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Todd
02-01-2013, 02:40 PM
--- Home Lock - 39 (BC/UNH/BU/PC/UML/MC) ---
--- In - 32 (UVM/ME) ---
BC 23 - 41 [1-10]
UNH 21 - 43 [1-10]
BU 21 - 41 [1-10]
PC 19 - 39 [1-10]
UML 18 - 40 [1-10]
MC 18 - 40 [1-10]
UMA 13 - 35 [1-10]
UVM 12 - 32 [1-10]
NU 11 - 31 [1-10]
ME 10 - 32 [1-10]
--- Home Eligible - TBD (Field) ---
--- Out - 12 (UVM) ---

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
(I will fill these out [and Home Eligible, which is massively involved at this point] as part of tonight's update, but I have to get rolling to finish some things up and make my way out to the games.)

For those unfamiliar with this thread, here's a link (http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?98931-Hockey-East-Who-s-in-who-s-out-who-s-home-by-the-numbers-2011-12-edition&p=5334976&viewfull=1#post5334976)to last year's kick-off post.

-----

With both the league (<i>two</i> RS weekends in March?) and I having unusual schedules this year, it seems both late and early to me to be starting this year's thread. "Late" because it's already the first Beanpot Friday and we often have to discuss the games-in-hand regarding the three Beanpot schools and how that all evens out in the coming weeks. But we're already there. "Early" because, well, A) I've been so busy that the season's more than half over and it seems to me like it's just starting and B) I usually start this when something has been decided and <b>nothing</b> has been decided yet.

That's right, nothing.

Not only could current last place Maine top the standings solo, but current leader BC could still be in 10th all by themselves.

Of course, had BC swept Maine last weekend, instead of the other way around, they'd be 21 points apart (27-6) instead of 13 (23-10). Still, Since Maine has 11 league games left and there's enough of a gap to move around points among the other teams, Maine could still have come out on top. Just would have been harder - and after tonight, may or may not have been out of reach.

So it seems like the thread is starting at just about at the right time. Before the Beanpot, and with six weekends to go.

-----

As it turns out, what is perhaps most compelling at this point is that the top six teams in the league each have 6 losses, except UNH one ahead with 5 - and the bottom four teams each have 9 losses, except NU one behind with 10. Further, the top three teams each have 1 tie. The next three have 3, 2, and 2. and the bottom three have 4, 3, 4.

If you look at the combinations of L-T, that gives 6-1, 5-1, 6-1 for BC, UNH and BU. Then a group of 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 for PC, UML and MC (noting that the difference between 6-1 and 6-2 is the same as 6-2 and 6-3, but the extremes of the range at 5-1 and 6-3 are appreciably different). The bottom three are 9-4, 10-3, and 9-4.

Only UMA is an outlier at 7th with 9 losses but 1 tie.

I'm not concentrating on the negative. I find that with the games played / games-in-hand as scattered as they are, it is sometimes easiest to see what it is that people <i>can't</i> make up. Generally, people don't look at standings as the playoffs approach and say, "How would we do if everyone <i>lost</i> out?" They don't figure that everyone will crater, take wins as an aberration in the plan, and lock in the wins as they are. It's usually the optimistic side. Noting what is already banked as a missed opportunity for points lets you see what people could maximize if they won out.

The point of all of that is that the league is amazingly tight this year at this point. Surely someone could catch fire and separate. But as things stand, we could be looking at another year where we have a four point difference between the third seed - atop the league's first three-way tie ever - and 9th place and out of the post-season.

With things this remarkably tight, now, more than in most seasons, every point will matter from here on out.

-----

I have Home Lock at 39, the Max of the bottom of that 5/6 loss group, because of the remaining interlocking schedule. While any of them could max out, they can't all max out and get to 40 (the 4th highest) because of that remaining interlocking schedule. I did it in my head to get four at or beyond 39, but I'll double-check it after tonight's games. With so much variability in there, that's not likely to change for a couple of weekends anyway, once we verify where to set it.

-----

One curiosity of note before I head out to tonight's games myself: UML, UMA, and NU occupy the same place in the seedings at the start of this thread as they did at the start of last year's thread (you can use the link above to compare).

Go-UML
02-01-2013, 03:15 PM
Welcome back! :). Love this thread!

sterlippo1
02-01-2013, 04:26 PM
Welcome back! :). Love this thread!

+1...

