Sports Magazine

By The Numbers : Clinching a Playoff Berth

By Kipper @pghsportsforum
As we approach the final 13 games of the regular season, I thought I would post a quick look at what it will take for the Penguins to clinch a playoff berth. The intent is not to dive into the X's & O's, but to simply look at it from a numbers standpoint.
Currently the Penguins sit at 3rd place with 88 points in the Metro Division, trailing the 2nd Place Islanders (yikes By The Numbers : Clinching a Playoff Berth) by 2 points and the 1st place Rangers by 7 points. So what is the "breakpoint" so to speak for the Penguins to clinch a playoff berth? I should also note that, depending on daily results these numbers will continually change, for better or for worse. This is a look at the standings as of March 16, 2015 @ 7:25am CST.
There are currently 3 teams currently on the outside looking in, and the Penguins have a sizable lead on all of them. These teams are: Ottawa, Florida, & Philadelphia. Here is an image comparing all four teams:
As I mentioned the Penguins have a sizable points lead on all 3 teams, but as we all know, anything can happen and nothing is guaranteed. As we look at this image we can essentially lump Ottawa and Florida into the same analysis and treat Philadelphia separately.
At this point to "eliminate" Philadelphia, and when I say "eliminate" I do not mean Philadelphia not making the playoffs I mean Philadelphia not catching the Penguins, the Penguins would need to win 4 of their remaining 13 games. This would get the Penguins to 96 points. The best Philadelphia can do if they won all 11 of their remaining games would be 95 points.
To "eliminate" Florida and Ottawa, assuming both won all of their remaining games, the Penguins would have to win 7 and 9 games out of 13 respectively. Ottawa and Florida still have to play each other one more time, so neither team can get 100% of their remaining points.
Looking ahead at the Penguins' schedule, of their remaining 13 games, they still have to play Ottawa once and Philadelphia twice. Those three games are 3 of their final 6 should the Penguins not fair well in the first 7 games.
All in all, the Penguins should be a virtual "lock" to make the playoffs, but they still have work to do, and we would much rather them accomplish that work sooner, rather than later. And given their scoring drought and rather undisciplined play as of late, nothing is a given with this bi-polar team.
I will continue to update these numbers as the games pass in the comments section, so be on the look out. Cheers!
They should be able to pretty easily make the playoffs thanks to the early buildup of points, but there is one thing that bothers me. And that is the trade deadline moves. Maybe it's just me, but it seems that every year for the past few at least, they play well during the regular season, but the consensus is that they aren't built for the playoffs. I'm not arguing that. But after the deadline moves, they play like crap. The chemistry that was developed during the regular season was dismantled. Hossa and that group stunk. Jokinen and that group stunk. All these "rental" players, and the term rental is not always by design (thanks Hossa), just don't work, IMHO. If it's important to have a "playoff caliber roster", why isn't this done at the beginning of the year instead of at the end.
Maybe I'm off the mark. I'd love to hear why I'm wrong.

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