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2017 - 2018 Habs Magic Number & Lottery Race


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With less than a week to go before the real season begins, it's already time to start looking forward towards the playoffs.  Getting to the dance is what the regular season's all about.  Will it be a hard-fought battle right to the end?  Will we clinch with weeks to spare? Is there some other option that I'm forgetting?  Find out by following along with this thread!

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 usually 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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Here we go again.

When I reset the MN at the beginning of the season, I leave the teams in the order they were in when I did the last regular season update. I'd completely forgotten how weak the Atlantic Division was when compared to its Eastern Conference counterpart. All the teams from the Metropolitan Division finished ahead of the Atlantic leading Habs, with the exception of the WC Rangers who finished only half a game behind us. While I wouldn't be surprised to see Washington and Pittsburgh up there again, it will be interesting to see if Columbus can repeat their performance from last year. I'm hoping not to see Ottawa or Boston above the bar when all is said and done, either, so that opens the door for the Lightning to have a bounce back year. Toronto golfing after 82 games might be too much to hope for.

That said, I'm wary as to the team that's been put together for this year's campaign. Short of Drouin in for Radulov - and that may be a zero-sum equation - I don't see anything that improved us up front and I fear the back end took a step back. That we have to find a certain type of player to complement Weber handcuffs a lot of the available depth. I think for the MN to hit 0, we'll need a lot of things to fall into place: health (because there doesn't seem to be a lot down on the farm), another stellar year from Price, bounce back years from Gallagher and Pleks, as well as Chucky somehow finding a way to achieve the potential that made him a 3rd overall pick.

The math can be fun so long as the pace stays above 2.00 but it makes for a long season when the team hovers too closely to that mark.

That said ...

MN is 165.

 

MN 201718.jpg

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6 hours ago, H_T_L said:

Our first bump and it wasn't easy.

My thought exactly.

4 hours ago, HabsRuleForever said:

We puked out two points in Barfalo.

Yep. Shouldn't have been that difficult but this is the Team we have to work with. I think a lot of the games are going to go play out like this: wondering what side of a close game we are going to end up on.

Nice to score a shorty but the power play didn't impress me too much. Seemed like we struggled all evening to get out of our own end, as well.

& don't get me started about the Divisional mercy point.

...

MN is 163.

 

MN 201718.jpg

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There was no change in the Magic Number on Friday.

Good chance for our first bonus points of the season on Saturday. Any loss by an undefeated team, I think, should do it: New Jersey (v. Colorado), Toronto (v. NY Rangers), Detroit (@ Ottawa), Lightning (@ Florida), Capitals (v. Montreal), Carolina (v. Minnesota), Columbus (@ Chicago).

I'm heading off the grid for a few days. Next full update will most likely be Tuesday.

...

MN is 163.

 

MN 201718.jpg

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On 10/12/2017 at 11:09 PM, habs1952 said:

Gotta look on the bright side........MN can't go up!!!!!

This is true. But neither are loser points and bonuses going to get it to drop quick enough.

...

MN is 158.

 

MN 201718.jpg

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Perhaps referring to this as the number would be more suitable as the team appears to have lost most of its magic (and chance for a playoff spot). Another month of losing and you may want to call it the irrelevant digit. :6351: I am sure all this losing is making it slightly easier to calculate. Thanks for the updates.

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4 hours ago, Habberwacky said:

Perhaps referring to this as the number would be more suitable as the team appears to have lost most of its magic (and chance for a playoff spot). Another month of losing and you may want to call it the irrelevant digit. :6351: I am sure all this losing is making it slightly easier to calculate. Thanks for the updates.

You're right that there is no magic in the Number. Nor on the ice. Or apparently behind the bench and in the front office.

Still, while the math holds out hope, I'll keep kicking this up the list. :P

...

MN is 156.

 

MN 201718.jpg

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20 hours ago, habs1952 said:

The question now is: Will we break the 100 mark? 

I think it might be pretty much impossible to not break it given bonuses. A more important question is when do we start our own No-Go Number? :unsure:

Back home against Florida on Tuesday. Got to think something's got to give soon.

...

MN is 155.

 

MN 201718.jpg

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