Todd
02-02-2013, 03:31 AM
--- Home Lock - 38 (BC/UNH/BU/MC) ---
--- In - 31 (ME) ---
BC 25 - 41 [1-10]
UNH 23 - 43 [1-10]
BU 21 - 39 [1-10]
MC 20 - 40 [1-10]
PC 20 - 38 [1-10]
UML 18 - 38 [1-10]
UMA 15 - 35 [1-10]
UVM 12 - 30 [1-10]
ME 11 - 31 [1-10]
NU 11 - 29 [1-10]
--- Home Eligible - 24 (Field) ---
--- Out - 12 (UVM) ---

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
BC - UML, @MC, UNH, @MC, PC/@PC, @UVMx2
UNH - MC, @PC/PC, @BC, @UVMx2, UMAx2, MEx2
BU - MC, @MEx2, UML/@UML, UVMx2, @NU/NU
MC - @UNH, @BU, UMA, BC, @PC, BC, @UML/UML, UMA/@UMA
PC - UNH/@UNH, MC, NU/@NU, @BC/BC, @UML/UML
UML - @ME, @BC, @UMA/UMA, @BU/BU, MC/@MC, PC/@PC
UMA - NU, @MC, UML/@UML, MEx2, @UNHx2, @MC/MC
UVM - ME, @NUx2, UNHx2, @BUx2, BCx2
ME - UML, @UVM, BUx2, @UMAx2, NUx2, @UNHx2
NU - @UMA, UVMx2, @PC/PC, @MEx2, BU/@BU

The Home Lock line is currently at 38, and with the four teams listed, with much simpler math than one might expect. In fact, you might be able to do it in your head.

To make sure we're all on the same page, the premise of the Home Lock line is: how many points would guarantee (at this point) that no more than three teams could be ahead of you. Therefore, the easiest place to start is with the top four team Maximums. After Friday's results, that would be: UNH 43, BC 41, MC 40, BU 39. So the highest that HL could be is now 39, if all teams won out.

BU is done with both BC and UNH, and BC and UNH only have one head-to-head remaining, with points to spare above 39, so that target is still possible

However, BU and MC - the bottom two of the four - still have a game together (next Friday). With Maxes of 40 and 39, somehow the lost opportunity for two points (after the game has an actual result, rather than each having a hypothetical win) has to drop those Maxes to 38/39, 39/38, or 40/37. That means that the schedule dictates that Home Lock can be no higher than 38.

Now MC also has to play BC twice and UNH once, so let's take a broader view. Knowing that we're looking at 38 (instead of 39) gives us a little wiggle room all around. BU has 1 point to spare, MC has 2, BC 3 and UNH 5. Can we use that flexibility with the remaining schedule to keep these four at or above 38 Max?

Since we're talking about Maxes, we assume everyone involved wins out unless otherwise noted.

A BU-MC tie uses up BU's spare point (and leaves MC with only one), but also pulls them out of the rest of the calculations, since they're now done with the three other teams. That puts BU's Max in this scenario at 38.

MC and BC play two. If the four points get split 3/1 in MC's favor, that uses up the spares for both of those squads, but they are still at 38 Max.

That means MC and BC each would need to win their respective remaining game with UNH, but UNH has 5 points to spare, so it can give up those four.

In that case, we'd have UNH with a 39 Max and MC, BC, and BU all with a 38 Max. That gives us at least one scenario where it would take 38 points to get Home Ice, so the Home Lock has to be at least 38 - but can't be as high as 39, per above.

-----

While we're talking about 38, why not include PC and/or UML in that mix? Well, also pretty straightforward to do in your head with logic, rather than just crunching math.

Since each has a Max of 38, either would have to win out to hit that level and be included <i>at this point</i> in that benchmark. PC and UML play each other in a H&H on the final RS weekend, so - at best - only one of them could max out.

-----

Looking at PC, they play BC for two on the penultimate RS weekend. They'd need to take all four points and BC only has three to spare, so one of the two would have to drop their Max to 37 or lower.

If you drop BC off the bubble and replace them w/ PC would that work? PC has two with UNH, but UNH has five points to spare. If they give four up to PC, that leaves just one spare for MC (instead of two). MC can use their other spare point tying BU and go ahead and sweep BC, since we're exploring dropping BC out of this scenario's race. That would put PC, UNH, MC and BU all at 38...

Ah, but alas, MC and PC also have a H2H game and each of them would need all remaining points in this configuration. Can't happen, which puts at least three of the six teams that could hit 38 Max out of the running at 38 if PC is in. That doesn't leave us four teams at or above 38, and we already have one scenario where that works, so PC is not included in a Home Lock foursome at 38 points.

For people new to this thread, that does not mean that PC cannot get Home Ice, nor that they cannot win the conference outright - just that they can't be one of the four setting that clinching line as high as 38 at the moment.

-----

Perhaps even simpler to see than with PC, UML has, over their final three weeks: two more with BU, and two more with MC, <i>and</i> two more with PC.

We've seen how PC and UML each need to win out to keep the HL line at 38, so if UML sweeps, that knocks PC out of contention for 38. BU has one point to spare above 38 and MC has two. The required-if-they're-to-make-it sweeps by UML overshoot those buffers, also knocking BU and MC out of the race for 38. That means that UML schedule either makes it with their schedule, but bumps three out of six eligible others down in the process -OR - any (which could also be all) of the other three schools take points and once <i>any</i> points are taken, UML is out of that mix.

Hence, the Home Lock line as it stands.

-----

For Home Eligible, the question is: how low can your Max be where you are still mathematically alive for Home Ice?

