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"Probably NO, Possibly Yes" How EDM COULD make the Playoffs

March 12, 2019, 1:01 PM ET [51 Comments]
Tonight's Picks:

Last night was our first down down winning 3 and dropping 4

Season Stats
26 Correct.
13 Wrong.
Nights with .500 or better records: 4
Nights with more wrong than right: 1

Points Predicted For Tonight
Home . Away
CGY 2 NJ 0
WPG 1 SJ 2

The most common question I get around here, after the trade deadline, is “Do you think my team will make the playoffs.” When it's a bubble team and I say, “The odds aren’t great, but they have a shot,” they will inevitably respond with:

“Well this other site has them at a 5% chance.”

The entire reason I put together the Projected Final Standings was because of this. I know many of these sites don’t even consider strength of schedule, who these teams are actually playing, how they are currently playing, injured players, teams who may be playing for nothing in the final week of the season, a team’s history versus their opponents, how many back to back games they are playing, the amount of travel, the amount of pressure to make the playoffs in certain markets, if they will likely be facing a backup goalie because the other team is playing a back to back scenario...etc.

One of the most trusted and longest running of these sites is SportsClubStats.com. They do a good job at this percentage game, but truly take it as just numbers. Hockey is about so many intangibles…

Yes, it is hard to make up ground in the NHL. Just look at the Flyers. They were one of the worst teams in hockey through early January, but for almost two months now they have the best record in the NHL...at one point they were 16 points out of a playoff spot. After their incredible run they are still 3 points out of a playoff spot with 13 games to go… Making up 3 points in 13 games is tough, but not impossible. There are not a slew of teams between Philly and the last WC spot, so what percentage does SportsClubStats have them making the playoffs?

Philadelphia: 7.6%

Columbus and Montreal are both 3 points ahead of the Flyers. Based on ROW the Jackets are in a playoff spot and the Canadiens are not. Their current chances?

Columbus: 56.3%
Montreal: 44.9%

Columbus and Montreal have both struggled. The Flyers are the best team in hockey over the last 50 days...also, look at the remaining schedules and ask yourself does that HUGE variance in percentages between Philly, Columbus and Montreal make any sense?

In the West….

Edmonton is 5 points out of a playoff spot, but own a game in hand on Minnesota.. That game in hand is Tuesday at home against the Devils. The Oilers have to deal with a lot more teams battling them than the Flyers do… There are six teams fighting for two wildcard spots...all separated by only 6 points.

Here are there current games left, points and finally their percentage chance of making the playoffs (per sportsclubstats)

7. Dallas (14 Games to Play, 75 points) 86.5% chance of making the playoffs.
8. Minnesota (12 Games to Play, 74 points) 37.4% chance of making the playoffs.
9. Arizona (13 Games to Play, 73 points) 38.9% chance of making the playoffs.
10. Colorado (12 Games to Play, 72 points) 29.0% chance of making the playoffs.
11. Chicago (13 Games to Play, 69 points) 4.8% chance of making the playoffs.
12. Edmonton (13 Games to Play, 69 points) 5% chance of making the playoffs.

Ok...that's a needlessly large drop from Colorado at 29% to Chicago and Edmonton at 5% or less.

If Edmonton and Chicago win their game in hand we are talking a 1 point difference in the standings.

Bottom line is this: The only way to properly project a season’s outcome is to actually LOOK at EVERY factor and EVERY game…

How are these 6 teams playing right now?...Here are their last ten games:

1 Arizona 8-2-0 16 points
2. Edmonton 7-2-1 15 points
3. Minnesota 6-2-2 14 points
4. Dallas and Chicago 6-4-0 12pts
6. Colorado 5-4 10 points

So let's say these teams were to continue at this same pace the rest of the way. No other factors yet, just the teams simply playing at the same level for the rest of their games, then here is how your wildcard race ends:

Arizona 94 points
Dallas 92 points
Edmonton 89
Minnesota 87
Colorado 84
Chicago 85

But what about strength of schedules?

How can Edmonton perform slightly better or Arizona or Dallas slightly worse than they have in the past ten games?

The number below comes from our larger formula...The Strength of schedule factor. The lower the number the harder the schedule based on team’s record, travel, and pressure...etc...

It is going to be tough on Arizona to stay at a 16 points/per ten game pace.

1.Arizona 2.95
2.Dallas 3.66
3.Edmonton 3.66

Then there are match ups to consider...when you look at who the Oilers are actually playing, and the tougher teams happen to be teams the Oilers for whatever reason, play well against.

My Projected Final Standings take other factors which are helping the Oilers out as well and into the playoffs with 94 points...Unless we see upsets of course.

So will the Oilers make the playoffs?

Probably No, but Possibly Yes.

Here are Your New Updated Projected Final Standings...

Back later with tonight's picks.

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