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Habs Magic Number 2021 - Countdown to the Playoffs


Manatee-X
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Hey there sports fans!

It's been a while since we've tracked our magic number, but with the post-season approaching us quickly we figured it was time that we brought it back so that we can all follow along with the ups and downs together on the big board.  What is it and how does it work?  I'll copy and paste the long version below, but the short version is this:

When the Magic Number hits 0, we're officially in the post-season!

It's just that simple!  So follow along at home, and feel free to use this thread for cheering, celebrating and/or commiserating.

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WHAT IS THE MAGIC NUMBER (MN)?

 

In the simplest terms, the MN is the number of points in the NHL standings the Habs need to earn to be GUARANTEED a playoff position. When the MN hits 0, we're officially in the playoffs!
 

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The question that the magic number answers is this: how many more points will the Habs need to earn in order to get into the playoffs in the absolute worst-case scenario?

What is that worst case scenario? That would be if every other team in our conference were to win every game they play for the rest of the season. That's why the starting number was 113 (In this strange 56-game season). If every team in the North Division wins each of their games then they will all end up with 112 points. We would therefore need 113 in order to guarantee at least fourth place.

Now obviously it's impossible for every other team to win every game, if nothing else because the teams will be playing games against one another. As those teams lose games the magic number will start to fall. Likewise, each Canadiens win will also cause a drop - the more points we already have, the fewer we'll need in order to reach that worst-case 4th place threshold.

 

WHEN DOES THE NUMBER DROP?

 

As mentioned above, the starting number was 113. Generally speaking:

  • It is reduced by 2 points every time the Canadiens win a game in regulation.
  • It is reduced by 1 point every time the Canadiens lose in overtime or in the shootout.
  • It is reduced by 2 points every time the 5th place team* loses a game in regulation.
  • It is reduced by 1 point every time the 5th place team* loses a game in OT or SO.

*the 5th place team as determined by the NL standings, disregarding the Canadiens. See below.

 

 

 

WHAT IS THIS "NL STANDINGS" TABLE THAT YOU'RE ALWAYS POSTING?

Simply put, you can think of it this way: the NL (or Number of Losses) standings table is what the actual standings would be at the end of the year if every team won every game remaining in their schedule.

 

As I mentioned earlier, the MN calculations assume that every other team is going to win every game. As a result, nothing really changes when a team wins - our worst-case assumption was proven correct and the MN stays the same. The magic number is only affected when a team loses, since each loss reduces their maximum possible point total. Because of this, we rework the NHL standings table in a way that prioritizes the number of losses (or NL). This lets us easily see who the 5th place team is that we're trying to beat. As long as we stay ahead of this 5th place "bubble team" we're going to get a playoff spot.

 

 

WASN'T THERE A BUNCH MATH INVOLVED IN ALL THIS?

Not for most of us!  As it turns out, though, the math isn't actually very complicated at all. The tough part is keeping the NL table up-to-date after each game in order to figure out who the "bubble team" is. The bubble team is the team that we need to beat in order to reach our goal of making the playoffs - if we're in the bottom half of the NL standings we need to beat the team that's currently in 5th. If we're in the top half of the NL standings then we need to stay ahead of the team that's currently in 5th. For other MNs (i.e. those that look for us to clinch the division or the conference) the "bubble team" becomes whichever team is currently holding the spot that we want to occupy.

Once you know who the bubble team (BT) is, however, the MN is very easy to find:

MN = (BT's current points) + (BT's games remaining * 2) - (Canadiens current points) + 1


 

WHAT ARE BONUS POINTS?

 

"Bonus points" is a term we use to refer to the MN dropping because of the results of a game that the Habs aren't involved in. Broadly speaking, we get 2 bonus points when the bubble team loses in regulation and 1 when they lose in OT or SO.

 

 

WHAT ARE ALL THESE OTHER NUMBERS?

 

In addition to the standard magic number, there are a few other things that we keep track of (some of which we'll get into nearer the end of the season):

 

MN Pace

This is the average pace that the MN has been dropping per Habs game. This includes both points that we earn ourselves and bonus points earned from other teams' losses. If the MN pace is above 2.0 then we're on pace to clinch a playoff spot at the end of the year.

 

MN EPD ( Estimated Party Date) NUMBER

This number is a prediction of when the MN will hit 0, based on the MN Pace to this point and the assumption that we'll continue on the same pace.

MN HOME ICE, DIVISION & CONFERENCE NUMBERS
Same principle is applied as the regular MN number. When these numbers hit 0 then we have clinched that honour.

MN T.O. NO GO NUMBER
A different twist to this number. When it reaches 0 then the LEAFS are officially ELIMINATED from the playoffs.
The same principle can be applied for any other team you may hate. Make a request and we will calculate it here.

