Scenarios – Final 2 Games

For a quick look at the Sabres possible future and getting into the playoffs, I present 5 scenarios based on the total points Buffalo gets in their remaining 2 games and on how Florida and Washington finishes their seasons as well. Here is a look at the games that matter for Buffalo.

Thursday

Sabres @ Flyers

Panthers @ Capitals - very important.

Saturday

Sabres @ Bruins

Capitals @ Rangers

Hurricanes @ Panthers

For a quick glimpse of the possibilities yourself, here are the standings and how tiebreakers are determined. Here is how tiebreakers are determined without looking at remaining games and just at the end of the season totals. Without further elaborating here are the scenarios from best possible Sabres finish to worst.

Scenario 1 – 4 points, Buffalo wins both games in OT or SO.

If Washington loses just 1 game, even in OT or SO, Buffalo makes the playoffs and Florida remains in 3rd even if they get 0 points.

-or-

If Washington does win both games, it is essential that Florida gets 0 points. Washington and Buffalo would both have the tiebreaker over Florida and all teams finish with 92 points but Florida is out of the playoffs and Washington gets 3rd seed. This is the only way Florida can be out of the playoffs.

Scenario 2 – 3 points, Buffalo wins one and loses the other in OT or SO.

Florida will make the playoffs, in 3rd or 8th.

For Buffalo to make the playoffs Washington can get no more than 2 points. Either 1 win and 1 loss, or both OT or SO losses.

Scenario 3 – 2 points, Buffalo wins one and loses the other in regulation, or loses both in OT or SO.

Florida will make the playoffs in 3rd or 8th.

For Buffalo to make the playoffs Washington must lose both games and only 1 can be in OT or SO. Washington

Scenario 4 – 1 point, Buffalo loses both games, one of which is in OT or SO.

Florida will make the playoffs in 3rd or 8th.

For Buffalo to make the playoffs Washington must lose both games in regulation.

Scenario 5 – 0 points. Buffalo loses both games in regulation.

Zilch, nada, no play-offs, see you next year Sabres.

Soooooo……… this means……

Regardless of the Panthers and Capitals games the best way for the Sabres to get into the playoffs is to win both of their games in regulation, and even this does not ensure the playoffs. Unlike at the time of my last post, the losses to Pittsburgh and Toronto mean that the Sabres no longer control their own fate. Without Ehrhoff and Myers in the lineup this will not be an easy task against the high scoring Bruins and Flyers (currently 2nd and 3rd in the NHL in total goals for, Pittsburgh is 1st).

Immediately following the Thursday night games I will make a post about the scenarios that remain for the games on Saturday. This will either bring hope or despair. But for now, cheer for the Sabres as usual, and be prepared to cheer for the Rangers or Hurricanes or both on Saturday. Cheering for the Panthers Thursday night is also the most likely way the Sabres will squeak into the playoffs, but also cheer that this game does not give out 3 points (no overtime or shootout for either team). For the next 20 hours or so we will just have to wait and see.

Here is an excellent website for determining playoff odds, though it can seem a bit confusing at first. It currently gives the Sabres a 28% chance of getting into 8th place. Hopefully this percentage increases tonight.

As a note – my math is not excellent, but I’m fairly confident this is correct. Also, regardless of whether the Sabres get points, Washington will get 3rd place over Florida if Washington wins both games and Florida loses both in regulation. This means that 1 point for Florida ensures they get the 3rd seed, and 1 point lost by Buffalo at least ensures they make the playoffs. Also, at this point ROWs and SO wins make no difference I believe. Washington easily hold the edge over Buffalo, and for the tiebreaker to matter between Buffalo and Florida then Buffalo would still have the edge regardless of how they win.

 

Quick edit: Ottawa has not clinched the 7th seed yet as they hold 92 points but Washington has the tiebreaker over them. 1 point from for Ottawa or 1 point loss to Washington ensures they are in 7th. Buffalo can not pass Ottawa for 7th. It’s 8th or nothing for the Sabres.

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Posted on April 5, 2012, in Playoff Push, Previews. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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