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Magic Number Tracker: Friday, March 9

Progress was made on Thursday, though few other teams cooperated.

Nashville Predators v Montreal Canadiens
How many wins in a row? Colton Sissons can tell you.
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/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.

(One caveat: every game assumes a regulation or overtime result for tiebreaker purposes. Shootouts will muddy the waters a bit, so the fewer, the better. We will, however, consider them when they are an immediate concern.)

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 97 points, and second-place Winnipeg’s maximum possible point total is 121, so the Preds’ magic number to clinch the Central Division title is 25 (121-97+1). It’s a combination of points gained by Nashville, plus points lost by the other team in question.

That number seems like a lot, but it could drop by as many as four points if both teams play on the same night.

Yesterday’s impacts

Everything dropped two more points with the Preds’ victory, and Nashville gained an additional point against wild-card hopefuls with Colorado’s overtime loss.

Also, every team is still mathematically alive, though those “tragic numbers” are dwindling by the day. Arizona’s first on the chopping block, five points away from extinction, though to be honest, their season’s been dead-on-arrival since that first month.

Vancouver’s nine points away from being officially out, while Edmonton’s 12 points away and Chicago is 14 points from saying goodbye for the year.

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.

Playoff spot: 12

1st wild card: 13

2nd in Central, home ice in first round: 17

Win Central Division: 25

1st in Western Conference: 25

Presidents’ Trophy: 30

Tracking the tracker

Past versions can be found here:

Thursday, March 8

Wednesday, March 7

Tuesday, March 6

Monday, March 5

Friday’s rooting interests

Those same Ducks that invaded Bridgestone Arena on Thursday are in Dallas tonight, part of a four-game appetizer. The Stars currently occupy the first wild-card spot, while Anaheim is third in the Pacific Division.

Playoff interests

Calgary @ Ottawa: The Flames are barely hanging in this section, so East over West applies.

Central interests

Anaheim @ Dallas: If the Ducks remain in third in the Pacific Division, they’d be on track for a Western Conference Final rematch. Dallas is still also a possible first-round opponent, too. Pick your poison, and go the opposite way.

Minnesota @ Vancouver: This one’s easy. Side with the Canucks, who can put the Preds a couple of points closer to guaranteeing home-ice in the first round.

Top seeding interests

Nothing to worry about tonight.

Games of no consequence

Detroit @ Columbus: You can go back to hating Detroit again.

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.


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