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2014-2015 Magic Number (MN)


Manatee-X

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Heya folks, it's almost that time of the year again! Flying_Lion has once again graciously offered to keep us up to date with bonus points and tables, so a big pre-emptive tanks to him.

If you're wondering what the Magic Number is, why we follow it or how it works, read on: I'll post the intro from last year. Otherwise, keep fit, have fun, and enjoy our run to 0. :)

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And we're back! Real, meaningful hockey is now just a few short weeks away. This means it's time to start the Habs' annual mathematical march to that pined-for post-season position: the coveted clinched playoff spot!

If you're mainly interested in having fun and following along on our march towards 0 than feel free to stop reading this and to jump right in, but there are always people every year who are curious about where the numbers are coming from and what they mean. If you're one of those folks, here's a quick magic number FAQ:

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 is 165. If every team in the East wins each of their games then they will all end up with 164 points. We would therefore need 165 in order to guarantee at least eighth 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 less we'll need in order to reach that worst-case 8th place threshold.

WHEN DOES THE NUMBER DROP?

As mentioned above, the starting number is 165. 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 8th place team* loses a game in regulation.
  • It is reduced by 1 point every time the 8th place team* loses a game in OT or SO.

*the 8th 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 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 8th place team is that we're trying to beat. As long as we stay ahead of this 8th 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 - Flying_Lion takes care of all that :P. As it turns out, though, the math isn't actually very complicated at all. The tough part (and the reason that we thank Lion so profusely every year) 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 8th. If we're in the top half of the NL standings then we need to stay ahead of the team that's currently in 9th. 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:

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! :)

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Heh. Even with 0 losses the Leafs still outside a playoff spot ;)

:lol:

Well played. At that position, though, they're dangerously close to a top pick. :unsure:

Hopefully they tread a little closer to - but remain below - the bar.

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you know your getting older when you can remember the very first Habs MN thread created by HLD.

Glad to see you guys are still carrying this tradition on. :)

It was choc running it when I first signed up. It's been an honour and privilege to be a part ever since.

...

Movement on the first night!

MN is 163.

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you know your getting older when you can remember the very first Habs MN thread created by HLD.

Glad to see you guys are still carrying this tradition on. :)

We've been keeping the tradition going, but I'm afraid that we can't do the daily HLD rant in quite the same way :lol:

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MN is 163.

2dm7bt1.jpg

...

It'll probably be a bit before this is relevant since bonuses probably won't be available for a few days but I still haven't completely wrapped my head around the new format. Feel free to point out any probable bonus situations I might miss. Otherwise, I'll do my best to keep everyone updated as to what's available on a given night.

That said, no bonuses available tonight.

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Hi There.

One and only one bonus is guaranteed for tonight. It seams to me MN TO No-Go is 161 already (thanks to Boston 2 points, which makes the number of teams with 2 or more points to be 8).

:ph34r: (and run)

Voice from the past. Welcome back Choc. Long time no see. :D

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Hi There.

One and only one bonus is guaranteed for tonight. It seams to me MN TO No-Go is 161 already (thanks to Boston 2 points, which makes the number of teams with 2 or more points to be 8).

:ph34r: (and run)

Wow. Just wow. You had me at the username. :blink:

Can't believe I missed that, seems so obvious. I was really rushed so didn't even look to see who the Islanders were playing so I probably should've caught that.

I obviously am not in mid-season form given I also haven't nailed down the proper TO No-Go formula. Another drop on my part. :blush:

Thanks for looking over my shoulder. :wub:

Sweet post.

The sweetest.

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MN is 160.

Bonus points for Saturday involve more shifting than I can handle right now.

1 point comes from the 9th place in NL hitting 1.0.

2 points comes from it hitting 1.5, not sure if it's possible.

ubpyo.jpg

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