I don't buy this theory though I'm certainly in the minority. You need to play to get 2 points yourself and let everything else work itself out. The Oilers have put themselves in a position where they need help. Why would you take a chance late in the game where you could piss away a point and a chance at the bonus point because you're worried about the other team you're playing against? Tonight is a perfect example and Horcoff even said in the second intermission how they wanted to take it in regulation. Is Columbus really going to be the team standing in their way of the playoffs? It's not the end of the world if CBJ picked up a point tonight as long as the Oilers got their 2. The Oilers just need to keep getting the 2.
It's absolutely in the Oilers best interests to keep any of the seven teams fighting for two playoff spots from getting ANY points - but you're right, not at the expense of losing the points for yourself.
San Jose up 2-0 with 5 mins left over the Wings they'll jump to 38 points.
Looks like St Louis (36) is the team the Oil are chasing 3 points back (33)
In a sense, considering it was a regulation win, the Detroit/San Jose result could be favorable. With their next game against Chicago, it's very possible we could be three points back of them with a game in hand on Sunday night.
So basically, three playoff spots could be contested if the following scenario happens:
1) Edmonton beats Vancouver on Saturday (regulation, OT or SO)
2) Phoenix beats San Jose on Saturday (regulation, OT or SO)
3) Chicago beats Detroit on Sunday (in regulation).
I know the SJ-Det game looks like it didn't exactly go in our favor. But it did keep the Wings from jumping out to an even bigger lead. I think those last three playoff spots are all up for grabs (albeit there are 8 teams in the hunt for them).
MN PTS - Magic Number Points
MN W - Magic Number Wins
RMN PTS - Reverse Magic Number Points
RMN W - Reverse Magic Number Wins
For every point the Oilers receive or for every point that an opposition lose, their magic numbers go down. This magic number is set up to represent pure elimination, which means if the number reaches 0 the Oilers are guaranteed to finish at least 1 point ahead of the opponent so no tie breakers will be assessed. At 0.5 tie breakers apply.
Reverse Magic Number
For Every point the Oilers lose or for every point the opponents gain this number will go down. This magic number is set up to represent pure elimination, which means if the number reaches 0 the Oilers are guaranteed to finish at least 1 point below of the opponent so no tie breakers will be assessed. At 0.5 tie breakers apply.
Tie Breaker Rules
1. The fewer number of games played (i.e., superior points percentage).
2. The greater number of games won, excluding games won in the Shootout. This figure is reflected in the ROW column.
3. The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs. If two clubs are tied, and have not played an equal number of home games against each other, points earned in the first game played in the city that had the extra game shall not be included. If more than two clubs are tied, the higher percentage of available points earned in games among those clubs, and not including any "odd" games, shall be used to determine the standing.
4. The greater differential between goals for and against for the entire regular season. NOTE: In standings a victory in a shootout counts as one goal for, while a shootout loss counts as one goal against.
Todays Important games:
Anaheim at Chicago
Minnesota* at Dallas
Columbus at Calgary*
Chicago/Anaheim really doesn't matter, but from the other games we need a Wild win over the stars and a Flames win over Columbus. But more importantly we hope for no 3 point games.
With 15 games left I'm liking the schedule for the Oilers. They have 1 game against a team fighting for their playoff lives (Phoenix). 4 games against teams with no chance to make the playoffs (Calgary, Colorado). 10 games against teams that pretty much have a playoff spot locked up ( Vancouver, Minnesota, Anaheim, Chicago, LA). If this team plays with heart and intensity over these last 15 games then 7th or 8th seed should be possible.
Of course it is possible for the Oilers to still make the playoffs if they work hard. The key right now are if any games remain against the few teams in front of them. Those games need to be won in regulation to get the two points to jump up close to tie or better with those teams. After that it is only an issue of a point or 2 than any of those teams to round out the season and the Oilers could make it in.
Regulation wins against any team ranked around 5th or lower in the standings are incredibly important to the Oilers to make sure they don't give out too many additional points to those teams
Whether or not the Oil actually make the playoffs, I really believe these meaningful games they're playing are erasing the losing culture that has followed around this team the last few years, and it's creating an attitude of playoff expectations for seasons to come.
Hopefully this little run can keep going and they continue to grow and learn about what it takes to win, night in and night out.