Short answer: 24, in a couple of different configurations.

-----

Lastly, NU (with the lowest Max) could still be solo in 1st place, and any of the top teams could still finish at the bottom.

SPCSMAN
02-02-2013, 06:41 AM
So glad to see this thread back again. Such a great analysis and eliminates my need to think during the morning coffee. Thanks for doing this again.

Todd
02-08-2013, 05:37 PM
--- Home Lock - 38 (BC/UNH/BU/MC) ---
--- In - 31 (ME) ---
BC 25 - 41 [1-10]
UNH 23 - 41 [1-10]
MC 22 - 40 [1-10]
BU 21 - 39 [1-10]
PC 20 - 38 [1-10]
UML 18 - 36 [1-10]
UMA 15 - 35 [1-10]
ME 13 - 31 [1-10]
UVM 12 - 30 [1-10]
NU 11 - 29 [1-10]
--- Home Eligible - 24 (Field) ---
--- Out - 13 (ME) ---

Remaining LEAGUE storm-adjusted schedules:
BC - @MC, UNH, @MC, UML, PC/@PC, @UVMx2
UNH - PC/@PC, @BC, @UVMx2, UMAx2, MEx2
MC - UMA, BC, @PC, BC, @BU, @UML/UML, UMA/@UMA
BU - @MEx2, UML/@UML, MC, UVMx2, @NU/NU
PC - @UNH/UNH, MC, NU/@NU, @BC/BC, @UML/UML
UML - @UMA/UMA, @BU/BU, @BC, MC/@MC, PC/@PC
UMA - @MC, UML/@UML, NU, MEx2, @UNHx2, @MC/MC
ME - @UVM, BUx2, @UMAx2, NUx2, @UNHx2
UVM - ME, @NUx2, UNHx2, @BUx2, BCx2
NU - UVMx2, @UMA, @PC/PC, @MEx2, BU/@BU

OK...

So thanks to what may turn out to be the biggest snowstorm in Boston-area recorded history, all games in Hockey East tonight have been rescheduled.

Saturday's only game is in the safe and distant confines of the Gut as Maine faces UVM up in Burlington.

UMA and MC will have fresh legs (assuming they weren't shoveling) when they play their singleton on Sunday (see below), while UNH and PC will play their Home-and-Home on Sunday afternoon and Wednesday night, with the order flipped.

Rescheduling for the Beanpot schools is trickier, because their weekend was already altered by the Friday-Monday schedule. Those games have been reset for a week or two out, which will make things interesting during the final push as some teams will be playing three times in a matter of days. In the mean time, while Harvard is still - for now - on tap to face Dartmouth on Saturday, the three HE teams should be otherwise rested and strategically prepped for Monday, while UMA and MC had been slated for two different opponents this weekend (NU and @BU, respectively) and now only face each other,

In all, the storm moved 22 games from the New England calendars up and down DI through DIII - and that's just the Friday schedule. Including the women's schedules, another 22 were bumped for Saturday. Also lost to the storm was BC's Jerry York Night on tap for Friday, which will now take place some time next season.

----
Back to the math:

MC beating UNH was required as part of the single scenario that allowed the Home Lock line to be as high as 38. Since that happened on Saturday, that benchmark doesn't move while UNH's Max drops to even with BC's. Meanwhile, MC breaks the tie w/ PC and jumps over BU up into 3rd place - thus keeping their Max a single point behind BC's (and now UNH's). After having developed a strong home ice advantage in recent years, MC's suprisingly average results at home this year have been balanced out because they're finally getting good results away.

----
Also on the upswing, Maine seems to have figured something out of late. After getting only four league points (a win and two ties) in the first semester, they have nine points in their last eight games and seven of eight points from the last two weekends - including a sweep of the first-place Eagles <b>AT</b> Conte. They have climbed out of the cellar into 8th and are within quick striking distance of the slots just above. Along the way, they have - surprisingly for an 8th place team - already earned the tie-breakers against current #1 BC and, perhaps more importantly, current #6 UML.

Three of their next four weekends are against their other three compatriots in the current bottom four of the league, which is among the most favorable schedules <i>on paper</i> that one could hope for. That could make the final weekend at the Whitt for a pair very interesting for its seeding implications.

----
Maine's other weekend in that "3-of-next-4" span has them hosting a curiously stumbling BU squad that was essentially winning two-of-three in the first semester (including wins over then-#1 BC and then-#1 UNH less than a week apart, and their nominal backup goalie having back-to-back shutouts), but is 3-6-1 since being crushed out in Denver just before New Year's.

During that 10-game string, BU has been up and down on both ends of the ice. Offensively, they're scoring enough that they've won every game when they've given up 2 or fewer goals, but defensively, that's only happened three times. One remarkably and unusually-common theme is that one of the teams in these games will have a three-goal (or more) lead, but the other might answer with three (or more) of their own.

