06 April 2009

Wild Playoff Chances...

So after yesterday's heartbreaking last-minute loss to Detroit the Wild find themselves 3 points out of a playoff spot with 3 games remaining. Here is my look at the race from 7th-11th in the Western Conference...

Team (Points, Wins): (Games left) Remaining Schedule
ANA (88, 41): (2) Fr v. DAL, Sa @PHX
NSH (86, 39): (3) Tu v. CHI, Th @DET, Fr @MIN
STL (86, 38): (3) Tu @PHX, Fr CBJ, Su @COL
MIN (83, 37): (3) Tu DAL, Fr NSH, Sa @CBJ
EDM (83, 37): (3) Tu LA, Fr CGY, Sa @CGY

So the Wild make the playoffs if...

I. If the Wild go 3-0-0 and earn 6 points THEN they also need TWO of the following
*STL get held to a total of 2 points or fewer in their final 3 games
*NSH get held to a total of 2 points or fewer in their final 3 games
*ANA get 0 points in their final 2 games

OR
II. If the Wild go 2-0-1 and earn 5 points THEN they need ALL of the following
*STL get held to a total of 1 points or fewer in their final 3 games (2 points if STL doesn't win either game, "both euphorian points"+)
*NSH get held to a total of 1 point or fewer in their final 3 games (this does necessitate the Wild beat NSH on Friday)
*EDM gets 5 points or fewer in their final 3 games

+euphorian points a term coined by KSTP-AM's Joe Soucheray referring to overtime points. You get this if you understand what "euphorians" or "the mystery" mean (click here for the official "Garage Logic" glossary).

OR
III. If the Wild go 2-1-0 for 4 points in their last 3 games THEN they need all of the following
*STL get held to a total of 1 points or fewer in their final 3 games
*NSH gets 0 points in their final 3 games (this does necessitate the Wild beat NSH in regulation on Friday)
*EDM gets 4 points or fewer in their final 3 games

OR
IV. If the Wild go 1-0-2 for 4 points in their last 3 games THEN they need all of the following
*STL gets 0 points in their final 3 games
*NSH gets 0 points in their final 3 games (this does necessitate the Wild beat NSH in regulation on Friday)
*EDM gets 3 points or fewer in their final 3 games or if EDM also goes 1-0-2)

All the above factor in the first two tiebreakers (wins and season series) in two team scenarios. There may be other ways the Wild get in if there's a 3 way tie for 8th.

My Predictions...
Anaheim's schedule is too easy, so I would say it's unlikley they lose out.
St. Louis's schedule also looks pretty easy, but they do have two road games and their toughest opponent is at home (Columbus).

The Wild could easily win out their their schedule. as their toughest game is their last one @Columbus and if the Wild are still alive, undoubtedtly they'd have more to play for than Columbus who will have probably already clinched their spot. Otherwise I like the Wild at Home against both Dallas and Nashville.

Edmonton has Calgary twice, the are included in this because if all goes right for the Wild with St. Louis and Columbus, hypothetically the Oliers could still snipe the Wild if they have a better finish, but two games against division leading Calgary seem to make that a long shot for the Oil.

In short I predict
7) Anaheim
8) St. Louis
9) Minnesota
10) Nashville
11) Edmonton

Tommorow nights schedule will be telling
Chicago at Nashville
St. Louis at Phoenix
Dallas at Minnesota

If all goes well tommorow for Minnesota (win over DAL and losses by STL and NSH) they will look in better shape and the area sportswriters may wish they haven't jumped off the ledge over this team for the 5th time this month. But if the Wild lose and either STL or NSH wins the Wild could be eliminated.

Next Monday...
When the regular season's over I will collect all the data and calculate the stadings under the old format (2W-1T-0L) systems to see who got the most help from "euphorian points" this year.

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