In order to suppress the urge to overreact to that loss, I decided to crunch some numbers. Here is the breakdown of the conference seeding scenarios:
*Tie-Breakers: (when teams have played an equal number of games) 1. Regulation/overtime wins (not shootout.) 2. Points earned between to the two clubs 3. Goal differential.
Toronto clinches the 5th seed if,
- It earns at least a point against Montreal this weekend. The point would give the team 58 total, and only Ottawa could tie that, in which case Toronto would win the tiebreaker because of having more regulation/overtime wins.
Ottawa clinches the 5th seed if,
- Toronto does not earn a point in their final game
- Ottawa wins both of their remaining games (vs.PHI, @BOS)
- This combination would give Ottawa 58 points and Toronto 57
- It earns three or more points in its final two games
- It ties NY(R) and NY(I) in points but finishes with more regulation/overtime wins (Ottawa beasted both the Rangers and Islanders this season, giving it the second tiebreaker over both New York teams.)
New York(R) clinches the 6th seed if,
- Ottawa gains no more than two points in their remaining games
- Rangers win their final game in regulation or overtime
New York(I) clinches the 6th seed if,
- It wins its final game in regulation or overtime
- New York(R) loses its final game
- Ottawa does NOT win either of its final two games in regulation or overtime, and gains no more than 2 points combined
The Senators, Rangers, and Islanders are all still eligible for 7th and 8th place. Toronto can do no worse than 6th. Pick your poison, Caps fans.