Denver won by six.
BU had two different three-goal leads hosting Harvard (their Monday Consolation opponent), only to have the Crimson come back - ultimately sending the game to OT with three straight in the 3rd and then potting one in the last minute of OT for their 4th in a row and the W.
BU beat MC by 3.
NU had a 3-goal lead at Agganis before BU came back to tie with 3 quick ones in less than six minutes in the 3rd - only to have former Terrier Vinny Saponari again beat the terriers in his old home rink.
UML was up 4-1 before the Terriers closed it to a nail-biter at 4-3.
PC had only a 2-0 lead before BU scored three straight for a 3-2 final.
UMA had a 5-0 lead before Ben Rosen made a fantastic one-v-many short-handed play to muscle in BU's only goal. - That was, of course, before he made a more widely known play that led to a goal in the other direction that changed the tone of the early first round Beanpot game. The effort on the former play is more typical of Rosen, but he'll have to work hard to shake the latter from people's memories. (Perhaps someone has Bill Buckner's contact info so he can offer advice?)

That's seven of the ten games with three-goal leads or responses - or both. In fact, seven 3-plus-goal leads and three 3-plus-goal answers in ten games gives about even odds that you'll see one or the other.

Ultimately, the trip for the high-but-falling Terriers to Alfond to face the low-but-rising Black Bears could prove to be a defining series for both teams' seasons.

----
Speaking of remarkable numbers, did anyone else look at the box score for Sunday's UML@ME game?

A 4-3 game with multiple lead changes, but... the two teams were only <i>un</i>tied for a total of 6:24 in a game that ran 63:59.

Of that 6:24, the longest lead was 2-1 UML for 5:30. Other than that, UML had a 3-2 lead for :40 and Maine had their only regulation time lead at 1-0 for a mere fourteen seconds. Their final lead, of course, they had for zero seconds on the clock, but forever on the scoresheet.

That's a pretty close game, wouldn't you say?

Todd
02-08-2013, 05:38 PM
Since this weekend's schedule is light and nothing much has moved, here's a little more Beanpot trivia:

Many have discussed how NU broke their 25-year drought against BU in the Beanpot with their win on Monday.

What many don't remember is that at that time (the '80s), probably the biggest rivalry in the tournament was, arguably, BU and NU - and the Huskies had the upper hand.

The two squads met in the first round in 1980, '83, '86, and '89. Results? NU 6-5 (OT), NU 4-3, BU 8-5, BU 5-4(OT). Sure, that's a split. Note, for rivalry's sake, that both NU wins came with BU as the reigning champ and both BU wins knocked off NU as reigning champ.

They also met in the finals in '84, '85, '87, and '88. Results? NU 5-2, NU 4-2, BU 4-3(OT), NU 6-3. A clear 3-1 advantage for NU.

(They also met once in the '81 consolation game with a BU 9-2 drubbing, but more about consolations in a bit.)

On a personal note, I began watching the Beanpot in the '80s and was in attendance for each game when the Huskies ran off their three straight wins against BU ('83-'85). When BU took the opening game in 1986, I honestly didn't care about the Terriers facing BC in the final. What mattered was that they finally made it past the Huskies. Let that thought steep in your head for a minute in light of recent history.

----
Here's another NU/BU connection:

Most Beanpot-minded folks remember that NU won their first title in 1980 (with two OT games, no less). What most <i>don't</i> remember about that year is that - until two years ago - that was Jack Parker's only <i>last</i> place finish as coach or player.

When BU notched Parker's second 4th ever in 2011 (to Harvard again, after 31 years), NU and BC played again into OT, as they had in 1980. This time, BC came out the victor, but NU was "one bounce away" from breaking another long drought in sync with a Parker squad going 0-2.

With a BU/Harvard Consolation and a BC/NU Final on tap, break out your crystal balls.

----
A sense of scale:

BC has certainly stemmed the tide of late on what used to be referred to in the media as the BU Invitational (and some would derisively say that BC stood for Beanpot Consolation).

Coming into this tourney, in Jerry York's 18 Beanpots as BC head coach, his squads have gone 6-6-6-0. Now, how "Saint" Jerry could be coaching at a Jesuit school with three consecutive sixes on his record is an issue for the theologians. What is of note here is that with all of the success that BC has had in recent years, Jerry has six wins in twelve finals and has only been in the consolation game six times.

By comparison, in Jack Parker's 39 years behind the bench prior to this tournament, he <i>also</i> has been to only six consolation games (with a record of 4-2).

That means that for York to be at the same point after 39 years behind the BC Beanpot bench (at which point he'd be nearly 90 and might have an eye on 2000 career wins), he'd have to go <b>21 straight years</b> without missing a final - and win roughly two-thirds of those finals to boot. This year takes care of one of those finals, result pending. Only two decades more to go.

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One last one that I haven't seen elsewhere (but admittedly, I've been too busy to read much coverage, so maybe *everyone* has talked about it).

As I recall, back when Parker, York, Umile, Bertagna, et al. played in college, freshmen weren't allowed to skate in varsity games. That puts Parker, a '68 grad, on the ice for Terriers for the first time in the '65-'66 season. His first Beanpot: 1966.

