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A Look At the Math: 3/4/11 March 4, 2011

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

I was quite frankly startled by the results from last night. Despite a full eleven-game slate, nothing was settled mathematically. Vancouver and Philadelphia both lost; Ottawa and Edmonton both won. When one of the teams that’s either in 1st or 15th plays to their trend, that means I have to adjust numbers all over the conference, and possibly all over the page for the President’s Trophy leader. So for all four of those teams to be in action and go against their trend, on the same night, was unusual. Not that I would have liked to do four separate across-the-board updates, I’m just saying–all four teams played against their trend, and that doesn’t happen often.

In case you missed the highlights from the Minnesota-New York Rangers game, check them out: ex-Cap Jose Theodore made one of the most “He did NOT!” saves of the night.

The Caps, meanwhile, took care of business against the Blues. This was another one of those goose-egg first period, other-team-scores-first, didn’t lead until late games that have been driving Caps fans nuts all season. Arguing with success is bad form, okay; gratitude is key, okay; a win is a win, okay; and if they can do this in March, they can do it in May…frankly, I’ll believe that one when I see it, but okay.

Still, it would be very, very nice to, I don’t know, score first; have a lead for most of the night, instead of the last few minutes; and win by a couple of goals, not just one. Yes, you only have to lead at 20 minutes of the third, but it’s a much less frazzling night at the rink when one’s favorite team gets an early lead, hangs on to it, and so on.

Some power play strikes would have been nice, too, but don’t blame the Caps for that one: they got all of one chance all night. (Lettin’ ’em play, were they?)

Anyway, enough gentle grumblings about what turned out to be a pretty good night at the office for the boys in red. Let’s look at the numbers, as advertised, shall we?

With only five games around the NHL tonight, and no teams in any position for C’s and E’s, let me focus on where the Caps stand.

The Caps’ clinch number for the playoffs is down to 22, currently against the New York Rangers. That’s not going to move at all tonight: both teams are off, and no team can currently fall past the Rangers to help lower the Caps’ clinch number.

The doomsday number is currently at 46. The Caps’ top-end score would have to go below, right now, 68 points for them to be mathematically eliminated. The Caps have only 17 games remaining, which means the most they could lose on their own is 34. So for the Caps to get anywhere in that doomsday ZIP code would require some hideous misfortunes of their own, and a lot of bad bounces on the out-of-town scoreboard. Won’t happen.

Got a new deck, and brought it with me to the game tonight. May actually give it a read when–I stress when–the Caps open the second season.




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