And that's it! I tried to cover off just about everything that I could think of, but if you have any questions at all feel free to ask them in the forum or to send me a PM. Until next time, happy MNing!http://content.invisioncic.com/Mnhlcanad/emoticons/default_smile.png

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We'll start off with the inaugural NL table.  Funny enough, it's not the Flames that we should be worried about (at least not immediately).  Because of their COVID-shortened schedule (and the fact that they weren't able to lose the games that they didn't play), Vancouver is actually the team to beat right now in terms of qualifying.

The good news, then, is that we stand to net a 2 point drop to the MN if the Canucks lose in regulation tonight.  The bad news is that means we need to cheer for the Leafs.  I'll allow it just this once... as long as nobody cheers too hard.

 

  GP GR PTS NL
Toronto Maple Leafs 45 11 61 14.5
Winnipeg Jets 45 11 57 16.5
Edmonton Oilers 44 12 56 16
Montréal Canadiens 43 13 47 19.5
         
Vancouver Canucks 38 18 37 19.5
Calgary Flames 45 11 41 24.5
Ottawa Senators 46 10 36 28
         
         
      MN 27
      Pace 2
      MN EPD Game 56
      MN Home Ice 33
      MN Division 37
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I actually want Vancouver and Calgary to keep winning. It'll still be tough for them to catch us, but as I said elsewhere, the worst case scenario for us would be to back into the playoffs. Let them win and force us to either go into the playoffs hot or not go in at all.

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1 hour ago, BigTed3 said:

I actually want Vancouver and Calgary to keep winning. It'll still be tough for them to catch us, but as I said elsewhere, the worst case scenario for us would be to back into the playoffs. Let them win and force us to either go into the playoffs hot or not go in at all.

Yeah, I mean we're in a pretty comfortable middle ground right now.  Without a real odd streak from us or from one of those teams we're probably not going to move up or down.  It wouldn't hurt to have something to play for in the last few games.

With that said, I suspect that the team will be able to get themselves up to play Toronto anyway in that case.  So I'm not really that concerned either way

 

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9 hours ago, Manatee-X said:

Hey there sports fans!

It's been a while since we've tracked our magic number, but with the post-season approaching us quickly we figured it was time that we brought it back so that we can all follow along with the ups and downs together on the big board.  What is it and how does it work?  I'll copy and paste the long version below, but the short version is this:

When the Magic Number hits 0, we're officially in the post-season!

It's just that simple!  So follow along at home, and feel free to use this thread for cheering, celebrating and/or commiserating.

That's the magic number that I was looking for. Now we just have to figure it out.

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No movement last night - at least the Leafs lost ;)

On the plus side, the small division makes it really easy to figure out the bonus situation.  It's only Vancouver that we need to watch now, and that will likely remain the case for the foreseeable future.
 

  GP GR PTS NL
Toronto Maple Leafs 46 10 61 15.5
Winnipeg Jets 45 11 57 16.5
Edmonton Oilers 44 12 56 16
Montréal Canadiens 43 13 47 19.5
         
Vancouver Canucks 39 17 39 19.5
Calgary Flames 45 11 41 24.5
Ottawa Senators 46 10 36 28
         
         
      MN 27
      Pace 2
      MN EPD Game 56
      MN Home Ice 33
      MN Division 35
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MN now at 19,, this is the remaining schedules for us, the Nucks and Flames

Habs ( 9 games - 6 home and 3 away )

4 vs the Leafs ( 2 home and 2 away) - 1 vs the Jets (home) - 2 vs the Sens (home and away) - 2 vs the Oilers (home)

Vancouver ( games - 4 home and 10 away )

1 games vs the Sens (away) - 2 vs Leafs (away) - 5 vs Oilers ( 2 home and 3 away) - 2 vs Jets (away) - 4 vs the Flames ( 2 home and 2 away )

Calgary (8 games -  ( 4 home and 4 away )

2 vs Oilers (away) - 1 vs Jets (home) - 1 vs Sens (home) - 4 vs Nucks ( 2 home and 2 away )

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Also would be nice if the Sens can pull off a couple upsets on the Nucks in their four games head to head. I don't want to back in but i'd much rather the team be thinking about the team in front of them rather then the ones chasing.

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38 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Win the next 3 against the Flames and they're essentially done. Even if we win 2 of 3, I don't see them coming back. At present, we have 84% odds of making the playoffs, Canucks at 11%, and Flames at 5%.

I'm more worried about the Nucks ... Flames, it's in our hands. 

Flames we have a game in hand on and are up 8pts on.

Nucks however we don't face again, so if they go on a hot streak and make up 10 pts in their 5 games in hand on us it's a tie for pts but they'd technically have more wins.   

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10 hours ago, H_T_L said:

Also would be nice if the Sens can pull off a couple upsets on the Nucks in their four games head to head. I don't want to back in but i'd much rather the team be thinking about the team in front of them rather then the ones chasing.

 

I agree everyone wants to go into the playoffs on a winning streak or high note feeling good. I would like to see us be able to clinch early enough(no matter how) so maybe we can rest some players and maybe give some Primeau/Colfield some playing time. 

