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Magic Number Tracker: Monday, March 26

That wasn’t an ideal weekend, but at least for the sake of this exercise, the magic numbers moved a little on Sunday.

Winnipeg Jets v Nashville Predators
“Save it, boys, you might need it later.”
Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

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 107 points, and second-place Winnipeg’s maximum possible point total is 116, so the Preds’ magic number to clinch the Central Division title is 10 (116-107+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

Basically, the weekend was a bust. Two chances to clinch home ice in the first round and it didn’t happen. What’s worse is this team needs a little rest and they’re not going to get it, playing at least every other night for the remainder of the regular season. Next chance to clinch anything is on Tuesday, at home and against the Wild.

Silver lining: the magic number dropped by two with the Preds’ shootout loss, coupled with Minnesota’s overtime loss, so the next point either way will do the trick.

Anaheim has the No. 3 spot in the Pacific - for now. Los Angeles is two points back and both teams have six games remaining. Hold on to your butts, the Preds won’t know who they’re playing until the last night of the regular season in all likelihood.

The Stars are all but cooked after Sunday’s loss. They’re not going to win a tiebreaker over anybody at this point, so it’s win out or bust for Dallas.

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: 1 (-2 from Sunday, current target is Minnesota)

Win Central Division: 10 (-1, current target: Winnipeg)

1st in Western Conference: 10 (-1, current target: Winnipeg)

Presidents’ Trophy: 14 (-1, 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:

That’s a little better.
Chris Brooks

Monday’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

San Jose @ Chicago (7:30 p.m.): Six points back with seven to play, the Sharks could still make the Pacific interesting with some help.

Calgary @ Los Angeles (9 p.m.): The game of musical chairs continues with the Kings currently on the outside looking in. But they’re close to clinching the ROW tiebreaker over the Ducks, so keep that in mind in the next few days.

Central interests

Nothing to see here tonight.

Top seeding interests

Colorado @ Vegas (9 p.m.): Avs, you know what to do.

Arizona @ Tampa Bay (6:30 p.m.): Yotes, you know what to do.

Games of no consequence

Buffalo @ Toronto (6 p.m.): Toronto’s all but in at this point.

Florida @ N.Y. Islanders (6 p.m.): Panthers need the points to close back within one of the Devils in the East.

Ottawa @ Carolina (6 p.m.): Can the Canes keep the fight going even though it’s pretty much a formality they’ll miss the playoffs?

Washington @ N.Y. Rangers (6:30 p.m.): Caps don’t want to make the Metro race more crowded than it already is.

Detroit @ Montreal (6:30 p.m.): Definition of a meaningless game.

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.


How many points will the Preds get in the upcoming homestand?

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