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Magic Number Tracker: Friday, March 23

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About last night...nah, let’s forget it and move on.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Nashville Predators
Kind of how all of us feel this morning after Thursday’s...um...attempt.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Each day for the remainder of the regular season, we’ll update two things – what the Preds’ magic number is for playoff positioning, and which results are preferential for the best possible playoff positioning.

How the magic number is calculated

The magic number is the difference between the Preds’ current point total and the maximum point total of whatever team is in the spot of reference (i.e., whichever playoff spot is in question), plus one point to avoid tiebreakers.

For example, Nashville currently sits at 106 points, and second-place Winnipeg’s maximum possible point total is 116, so the Preds’ magic number to clinch the Central Division title is 11 (116-106+1). It’s a combination of points gained by Nashville, plus points lost by the other team in question.

The number could drop by as many as four points if both teams play on the same night, or even five if the Preds clinch the tiebreaker over a certain team.

Yesterday’s impacts and today’s clinching scenarios

So that was pretty much a bust. Preds didn’t do anything to help themselves with that stinker, but hey, c’est la vie.

Tampa Bay pulled even with Nashville on points in the Presidents’ Trophy race, but the Preds have a game in hand. Since they’re two ROW behind the Lightning, tying the Bolts won’t cut it.

Also, the dream of keeping the Ducks out is beginning to fade a bit as they’ve taken a 3-point lead on the Blues for the final wild-card spot. It’s not dead yet, but they’re gonna need some Ls to get an early tee time next month.

At least Vegas dropped a point with that overtime loss, so that’s something.

Nothing of note can be clinched tonight. Next chance for that to happen is Saturday in Minnesota, and the Preds could clinch home-ice in the first round without needing any other help.

As far as tragic numbers go, here we are:

Current magic numbers to clinch

These numbers are how many points the Preds need (either by their wins or others’ losses) to guarantee a finish in that spot, basically climbing the next rung up the ladder, if you will. Remember: these are clean magic numbers (no tiebreakers assumed).

We’re also adding the team that’s currently occupying the spot needed to clinch that goal - in other words, the current target for that spot. (Thanks to zodloungetom for the suggestion.)

Playoff spot: CLINCHED

1st wild card: CLINCHED

2nd in Central, home ice in first round: 3 (unchanged from Thursday, current target is Minnesota)

Win Central Division: 11 (0, current target: Winnipeg)

1st in Western Conference: 11 (-1, current target: Vegas)

Presidents’ Trophy: 17 (0, current target: Tampa Bay)

And, about the Presidents’ Trophy race:

Tracking the tracker

Here’s how the numbers have dropped (or in this week’s case, leveled off) since the tracker began earlier this month:

Well, at least one number dropped on Thursday.
Chris Brooks

Friday’s rooting interests (All game times Central)

There are five games this evening. Two of them have major implications for both sides (and for the Preds).

Playoff interests

Vancouver @ St. Louis (7 p.m.): A critical night for the Blues if they hope to keep within striking distance in the wild-card race.

Central interests

Anaheim @ Winnipeg (7 p.m.): It’s move closer to the Central title vs. keep the Ducks out. Vote on which one you’re siding with in the poll below. What we can all agree on however is this: Just settle it in 60 minutes, please.

Top seeding interests

Boston @ Dallas (7:30 p.m.): A Dallas win with an Anaheim loss (in regulation) would be a nice combo, right? I’d like fries with that.

Games of no consequence

Montreal @ Buffalo (6 p.m.): Who wants it less?

New Jersey @ Pittsburgh (6 p.m.): New Jersey certainly needs the points with Florida nipping at the Devils’ heels (and holding a game in hand).

More goodies

Sports Club Stats does a great job of breaking down the percentages of where teams will finish and who they could play in the postseason. Check it out here.

Hockey Reference gives you more numbers to peruse, and it can be found here.

Poll

Pick your side: Anaheim or Winnipeg?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Anaheim
    (39 votes)
  • 64%
    Winnipeg
    (70 votes)
109 votes total Vote Now