas or Detroit in the first round. Stylistically speaking, Minny, Dallas, and Detroit are who I'd least like to see us play in a first round series.
Here is a breakdown of teams with points and conference standing...
Columbus (48, 13th): 2 home
Chicago (43, 14th): 1 home/2 road
Vancouver (69, 6th): 2 home/1 road
Edomonton (67, 7th): 1 road
Calgary (73, 3rd): 1 home/1 road
San Jose (60, 11th): 1 road
Phoenix (57, 12th): 2 home/1 road
St. Louis (39, 15th): 2 home/2 road
Detroit (81, 1st): 2 home/1 road
Anaheim (63, 9th): 1 road
Los Angeles (65, 8th): 1 road
Minnesota (62, 10th): 1 home
Good: 12 of our final 25 games are against PHX, CBJ, STL, and CHI (12-15th in the west). 7 of those 12 are at home.
Bad: We still have one western canada swing with SJ tacked on the end and one west coast swing with Detroit tacked on the start.
Our worst looking stretch: 10 games from 3/2-3/21, 7 of which (4R-3H) are Detroit, Calgary, Vancouver, and the Oil. (This stretch will determine whether we make the playoffs, imo)
Our best looking stretch: Games 74-81. 8 straight games from 4/1-4/15 against teams 10th or worse in the west (CBJ, STL, CHI, PHX, MIN) 5 of them at home. (This stretch will determine our seeding if we survive the west trips, imo)
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