Screw you, divisions

Photo courtesy of Fenchurch!

I started to write some quick notes about the ways the Caps could still make it into the playoffs, but the added complication of division leads automatically getting the first three seeds made it too much of a headache and I deleted it all. So lemmie try again.

The Caps are in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference. Currently the Carolina Hurricanes are leasing the SE div with 90 points and we’re behind them with 88. Were we were to win 2 out of the remaining 3 games and they lose all three of theirs then we’d be tied up with 90 points.

Point ties are settled by looking at comparative games played (which would be the same), then number of wins (ditto), then.. well, let me quote the HHL page on the matter:

The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs. If two clubs are tied, and have not played an equal number of home games against each other, points earned in the first game played in the city that had the extra game shall not be included. If more than two clubs are tied, the higher percentage of available points earned in games among those clubs, and not including any “odd” games, shall be used to determine the standing.

Clear as mud.

Now, that’s not the only way for us to make it into the playoffs – eight total teams make it in, with the top 3 seeds being the division leads. And in fact, those three aren’t necessarily the best. Carolina, currently holding that #3 seed spot, is actually eighth in game points, behind Philly and Boston. Which is our other shot at a berth – if either of those teams loses their remaining three games (a real possibility for poor Philly, who is facing the top-ranked Penguins TWICE) while we win our next three that would tie us for game points, allowing us to bypass them on number of wins.

What a damned headache.

Annoyed, courtesy of Fenchurch!

2 Comments so far

  1. bhrome on April 1st, 2008 @ 11:48 pm

    Which is why I just use either The Hockey News or ESPN’s website to figure it out for me.

    With tonight’s rather dominating game over the ‘Canes, the Caps are neck-in-neck at 90, with the tie going to the ‘Canes. With Tampa and Florida remaining, it’s a better-than-average bet the Caps are skating in by the barest of margins.

    After the Pens pummel Philly, that is. Revenge will be indeed be sweet!

  2. Don (dc_don) on April 2nd, 2008 @ 1:43 pm

    Well apparently my chances of ever understanding it are poor, given that in my rewrite I somehow decided to start making game wins worth 1 point rather than their actual two, and did my calculations accordingly. Duh.

    That said, I feel like I am in comfortable company given that today’s WaPo didn’t even manage to get the calculation correct, stating "the Capitals must finish with more points to beat out the Hurricanes, who hold the tiebreaker." While my numbers above were screwed – with the 2 points per win we’re already even with the Hurricanes – the tiebreaking details were accurate – given an even number of points and games played, the team with more wins tops the other.

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