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Magic number tracker: Sunday, March 25

This losing thing is getting old pretty quickly. Luckily, the Preds have another chance to stop that stuff on Sunday.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Minnesota Wild
Gonna need more of this and less of the other stuff today, boys.
Brad Rempel-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

Whatever that was in Minnesota, that was bad. On to Winnipeg, where the Preds can still lock up home-ice in the first round with a win and a Wild loss or an overtime/shootout loss and a Minnesota regulation loss.

The Preds’ magic number for the Presidents’ Trophy dropped by two points with Tampa Bay’s loss, but that’s merely a consolation prize right now.

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, with the current team they need to beat to do that. Remember: these are clean magic numbers (no tiebreakers assumed).

Playoff spot: CLINCHED

1st wild card: CLINCHED

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

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

1st in Western Conference: 11 (0, current target: Winnipeg, as the number to finish ahead of Vegas slipped to 10 last night)

Presidents’ Trophy: 15 (-2, 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:

Those flat lines mean the Preds need to do stuff. This week’s been kind of bad for the magic numbers.
Chris Brooks

Sunday’s rooting interests (All game times Central)

In addition to the showdown in Winnipeg, three of the four other games hold some interest to Preds fans.

Playoff interests

Vancouver @ Dallas (6 p.m.): The Stars are fading fast and if they don’t get two points here, chances are they’ll be out of the race by the end of next week.

Anaheim @ Edmonton (8:30 p.m.): The Ducks are currently ninth and it’d be nice if McDavid and the boys could keep them there.

Central interests

Boston @ Minnesota (6:30 p.m.): The Bruins can do the Preds a solid and take two points from the Wild.

Top seeding interests

Nothing of note here.

Games of no consequence

Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh (11:30 a.m.): We’re only here to see the Flyers give the Penguins the business.

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

How concerned are you after the Preds’ last two regulation losses?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    No worries, they’ll bounce back
    (28 votes)
  • 47%
    Eyebrows raised
    (40 votes)
  • 9%
    Biting nails
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    Pulling hair out
    (2 votes)
  • 7%
    OMG, the sky is falling
    (6 votes)
84 votes total Vote Now