For those that delve into the Beanpot numbers, that year will be familiar as a watershed. Prior to that year, BU had won only once (NU: 1980). The BU Seniors when Parker was a freshman never got to hoist the trophy. Parker and his classmates rattled off six straight wins, earned three trophies, and set a new tone for the tournament.

Over the next 40 years, BU would win nearly 5 out of every 8 tournaments. Eventually, the NCAA let freshmen play. The '80's were undoubtedly the best decade for balance, being the only one where all four schools skated with the 'Pot. However much things changed, there was one constant: BU was seemingly the odds on favorite, at least psychologically, if not on paper. No matter how long the streak or dip, all BU classes since Parker first laced up for the Terriers had one thing in common. All of them had won at least one Beanpot.

Until now.

With BC on a three-year run and BU knocked out of this year's final by NU, not only did the Huskies beat BU in the Beanpot for the first time in an incredible 25 years (their last title in 1988), but they also denied the first BU class since the grads of 1965 - almost TWICE that 25 years - from taking home a Beanpot.

In fact, the only Terrier to win a Beanpot that is still skating in college isn't a Terrier anymore. He's a Husky - and he's playing in the final on Monday night.

I don't know if that means that Hell has frozen over - like many would have expected at this turn of events - but it sure is snowy outside.

Snively65
02-09-2013, 12:02 AM
Good stuff, Todd. Thanks.

jjmc85
02-09-2013, 12:22 AM
Bookmarking the thread. Did Hockey East ever answer anyone about the tiebreaker method changing a few years ago? :)

Todd
02-16-2013, 09:20 AM
Bookmarking the thread. Did Hockey East ever answer anyone about the tiebreaker method changing a few years ago? :)
I can't speak for anyone else, but my email conversation with them (a few years back) stopped abruptly right after the point where it was clear that they had made the change in interpretation that we discussed at length here. I can't say whether there was a cause and effect, but that did, factually, happen to be the timing.

IIRC, I also bumped into Bertagna at a Harvard game at Bright the following season and during our brief conversation, I brought up the subject.

Since that time, (again, from memory) the league did not change the letter of the rule (which has remained constant), but I think they tweaked some footer explanation of it somewhere. Maybe in the press release towards the end of the season?

Anyway, the summary is that I think our discussion, relayed by me (and perhaps others?) spurred the league to resolve and clarify - the result being that they have solidified on the newer 3-plus-way TB method rather than the old.

Todd
02-16-2013, 11:07 AM
Sorry...

I thought I posted the light weekend and mid-week action results, but I guess I wrote them all in my head.

In brief, over the next few posts, here's what we had:

After Sat 2/9: ME @ UVM

--- Home Lock - 38 (BC/UNH/BU/MC) ---
--- In - 29 (ME/NU) ---
BC 25 - 41 [1-10]
UNH 23 - 41 [1-10]
MC 22 - 40 [1-10]
BU 21 - 39 [1-10]
PC 20 - 38 [1-10]
UML 18 - 36 [1-10]
UMA 15 - 35 [1-10]
UVM 14 - 30 [1-10]
ME 13 - 29 [1-10]
NU 11 - 29 [1-10]
--- Home Eligible - 24 (Field) ---
--- Out - 14 (UVM) ---

Remaining LEAGUE storm-adjusted schedules:
BC - @MC, UNH, @MC, UML, PC/@PC, @UVMx2
UNH - PC/@PC, @BC, @UVMx2, UMAx2, MEx2
MC - UMA, BC, @PC, BC, @BU, @UML/UML, UMA/@UMA
BU - @MEx2, UML/@UML, MC, UVMx2, @NU/NU
PC - @UNH/UNH, MC, NU/@NU, @BC/BC, @UML/UML
UML - @UMA/UMA, @BU/BU, @BC, MC/@MC, PC/@PC
UMA - @MC, UML/@UML, NU, MEx2, @UNHx2, @MC/MC
UVM - @NUx2, UNHx2, @BUx2, BCx2
ME - BUx2, @UMAx2, NUx2, @UNHx2
NU - UVMx2, @UMA, @PC/PC, @MEx2, BU/@BU

UVM swaps with Maine, at least temporarily, for the last playoff slot. In and Out lines bump a a point closer from each side.