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Let's say the Habs go 5-7 down the stretch. That would give us 59 points.

Calgary is sitting on 41 points with 11 games to go. So they would need to go 9-2 to tie us.

Vancouver is sitting on 39 points with 17 games to go. They would need to go 10-7 to tie us and right now, they're 6 regulation wins behind us for the tie-break, so they'd likely have to go 10-6-1 to pass us.

If the Habs go 6-6, the Flames need to go 10-1 and the Canucks need to go 11-5-1.

If we go 7-5-1, the Flames are eliminated and the Canucks would need to go 12-4-1 to tie us and probably 13-4 to pass us.

 

So I personally look at it like this: if we play .500 hockey or better, then teams that are.500 teams right now would have to play significantly above their heads to keep pace with us and knock us out. And in the Canucks' case, they'd have to do it with a short-handed roster recovering from COVID. If we play less than .500 hockey, we still have a shot but ultimately we probably don't deserve to make the playoffs and we'd likely be going out pretty early in the playoffs if we go in on that bad a streak. So I really don't feel a threat towards making the playoffs... if we take care of our own business, we'll be in, and if we don't play well, then I'll be happier that we're going into the draft lottery rather than backing into the post-season. So it's a win-win to me.

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13 hours ago, H_T_L said:

With the MN now at 23,, this is the remaining schedules for us, the Nucks and Flames

Habs ( 12 games - 6 home and 6 away )

3 games vs the Flames (away) - 4 vs the Leafs ( 2 home and 2 away) - 1 vs the Jets (home) - 2 vs the Sens (home and away) - 2 vs the Oilers (home)

Vancouver ( 16 games - 5 home and 11 away )

3 games vs the Sens (1 home and 2 away) - 2 vs Leafs (away) - 5 vs Oilers ( 2 home and 3 away) - 2 vs Jets (away) - 4 vs the Flames ( 2 home and 2 away )

Calgary (11 games -  ( 7 home and 4 away )

3 games vs Habs (home) - 2 vs Oilers (away) - 1 vs Jets (home) - 1 vs Sens (home) - 4 vs Nucks ( 2 home and 2 away )

Updated

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Yes, as you guys pointed out, we are now down to 23.  It's nice to see the lowly Sens helping us for a change by taking down Vancouver and providing some bonus points, but the more important part is that we won our game as well.  Right now our fate is still entirely in our own hands, and it will stay that way as long as we keep winning.

With a double-header against Calgary and with Vancouver playing again tomorrow, we could be down as many as 6 more points come Sunday morning.  I'm certainly not going to count those chickens yet, but if we can pull it off it would go a long, long way!  The Jets also have another game against the Leafs, so if we can win our two we could also pull within a game of them on the NL standings.
 

  GP GR PTS NL
Toronto Maple Leafs 47 9 63 15.5
Edmonton Oilers 45 11 56 17
Winnipeg Jets 46 10 57 17.5
Montréal Canadiens 44 12 49 19.5
         
Vancouver Canucks 40 16 39 20.5
Calgary Flames 45 11 41 24.5
Ottawa Senators 47 9 38 28
         
         
      MN 23
      Pace 2.05
      MN EPD Game 54
      MN Home Ice 29
      MN Division 33
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MN now at 19,, this is the remaining schedules for us, the Nucks and Flames

Habs ( 9 games - 6 home and 3 away )

4 vs the Leafs ( 2 home and 2 away) - 1 vs the Jets (home) - 2 vs the Sens (home and away) - 2 vs the Oilers (home)

Vancouver ( 14 games - 4 home and 10 away )

1 vs the Sens (away) - 2 vs Leafs (away) - 5 vs Oilers ( 2 home and 3 away) - 2 vs Jets (away) - 4 vs the Flames ( 2 home and 2 away )

Calgary (8 games -  ( 4 home and 4 away )

2 vs Oilers (away) - 1 vs Jets (home) - 1 vs Sens (home) - 4 vs Nucks ( 2 home and 2 away )

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26 minutes ago, H_T_L said:

MN now at 19,, this is the remaining schedules for us, the Nucks and Flames

Habs ( 9 games - 6 home and 3 away )

4 vs the Leafs ( 2 home and 2 away) - 1 vs the Jets (home) - 2 vs the Sens (home and away) - 2 vs the Oilers (home)

Vancouver ( 14 games - 4 home and 10 away )

1 vs the Sens (away) - 2 vs Leafs (away) - 5 vs Oilers ( 2 home and 3 away) - 2 vs Jets (away) - 4 vs the Flames ( 2 home and 2 away )

Calgary (8 games -  ( 4 home and 4 away )

2 vs Oilers (away) - 1 vs Jets (home) - 1 vs Sens (home) - 4 vs Nucks ( 2 home and 2 away )

So, since we started keeping track, we've brought the MN down by 8. Slow go, but trending in the right direction. 

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