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Magic Number Tracker: Friday, March 30

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Thursday was a fun day. It’s Good Friday, but wins like that make for an even better one, right?

Minnesota Wild v Nashville Predators 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 a franchise-record 111 points, and second-place Winnipeg’s maximum possible point total is 114, so the Preds’ magic number to clinch the Central Division title is 4 (114-111+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

The Preds are now within range of clinching both the Central Division and top seed in the Western Conference — with both attainable on Saturday. They also chipped away a little bit at the Presidents’ Trophy race, moving two points closer.

Dallas may officially bow out tonight. From there, it’s four teams for the final three spots unless the Wild have some sort of catastrophic collapse.

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: CLINCHED

Win Central Division: 4 (-4 from Thursday, current target: Winnipeg)

1st in Western Conference: 8 (-4, current target: Winnipeg)

Presidents’ Trophy: 9 (-2, current target: Boston)

And, about the Presidents’ Trophy race, which is dwindling by the day:

Tracking the tracker

Here’s how the numbers have progressed since the tracker began earlier this month:

The finish line is in sight for a couple of goals. Really.
Chris Brooks

Friday’s rooting interests (All game times Central)

With major props to Scott Foster, a really good story out of Chicago:

Playoff interests

Chicago @ Colorado (8 p.m.): Giving credit where it’s due, the Hawks helped Nashville out on Thursday. Since Colorado can push Anaheim out of the top 8, no such rooting interest exists tonight.

Los Angeles @ Anaheim (9 p.m.): Of course, Los Angeles would have to help out as well.

St. Louis @ Vegas (9:30 p.m.): Same goes for St. Louis.

Central interests

Nothing of note tonight.

Top seeding interests

Tampa Bay @ N.Y. Rangers (6 p.m.): Tampa dropped two key points to Boston on Tuesday and the top seed in the East is no longer in their control.

Games of no consequence

Toronto @ N.Y. Islanders (6 p.m.): Nah.

Carolina @ Washington (6 p.m.): Ditto.

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.


Will the Predators clinch the Central Division/Western Conference top seed on Saturday?

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