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2018 - 2019 Habs Magic Number & Lottery Race


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4 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

The forum crashes and when it comes back, we're in a playoff position. Maybe we need a longer crash and we can hope for a first-round victory!

Still thinking our schedule looks tougher than Columbus' to finish the year. Carolina's looks decently tough as well, but we need to pass them in points because of the tie-breaker AND they have a game in hand, so that'll be hard. We'll really need to win both games against Car and Clb to have a shot at finishing ahead of one of them.

Winning the games against CAR and CLB would be 6 points off the Number, right there. Say for shiggles we beat Buffalo tomorrow, that’s another 2. Suddenly the number is 8 with 5 games left to play.

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3 minutes ago, Habberwacky said:

Columbus has lost 5 in a row on the road. Having Price is the difference maker. 

He’s certainly put to rest a lot of my doubts from earlier in the season. I can eat my words when I need to. 

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Don't look now but the Penguins might also be falling back into reach... we're currently 4 points back of them after the same number of games and with the same number of ROW. Pittsburgh is tied 2-2 with Dallas after two tonight. If they happen to lose tonight in regulation and we win tomorrow, suddenly we're only two points back of them.

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4 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

Don't look now but the Penguins might also be falling back into reach... we're currently 4 points back of them after the same number of games and with the same number of ROW. Pittsburgh is tied 2-2 with Dallas after two tonight. If they happen to lose tonight in regulation and we win tomorrow, suddenly we're only two points back of them.

They have a soft schedule the rest of the way though,,,, 4 of 6 at home with 2 vs the Rangers and 2 vs Detroit.

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Habs remaining schedule:

@Car

Fla

@Clb

@Wpg

TB

@Was

Tor

A tough road BUT... theoretically possible that by the time we play them, all of Wpg, TB, and Tor are locked into their playoff position. TB already is. Wpg would need to make up a few more points on Nashville to win the Central but it's doable, and Tor is virtually locked into 3rd place and a meeting with the Bruins. None of those teams are going to lay down, but at least it might make some of those games against elite teams a little softer.

Likewise, Clb finishes against Buf, NYR, and Ott on the road, but all teams that will have nothing to play for standings-wise, along with Boston who will also likely be locked into their seed by then. So can't understate how vital these next three games will be to stockpile points and especially to beat Clb head to head in regulation to try to build a cushion going into the last 4 games, when we've easily got the much tougher schedule.

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10 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Habs remaining schedule:

@Car

Fla

@Clb

@Wpg

TB

@Was

Tor

A tough road BUT... theoretically possible that by the time we play them, all of Wpg, TB, and Tor are locked into their playoff position. TB already is. Wpg would need to make up a few more points on Nashville to win the Central but it's doable, and Tor is virtually locked into 3rd place and a meeting with the Bruins. None of those teams are going to lay down, but at least it might make some of those games against elite teams a little softer.

Likewise, Clb finishes against Buf, NYR, and Ott on the road, but all teams that will have nothing to play for standings-wise, along with Boston who will also likely be locked into their seed by then. So can't understate how vital these next three games will be to stockpile points and especially to beat Clb head to head in regulation to try to build a cushion going into the last 4 games, when we've easily got the much tougher schedule.

According to ESPN's "NHL Playoff Picture" page:

Montreal - 7 games remaining, 7 against quality teams
Carolina - 8 games remaining, 7 against quality teams
Columbus - 8 games remaining, 4 against quality teams

So yeah, Columbus has by far the easiest schedule.

...

MN is 14.

Buffalo and NY Rangers eliminated from the playoffs.

Next point earned by Boston or dropped by us puts the Home Ice slot out of reach.

 

MN 201819.jpg

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Definitely looking more and more like it's us vs. Clb for that last spot. The Jackets' last 7 games are NYI, Mtl, @Nas, @Buf, Bos, @NYR, @Ott...

So take away our game against them. Buffalo is playing very poorly of late. The Rangers ans Sens could surprise but they should be easier games for Clb to win. So we're looking at their taking a minimum of 6 points, with games against the Isles, Bruins, and Preds more up for grabs. We're two points up now but they own the tie-break, barring a miracle. So if they end up winning those 3 easier games AND they end up beating us in regulation, they're already 6 points up on where we stand now and we'll have lost that game against Clb. That means that in our other 5 games, we'd have to accumulate at least 7 points to have nay hope of staying in front, notwithstanding any points gained by Clb in their other 3 contests. That'd be almost impossible to do.