Todd
02-16-2013, 11:08 AM
After Sun 2/10: UMA @ MC, PC @ UNH

--- Home Lock - 38 (BC/UNH/BU/MC) ---
--- In - 29 (ME/NU) ---
BC 25 - 41 [1-10]
UNH 24 - 40 [1-10]
MC 24 - 40 [1-10]
BU 21 - 39 [1-10]
PC 21 - 37 [1-10]
UML 18 - 36 [1-10]
UMA 15 - 33 [1-10]
UVM 14 - 30 [1-10]
ME 13 - 29 [1-10]
NU 11 - 29 [1-10]
--- Home Eligible - 24 (BU/PC/UML/Field) ---
--- Out - 14 (UVM) ---

Remaining LEAGUE storm-adjusted schedules:
BC - @MC, UNH, @MC, UML, PC/@PC, @UVMx2
UNH - @PC, @BC, @UVMx2, UMAx2, MEx2
MC - BC, @PC, BC, @BU, @UML/UML, UMA/@UMA
BU - @MEx2, UML/@UML, MC, UVMx2, @NU/NU
PC - UNH, MC, NU/@NU, @BC/BC, @UML/UML
UML - @UMA/UMA, @BU/BU, @BC, MC/@MC, PC/@PC
UMA - UML/@UML, NU, MEx2, @UNHx2, @MC/MC
UVM - @NUx2, UNHx2, @BUx2, BCx2
ME - BUx2, @UMAx2, NUx2, @UNHx2
NU - UVMx2, @UMA, @PC/PC, @MEx2, BU/@BU

Merrimack jumps up into a tie with UNH with their win and UNH's tie. The pair is also even in Max, and a point behind BC in both banked and Max points.

The tie also draws PC even with BU for the final Home Ice slot, but PC's Max is two below BU's.

With MC now joining UNH and BC at or above 24, which is where we have the Home Eligible line, that benchmark really comes down to the interlocking schedule that UML has with BU and PC (who are done with each other), but there are still a couple of other factors, so I'll change the notation a little.

The UNH tie soaks up the remaining "free" point floating around in the scenario from a few posts ago that had the Home Lock line as high as 38.

In that case, we'd have UNH with a 39 Max and MC, BC, and BU all with a 38 Max. That gives us at least one scenario where it would take 38 points to get Home Ice, so the Home Lock has to be at least 38 - but can't be as high as 39, per above.
If we adjust that point away from UNH, all four teams would be at 38 in that specific case, so the HL line stays as is. However, any points lost (outside the interplay of that scenario) by any of those four would necessarily cause a re-calibration to drop that line. Even though PC is tied with BU (and UML is close), consult the prior post for why the schedule dictates that those are the four currently setting the line (which could change).

Todd
02-16-2013, 11:09 AM
After Wed 2/13: UNH @ PC

--- Home Lock - 37 (BC/UNH/BU/MC) ---
--- In - 29 (ME/NU) ---
BC 25 - 41 [1-10]
MC 24 - 40 [1-10]
UNH 24 - 38 [1-10]
PC 23 - 37 [1-10]
BU 21 - 39 [1-10]
UML 18 - 36 [1-10]
UMA 15 - 33 [1-10]
UVM 14 - 30 [1-10]
ME 13 - 29 [1-10]
NU 11 - 29 [1-10]
--- Home Eligible - 24 (BU/PC/UML) ---
--- Out - 14 (UVM) ---

Remaining LEAGUE storm-adjusted schedules:
BC - @MC, UNH, @MC, UML, PC/@PC, @UVMx2
MC - BC, @PC, BC, @BU, @UML/UML, UMA/@UMA
UNH - @BC, @UVMx2, UMAx2, MEx2
PC - MC, NU/@NU, @BC/BC, @UML/UML
BU - @MEx2, UML/@UML, MC, UVMx2, @NU/NU
UML - @UMA/UMA, @BU/BU, @BC, MC/@MC, PC/@PC
UMA - UML/@UML, NU, MEx2, @UNHx2, @MC/MC
UVM - @NUx2, UNHx2, @BUx2, BCx2
ME - BUx2, @UMAx2, NUx2, @UNHx2
NU - UVMx2, @UMA, @PC/PC, @MEx2, BU/@BU

PC takes three of four points from UNH to jump past league-idle BU for the final Home Ice slot. PC is now also only a single point behind UNH and has clinched a 2-0-1 TB.

UNH's Max drop below MC's, so I'll drop them to the third slot, even though they are tied on Banked points.

With UNH losing points outside the "38" scenario, the Home Lock line drops because that foursome - theoretically now tied at 38 as of Sunday - is out of spare points. In this case, it'll just drop to 37. Simply put, since the "38" scenario had BC beating UNH (when UNH had spare points), if they now <i>tie</i> instead, that drops both to 37.

PC adding two to their total also boils the Home Eligible line down to the current 4-5-6 teams. As a reminder, the Home Eligible line demonstrates how <i>low</i> a total one could have and still get Home Ice. In that vein, we let the top three teams run away at this point and focus on fourth.

Again, at this point, frequent readers of this thread should be able to follow in their heads: PC at 23, BU at 21, UML at 18. PC and BU are done H2H, but UML has a pair with each remaining. That's eight points. If UML won out, that's 26 points. Clearly, there are points to distribute below that- because we're hypothesizing how <i>low</i> a total we can get here - so...

UML and PC: If PC picks up any points, as the leader of the three, that will drive the line higher faster. So let's assume on our first pass that UML sweeps and try locking PC in at 23. That would add 4 to UML and put them at 22.

