Each day for the remainder of the regular season — or until everything is clinched, whichever comes first — 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
Well, all that for nothing. Nothing went right for the Preds, both at Bridgestone Arena and elsewhere, and all the magic numbers stayed put.
Worse, since the Preds lost in regulation and the Jets won, Nashville can’t win the Central until Monday at the earliest if they win in Tampa today.
As far as tragic numbers go, here we are:
Western Conference Playoff Race (Games Ending 3/31) pic.twitter.com/dBlbwlcpNU— Damian Echevarrieta (@Ech28) April 1, 2018
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 (unchanged from Saturday, current target is Winnipeg)
1st in Western Conference: 4 (0, current target: Winnipeg)
Presidents’ Trophy: 9 (0, current target: Boston)
And, about the Presidents’ Trophy race:
Presidents’ Trophy Race (Games Ending 3/31) pic.twitter.com/hE3AuTm3eb— Damian Echevarrieta (@Ech28) April 1, 2018
Tracking the tracker
Here’s how the numbers have progressed since the tracker began last month:
Sunday’s rooting interests (All game times Central)
For those of you celebrating, have a happy Easter. For those of you who are not, happy Sunday. Every team in action today (except Montreal) is either in or factors into the playoff race. With the Preds in Tampa tonight, here’s the rest of the five-game schedule to open April (not fooling, it’s here):
Colorado @ Anaheim (8 p.m.): You want the Ducks out? You need the Avs to win in regulation.
Nothing of note here today.
Top seeding interests
Boston @ Philadelphia (11:30 a.m.): The heavyweights get started early today.
Games of no consequence
New Jersey @ Montreal (6 p.m.): Can the Habs play a little spoiler, or do they wind up with egg on their faces?
Washington @ Pittsburgh (6:30 p.m.): Washington wins the Metro with a win in regulation. It’s that simple.
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 do the Preds get on the final 3-game road trip of the regular season?
This poll is closed