The Stretch Drive for 55 (or what does must win mean)

Alright, boring day with no game scheduled so I decided to map out the playoff scenario in terms of wins for the rest of the year. Previously 55 points was put out as a target for teams to make the playoff, here's what that would mean for team records as of now.

Team - (Current points, ROW's, Games Remaining) - Record: to 55 points (W-L-OT)

Caps: 46, 19, 7 - Record 4-2-1

Leafs: 49, 22, 8 - Record 3-5-0

Sens: 46, 16, 8 - Record 4-3-1

Isles: 46, 18, 7 - Record: 4-2-1

Rangers: 44, 16, 8 - Record: 5-2-1


Jets: 44, 20, 6 - Record: 5-0-1

Devils 40, 13, 8 - Record: 7-0-1

So the good news is the Rangers can just about control their own destiny to just make the play-offs. 5-2-1 is tough, but it would force the folks looking in to post nearly perfect records for the rest of the season. 6-1-1 would make it impossible for them to be caught.

Although not a guarantee in any way of wins the Rangers do have the benefit of the easiest remaining schedule based on the average rank of remaining opponents (higher is better), unfortunately the Isles have a similar end to the year:

Caps: 6.43

Leafs: 7.25

Sens: 6.63

Isles: 10.57

Rangers: 11.75


Jets: 8.33

Devils 7.3

Of the remaining Ranger games, only Isles and Devils are actually in the playoff picture. But here is the bad news, in terms of ROWs the Rangers are tied with Ottawa for the second lowest, only the devils have fewer and the Isles are the only ones who can be reasonably caught. So if the Rangers slip to something like a 4-3-1 or 3-4-1 the Jets have a definite opportunity to tie the Rangers in points, but win a tiebreaker from ROW's. So if the Rangers finish with a mediocre record, and the Jets play well, the Rangers have to hope for either the Caps, Sens, or Isles to have a bad record and get behind in points.

And finally a crazy scenario, that I thought was more funny than likely (with some terrible shoot-outs for one team), remaining records:

Caps: 2-1-4 (54 points)

Rangers: 5-3-0 (54 points)

Jets: 5-1-0 (54 points)

All teams would be tied in points, Jets would beat the tiebreaker for ROWs against the Rangers, but they would also beat the Caps and win their division finishing third. Ranger's and Caps tie ROWs, Rangers win head to head record and eliminate Caps. But if. . .

Caps: 3-4-0 (52 points)

Rangers: 4-3-1 (53 points)

Jets: 2-0-4 (52 points)

Tie in points and ROWs between the Jets and Caps, division would then be decided by who wins the second last game of the season between the two, if Caps win they would win the division, then the Ranger's would beat out Jets with points.

Either scenario is not likely but I think it's interesting how two tie point scenarios could affect both division winners and who gets eliminated from the play-offs with wins vs ties in this year's tight race.

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