Conversely, if we beat Clb in regulation, we're 4 pts up on where they are now and close to within one ROW of them. It means that we could hope for another 3 wins to be enough to push us in... so beat Florida, Columbus, one of Wpg/TB/Was and a Leafs team potentially resting players, for example... and that would mean Clb needs 10 pts in their other 6 remaining games to catch us. Much more doable. So much hinges on the Clb game.

Only other out would be if Carolina really crashes in their next stretch of tough games, with two against Was, two against Philly, and Toronto and Pittsburgh among their finish. If we had hung on to beat Car last game, it'd be a different story but now we need to make up 4 points on them to pass them, which seems to be a slim hope.

FWIW, sportsclubstats has us at 45% to make the playoffs right now. If we finish 4-2, our odds are at 77%. Even 3-3 puts our odds at 40% or less. The magic number was always around 96 points, and that looks like it's roughly how much it'll take to clinch. So 4 wins minimum. Has to start tonight against a Florida team playing back to back. Has to include a win against Columbus. And then you have to find two more somewhere to end the season.

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15 minutes ago, BigTed3 said:

If we finish 4-2, our odds are at 77%. Even 3-3 puts our odds at 40% or less. The magic number was always around 96 points, and that looks like it's roughly how much it'll take to clinch. So 4 wins minimum. Has to start tonight against a Florida team playing back to back. Has to include a win against Columbus. And then you have to find two more somewhere to end the season.

This.

I think its well within their ability to make the playoffs now.   Im still holding out hope for the #1WC but thats going to take a little luck and basically no mistakes going forward. 

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16 hours ago, maas_art said:

This.

I think its well within their ability to make the playoffs now.   Im still holding out hope for the #1WC but thats going to take a little luck and basically no mistakes going forward. 

Obviously WC1 is still mathematically there (the MN WC1 would be 14) but it’s an extra game and a half away. I think it would take a serious collapse by the Hurricanes or near-perfection on our part. 

...

MN is 11. 

Obviously a HUGE 4-point game tomorrow night. A loss would be the last unofficial nail, IMO. 

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44 minutes ago, maas_art said:

Im hoping for both :)

Me too, at least our record against the Blue Jackets (2-0-0), Caps (1-0-1) and Jets (1-0-0) plays into our favor a little as it means we could get potentially 5-6 points out of them. Also note worthy is we beat both the Jets and Blue Jackets last month. 5-2 and 3-2 respectively. 

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Tie-breakers:

- 1st tie-break if we are tied in points with Carolina and/or Columbus at the end of the season is ROW. Currently Clb 41, Car 40, Mtl 39.

- 2nd tie-break is head-to-head record but excludes the first game of the year in both cases between us and each of those other teams... against Car, we have won the season series by virtue of having gained 3 pts in the 2 games against them that count to the tie-breaker (vs. only 2 pts gathered in those games for them). We won the last game against Clb, so we cannot lose this tie-break to them. If we get at least 1 pt in the game tomorrow, we win the season series tie-break against them as well. If we lose in regulation, we're probably out of the playoffs, but all that to say that we would technically then we tied in the season series tie-break with them (we still wouldn't lose it).

- 3rd tie-break would be goal differential... Car at +16, Clb at +14, and we are at +13, so this is still very much up for grabs

 

As I've said, the breaking point is around 96 points to make the playoffs, so let's say we win tomorrow at Clb and manage to find two more wins for 96 points, with all three wins coming in regulation (or OT in the other two games). This would put us at 96 pts, 42 ROW, and give us the 2nd tie-break over both other teams. In this case, Clb would need 4 wins in their last 5 games to tie us in points and one would assume they'd have at least 2 of those 4 wins in either regulation or OT, so we'd need Clb to do worse than 4-1. Carolina, for their part, would tie us in points if they go 2-3-1 but in that case, they would at best tie us in ROW and they would lose the 2nd tie-break to us. So Carolina would need to go 3-3 to stay ahead of us essentially.

So that's how I'm seeing things right now. Habs need a regulation win against Clb tomorrow night and they need two more ROW in the last 4 games. Do that and you force Car to go 3-3 in the following games (Was, Phi, @Tor, @Pit, NJ, @Phi). Or you would force Clb to find 4 wins in @Nas, @Buf, Bos, @NYR, @Ott. Anything less than beating Clb and winning two more makes things very very complicated, so that's the bare minimum.

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if WSH beats CAR in regulation and we beat CBJ ... we're back in the #1 WC spot ... I must admit a week ago I thought we'd miss the playoffs but they've picked it up in the last 3-4 games.

If we do wind up in the top WC spot I really hope we can retain it ... much more palatable to face Washington in the opening round vs Tampa.

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1 hour ago, HabsAlways said:

if WSH beats CAR in regulation and we beat CBJ ... we're back in the #1 WC spot ... I must admit a week ago I thought we'd miss the playoffs but they've picked it up in the last 3-4 games.