UML and BU: With UML at 22 and BU at 21, this is a pretty common situation around here. We have two ways to hold the line at 24: either a 2/2 split (leaving them at 24/23), or a 1/3 split for BU (making it 23/24). In either case, combined with PC, we have three teams with 24/23/23. However the points <i>actually</i> get distributed among these three, with three other teams (BC, MC, UNH) already at or above 24 the lowest point total one will need for fourth place, and Home Ice is 24.

There is enough flexibility in the bottom four that they don't factor in to the Home Eligible line. Not that they can't get there, just that they could distribute points evenly and not force it.

In fact, we still don't have anyone that has clinched any places yet, but we're close.

Either NU or Maine, with their 29 Maxes, could still win out and take 1st. They play each other for a pair, but could split, leaving both with 27, and still ahead of the rest of the pack.

Next up from the bottom, UVM could not only win out for 1st, but has a Max of 30, plays NU twice, and is done with Maine. If NU and Maine were at 27, that could have UVM at 26, which still has all three ahead of the top of the league.

UMA has 8 points to spare from their Max (33) to the current leader (BC's 25), but only six points at risk to the teams below (NU, MEx2), so all four of the bottom teams could pass the leaders.

And so on.

No one has clinched anything. No one is locked out of 1st. No one is safe from 10th. Were getting there, but not yet.

Todd
02-16-2013, 11:25 AM
As noted below, I had written (roughly) the changes after the snow-lightened slate of games prior to this weekend, but apparently only in my head.

For the sake of completeness, and some reading to tide you over, I posted three times below what the changes were after last Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday.

I'll post later what the impact was of last night.

On the overall front, nothing has been decided coming into the weekend.

With four weekends to go, that's usually 16 or fewer points left for each team to grab. Nemo packed a couple of extra games into the final month, so some teams still have 9 games left coming into the weekend. Out of a 27-game league schedule, that's still a third of the season left.

Further, since the thread started this year, the standings have only gotten <i>more</i> compact as the middle has risen up to meet the top. In MC's case, they were listed 6th (tied for 5th) in the first post, but took over first last night. Kudos to MC, but you also can't mathematically achieve that in a fortnight unless the top and the middle are pretty close to start with.

Anyway... more later. In the meantime, enjoy getting caught up on what happened earlier this week.

CollegeHockeyRinkReport
02-16-2013, 11:49 AM
http://www.westerncollegehockeyblog.com/hockey-east/2013/2/14/3986582/hockey-east-playoff-ncaa-pairwise-observations-analysis

Todd
02-17-2013, 01:03 AM
After Fri 2/15:
BC 1 @ MC 2 OT,
BU 3 @ ME 3 OT,
UVM 2 @ NU 1,
UML 6 @ UMA 3

--- Home Lock - 37 (BC/UNH/BU/MC/PC) ---
--- In - 28 (ME) ---
MC 26 - 40 [1-9]
BC 25 - 39 [1-9]
UNH 24 - 38 [1-10]
PC 23 - 37 [1-10]
BU 22 - 38 [1-10]
UML 20 - 36 [1-10]
UVM 16 - 30 [1-10]
UMA 15 - 31 [1-10]
ME 14 - 28 [2-10]
NU 11 - 27 [2-10]
--- Home Eligible - 25 (BU/PC/UML) ---
--- Out - 17 (UMA/ME/NU) ---

Remaining LEAGUE storm-adjusted schedules:
MC - @PC, BC, @BU, @UML/UML, UMA/@UMA
BC - UNH, @MC, UML, PC/@PC, @UVMx2
UNH - @BC, @UVMx2, UMAx2, MEx2
PC - MC, NU/@NU, @BC/BC, @UML/UML
BU - @ME, UML/@UML, MC, UVMx2, @NU/NU
UML - UMA, @BU/BU, @BC, MC/@MC, PC/@PC
UVM - @NU, UNHx2, @BUx2, BCx2
UMA - @UML, NU, MEx2, @UNHx2, @MC/MC
ME - BU, @UMAx2, NUx2, @UNHx2
NU - UVM, @UMA, @PC/PC, @MEx2, BU/@BU


Break up the Warriors!!!

With their home OT win over BC, Merrimack has completed the journey from the bottom half of the league to the top of the standings. After a 3-4-1 league start (with all seven points coming from the then-bottom of the league), the Warriors have figured something out and gone 9-2-1 in HE since.

---
On the flip side of MC, BC started off 10-2-1 in HE, but - since the Beanpot doesn't count in league standings - has stumbled to 2-5 since. Nearly reciprocal results has the two squads nearly tied, with MC a point ahead.

---
With UNH and PC idle, that brings us to another curiously sliding Boston squad, the BU Terriers. I detailed last weekend an unusual "3-goal" streak involving BU.
That's seven of the ten games with three-goal leads or responses - or both. In fact, seven 3-plus-goal leads and three 3-plus-goal answers in ten games gives about even odds that you'll see one or the other.Well... Harvard scored four straight on Monday to take a 6-3 lead <i>en route</i> to a 7-4 final, then Maine trailed by two before ripping three straight on the PP before the BU equalizer for Friday's 3-3 result, so add two more to that skein.

