Unlocking a Standings Deadlock

This morning the Capitals and Flyers are basically in a standings deadlock: 46-22-11, tied at 103 points apiece. Three games remaining for both clubs in this regular season concluding week.  It’s a much different perch for the Flyers relative to last season, when they only qualified for the postseason as the East’s eighth seed by virtue of winning a shootout against the Rangers on the final calendar day of the regular season. The Flyers are in Ottawa tonight, while the Caps combat the Leafs a little south of the Canadian capital. After that, it’s a home-and-home for the Caps with Florida, beginning tomorrow night. With the Flyers facing a toughie in Buffalo Friday night, and potentially a repaired Ryan Miller in the Sabres’ lineup, you might be inclined to give a slight edge to the Caps in the race for no.1 overall in the conference.

That assumes of course that you’re interested in seeing the Capitals finish no. 1 in the East again — it didn’t seem to do them much good last spring. I take the position that besting the Flyers in everything merits full commitment; moreover, if the stars align and the teams were to meet in the conference finals next month, the likely scenario is a long series, and I’d want a game 7 here in D.C.

Technically, the Flyers hold no. 1 in the East this morning by virtue of having won more games in regulation play. That’s the germane tiebreaker come Sunday evening, and it’s reflected in the ROW column here. A tip of the hat to the Washington TimesTed Starkey for pointing out this interesting tidbit: If Caps earn three regulation victories this week and the Flyers also win out but do so in shootout fashion twice, Caps would edge out Orange for no. 1 overall in the East.

But what happens if both teams end up tied in the standings and tied in ROWS? The next tiebreaker is points earned in the games between the clubs. The Caps went 2-0-2 on the slate versus Philly, so they’d win that tiebreaker, taking six of a possible eight points. But Philly earned six points as well — all four games went to OT. The Caps and Flyers could get to the NHL’s ultimate tiebreaker this weekend: “the greater differential between goals for and against for the entire regular season.” The Flyers almost certainly would have edged out the Caps there: their goal differential on the campaign stands at 37, to the Caps’ 24.

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This entry was posted in Eastern Conference, National Hockey League, New media, Philadelphia Flyers, playoff hockey, Ted Starkey, Washington Capitals. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Unlocking a Standings Deadlock

  1. nuftjedi says:

    didn’t all 4 Caps Flyers games go to OT/SO?….. pretty sure the Flyers Head to Head record is 2-0-2 as well.

  2. James says:

    I think both teams got 6 out of 8 points, correct? All four games went into OT or SO.

  3. Yes, all four went to OT, giving the Flyers six points as well. So the fourth tiebreaker could absolutely be in play come the weekend.

  4. Colin says:

    It matters but not that much. Barring a collapse, the Caps will finish #1 or #2 and almost certainly face MTL, NYR or Buffalo in the first round. A more interesting question is one that is beyond their control, namely who will they have to face to open the playoffs? As unsettled as the bottom three are, it could be any of them.

    My seeding prediction for the East:

    #1 Flyers v #8 Rags
    #2 Caps v #7 Sabres
    #3 Boston v #6 MTL
    #4 Pens v #5 Bolts

    The reason I predict the Caps at #2 is the Flyers already own the relevant tiebreakers and the Caps are going to do what they can not to rush their D back into the lineup, thus probably dropping at least one this week.

  5. Alex says:

    I believe the flyers finished 7th not 8th, or that would have been the caps first round matchup.

  6. Colin says:

    you are correct Alex. They jumped over MTL for the #7 spot by winning the shootout against the Rags. If the Rags had won, they would have finished #8 and played the Caps in the first round.

  7. Sam says:

    I want the Caps to tie the goal diff… what’s after that? It looks like goal diff is the final tiebreaker.

    I propose that the two captains do a potato sack race. On ice.

  8. Tre Kronor says:

    First tiebreaker is not just wins in regulation play – it also includes wins in overtime (excluding shootouts)- as in the “O” in “ROW.” We have to hope the Rangers keep surging – they are not finishing in 8th and they seem like the Flyers of last year right now (powerful comeback last night against Bs after beating Flyers again on Sunday). We’ve been creamed by the Rangers this year (two shutouts amounting to 13-0). Hopefully, the Rangers will leapfrog the Habs to 6th place so we can face Montreal in the 7th slot – that seems like the best opponent for the Caps among the only 3 we can face – Rangers, Habs and Sabres.

  9. SKINSCAPSTERPS says:

    I’m dreading all four possible first round matchups. Canes if they make it would be tough out.

    Miller / Lundquist can carry theier teams, and after last year, Montreal is a tough one.

    Although if they play anyone but Rangers, games likely wont be on NBC.

  10. Scott says:

    Rofl SkinsCapsTerps. You’re scared of all four? Maybe you should be a fan of the Panthers, then you wouldn’t have to piss your pants every time we play a good team because you’d KNOW they were going to lose. There’s a reason we’re in the first seed and they’re not in the top 4. Yeah, anything can happen in 7 games, but worrying about how we can lose is stupid. I’ll take any of them, because guess what? WE HAVE TO BEAT THEM TO WIN THE CUP. Would you like Bettman to just award it to us? Jesus, some fans are RETARDED.

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