If we do wind up in the top WC spot I really hope we can retain it ... much more palatable to face Washington in the opening round vs Tampa.

This all day. 

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Sportsclubstats's numbers show the importance of this game. They have our playoff odds at 45% right now. With a win, they would soar up to 73%. With a loss, they'd go down to 23%. That's a 50% difference... it literally is the most important game of the year tonight.

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5 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Sportsclubstats's numbers show the importance of this game. They have our playoff odds at 45% right now. With a win, they would soar up to 73%. With a loss, they'd go down to 23%. That's a 50% difference... it literally is the most important game of the year tonight.

Yeah ... :(

...

MN is 11.

That game really couldn’t have played out any worse.

We played 2 games in the past week or so against the 2 teams we were battling for a last spot with and lost them both. What does that say?

We’re looking at finishing exactly in the worst spot for our “re-tool”: no good picks and no good playoff experience. 

This off-season, regardless of miraculously making the playoffs and short of winning the Cup, is vital IMO. 

We can’t keep middling along at this point. We’re too good to tank but not yet good enough to contend.

Some pieces are there and some aren’t. Some of our pieces aren’t working as well as we’d like and some are punching above their weight. 

And at the end of the season, if we’re booking tee times from the dressing room during intermissions of the 82nd game, a lot of this is on our powerplay. It’s cost us many games easy. Probably enough games to have made this game relatively moot. 

That’s someone’s responsibility. Not mine, thank goodness, because I can’t afford to lose my job. 

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Jets are up next. They are only two points up on Nashville, so zero chance they will be resting players. Unlikely Washington will have clinched 1st by the time they pay us either. So at best we're getting two games with teams resting players, and I'm not even sure Tampa will do it (although we are night two of a B2B for them).

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23 hours ago, BigTed3 said:

Jets are up next. They are only two points up on Nashville, so zero chance they will be resting players. Unlikely Washington will have clinched 1st by the time they pay us either. So at best we're getting two games with teams resting players, and I'm not even sure Tampa will do it (although we are night two of a B2B for them).

Coincidentally, Columbus is in Nashville tonight. 

If we can get past the Jets and the Preds do us a favour, that’s a nice 4 point swing. It would put us back into a tie with the Bluejackets as far as net losses go.

Still an uphill battle but not as daunting. 

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One more coal for the fire... Jon Cooper announced that he would NOT be resting players down the stretch. He wants the team to play hard all the way and he says sitting one or two guys tells the team that some guys are more important than others, which he doesn't want. So looks like we're going to get a fully competitive, fully loaded Lightning team on our plate.

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Will give Clb the win tonight, up 5-2 in the 3rd... assuming that happens, this is where we stand:

- Pit 95 pts, 40 ROW, games left Car, @Det, Det, NYR. Pretty easy schedule.

- Car 93 pts, 41 ROW, games left @Pit, @Tor, NJ, @Phi.

- Clb 92 pts, 43 ROW, games left @Buf, Bos, @NYR, @Ott. Also pretty easy.

- Mtl 92 pts, 40 ROW, games left TB, @Was, Tor. Hard.

 

We know TB has stated they won't rest players, albeit Hedman left tonight's game with a possible concussion so maybe he misses the Habs game. TB also plays Ott the night before us.

Was moves to 102 pts tonight. But with the Isles win, they sit at 99 with three games left to go for each team. So IF Was beats Florida on Mon and NY loses to Tor in regulation, then Was would clinch the division and maybe would have less to play for against us.

Good chance Toronto will also be locked into position by our game too. Technically, though, if Tor loses its next 3 and we win our next 2, we would be playing them for position in the last game!

 

So... Clb IMO might be out of reach. Even if Bos knocks them off, don't see how they're going to lose to Buf, Ott, and NYR. And if they win 3, we can't catch them because of the tie-break. Pittsburgh's schedule is also too easy. If they win 32 of the 3 against Det and NY, that's enough. Our best bet looks to be trying to catch Car. We really need to hope for losses to Pit and Tor. That would put them at 97 pts and 43 ROW if they beat NJ and Phi in regulation. If we can beat TB, Was, and Tor that would give us 98 points. We could technically drop 1 point in those games, but we'd need to win the other two in regulation or OT and we'd need one of the Car wins to be a shootout... lots of possibilities but none of them favorable odds. Tor actually has a reasonably tough schedule, with @NYI, vs Car, vs TB, and then us. So if they lose to the Isles and then Carolina knocks them off, they would need a win against TB if we were to win out. No room for error there either but still on the table and maybe just as plausible as catching Clb or Pit at this point.

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