Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fun Math Games

Are there such things? Perhaps if we are talking about the NHL Eastern Conference Standings! I hope so!

Before the game yesterday I was toying with some numbers, trying to figure what the Canadiens needed to get a playoff spot... then what the Leafs need, then I thought; what do the Leafs need to beat the Habs in the standing? A true insult if there ever was one; but very much a possibility.

  • 1st to 7th place is set; only 8th is open.
  • 9 games remaining
  • current standings and points: MTL - 83 FLA - 81 BUF - 76 (+1 game) TOR - 75 (-1 game) OTT - 74 (+1 game)
Scenario 1: Montreal gets 8 points (4-5)
That gives them 91 points overall; Florida would need to go 5-3-1, Buffalo 8-2, Toronto 8-0, Ottawa 9-1. I think TO / Ott / Buf all play in the last week, so a couple of these scenarios are impossible.

Scenario 2: Montreal gets 12 points (6-3)
With 95 points, that would knock out Toronto and Ottawa, Buffalo would need 10-0, and Florida 7-2-1

Scenario 3: Montreal gets 6 points (3-6)
With 89 points, Florida would have to play .500 hockey; 4-4-1; Buffalo 7-3, Toronto 7-0-1, and Ottawa 8-2.

Scenario 4: Montreal tanks, gets 2 points (1-8)
With 85 points, Florida could be as bad as 2-6-1 to move on; Buffalo 5-5-0, Toronto 5-2-1, Ottawa 6-4-0.

And you can fill in the blanks above. Essentially, Toronto needs to win 5 games Montreal does not in order to beat them in the standings.

So, the bad news is Montreal will certainly have to out-play Florida going forward. Although Toronto and Ottawa are playing well lately, putting together 7 wins in a row is still a lot to ask; so unless the CH really hang themselves, we should be able to avoid the embarrassment of Toronto beating us in the standings. Note that Montreal will play Buffalo, Toronto and Ottawa once; TB, CHI, NYR, NYI, BOS, and PIT to round it off (not in that order).

In reality, all but the Canadiens are just above .500 in their play (Canadiens are below). So it is unlikely that any team will be able to go on a major winning streak. Ottawa might be able to, but they are pretty far back.

Now you know. And knowing is 1/2 the battle.



  1. Guess that is why they always say 'not mathematically eliminated'. I'm so tired of hearing about the Leafs making the playoffs :) Every win it seems spurn a whole new set of articles. TO MANY teams to leapfrog, and it's all based on them pretty much winning out the rest of the schedule. Now you take away Gerber, its over. So much for a good draft pick though, mind you these last few weeks have been fun watching the Leafs.
    Looking forward to the 4th, could be another chance for the Leafs to knock out the Habs haha :) Bout all we have to celebrate at this point.

  2. Eh... Leafs won't make the playoffs but if the Leafs keep us from making the playoffs, I will personally demolish their entire city....