Last nights results cleared a few things up. The west first round playoff matches are now all determined. Detroit will play Edmonton, Dallas will play Colorado, Calgary will play Anaheim and Nashville will play San Jose. I’ll post my thoughts on these series most likely tomorrow.
In the east we still don’t know too much other than the 8 teams who will make the playoffs and that Buffalo will finish in the 4th seed. Things that need to be cleared up tonight are:
Ottawa/Carolina – Which of these teams will get the top seed. Ottawa needs to beat the Rangers and have Carolina lose to the Buffalo to make get top spot.
Montreal/Tampa – Montreal and Tampa have to determine who will get 7th and who will get 8th seed. Montreal currently holds a 1 point lead but Tampa would win any tie breaker so for Montreal to maintain their position they need to match or better whatever points Tampa gets tonight. If Tampa loses, Montreal gets 7th. If Tampa loses in OT, Montreal has to either win or lose in OT. If Tampa wins, then Montreal must win. Montreal is playing a real tough New Jersey team while Tampa is playing Washington ho did them a favour last night by defeating Atlanta. Though Montreal has the 1 point edge I have to give the edge to Tampa as I think they will defeat Washington and Montreal will lose to New Jersey.
NY Rangers/Philadelphia/New Jersey – These three teams are in a battle for the division title and the 3rd seed with the other two teams getting seeds 5 and 6. The Rangers currently hold a 1 point lead over New Jersey and Philadelphia which gives them an edge but they will be playing against Ottawa so it may not be an easy win for them. The Devils play Montreal and Philadelphia is playing the Islanders. I think there is a very good chance the Devils and Flyers will both win so the Rangers would need to win too to get top spot. In terms of tie breakers, the Devils would win a tie breaker against either the Rangers or Flyers. Who wins a tie breaker between the Rangers and Flyers is still up in the air as it would depend on how they got be tied. If the Rangers lose and the Flyers lose in OT the teams will be tied at 100 points and the Rangers will win the tie breaker based on goal differential (wins and record against each other will be the same). If the Rangers lose in OT and the Flyers win the teams will be tied with 101 but the Flyers will win the tie breaker with an extra win. Make sense?
Before getting to my algorithms predictions, here are my predictions on the games of interest in the east.
Tampa defeats Washington
New Jersey defeats Montreal
Carolina loses to Buffalo
Ottawa loses to the Rangers
Philadelphia defeats Islanders
I’ll assume that all games will end in regulation time making the final standings:
Here are the algorithms predictions.
|Tampa Bay||-234||Washington||157||Tampa Bay||Strong|