Of more concern for the Terriers, it seemed that the toughest part of their schedule was going to be 2012 - with all six games against BC and UNH, and road trips to North Dakota for two and another at Denver. Although BU went 3-6 against those teams, with one win each against BC, UNH, and UND (BC and UNH were each national #1 at the time), they took care of business against everyone else and ended 2012 at 10-6. That seemed to bode well for the lighter-on-paper 2013 half of the BU season. Their 2013 so far? 3-6-2, with, staying on theme, three of those losses in a row. The result: BU was, at one point, hovering around 5th in the country and is now hovering around 5th in the league.

---
UML's win has them gaining ground on everyone ahead of them but MC. UML picked up a pair on BC (lost), UNH (idle), and PC(idle). Only BU's late tie-salvaging goal kept the Terriers from joining that group.

With BU and UML (along with UMA and NU) having a game-in-hand on the field, that puts the Maxes of the top six teams within four points (40-36).

---
UVM's win leapfrogs them over losing UMA into 7th.

---
With the bottom teams losing potential for points, we finally get some motion in the positions being locked in.

NU's new max of 27 means that they could now pass either MC (26) or BC (25), but - since there is still an MC/BC game on tap - not both. They best they could hope for would be that either of the two would have only 27 points to tie. Since NU already loses both TBs 1-2-0, the only thing that could potentially save them for first would be a three-way tie with MC and BU at 27. At that point, NU would be a collective 4-2-0 (MC:1-2-0 + BU:3-0-0), by virtue of necessarily sweeping BU to get to 27 points. Merrimack would have to have tied BC to keep BC under 27 (at 26), which means they would have to lose to BU in their remaining game. That would put MC at 2-4-0 (NU:2-1-0 + BU:0-3-0) and BU at 3-3-0 (NU:0-3-0 + MC:3-0-0). So far, there's still a way for NU to get the 1st seed.

UNH and BC still have to play, with UNH winning, to leave both at 26... still OK for NU.

And then there's PC... and that's where it all falls apart for NU. PC has one more with MC and a pair with BC. Since MC is already tied in this setup, PC (23) has to win. There's no way to split four points between BC (26) and PC (25) that keeps both behind NU at 27. NU cannot be in first.

Sneaking up from the bottom half, and to be remembered for any remaining configurations from here out, is Vermont. All of UVM's games <i>not</i> against NU are pairs against top teams (BC, UNH, and BU). That's 12 points. For those teams to stay down, UVM must rise.

Similarly, once UML is done with UMA, their remaining seven games are all against each of the teams ahead of them, except UNH. Now we're talking <b>14</b> points. As noted, the top six are so tight that there just isn't a lot of wiggle room for teams at the bottom to move up, because the points at the top have to go <i>somewhere</i>.

When the various permutations are in, the best I can get NU is 2nd, where BC sucks up all the points from the other contenders and NU (3-0-0 + 1-2-0 + 2-1-0 = 6-3-0) wins a 4-way tie with BU (0-3-0 + 3-0-0 + 2-0-1 = 5-3-1), MC (2-1-0 + 0-3-0 + 1-2-0 or 1-1-1 = 3-6-0 or 3-5-1), and PC (1-2-0 + 0-2-1 + 2-1-0 or 1-1-1 = 3-5-1 or 2-5-2).

---
In the same way, for Maine at 28, even though they hold - or would have to hold at their Max - the TBs with many of the top teams, the best I can get them is 2nd, TBs or not, behind either BC, PC, or UML due to schedule.

---
UMA at 31, and everyone above them, could still be in first solo.

---
Going the other way, even though the bottom two teams surprisingly each have the TB over league-leading MC, their maxes of 27(NU) and 28(ME) only have three spare points to keep both tied-or-above MC at 26. With their H2H pair dropping a collective <i>four</i> points off of those two Maxes once we have results, that means at least one must be behind MC and therefore MC cannot be 10th.

UMA's Max is only five ahead of MC and they also have six remaining points at risk against the other bottom two, but they can just take points against whichever team drops behind MC in a given scenario and stay ahead. So MC can be 9th, but not 10th.

---
BC, at 25, can fall so low that no one is below them. However, that results in (at least) a three-way tie at the bottom with two of the three of NU, ME, and UMA.

The most interesting of those is where BC, NU, and ME all have 25 and each has a .500 record in the group (3-3-0, 2-2-2, 2-2-2). In that case, however, BC would pull ahead on the 2nd TB, because the other two have so many ties included in their point totals (counting banked ties is a quick way of extrapolating that they will be behind in wins without having to count them: 1-1-0 beats 0-0-2 on the 2nd TB.)

UMA has only the one tie so far (meaning they could catch BC in wins), but in a tie with BC and ME at 25 would lose both TBs individually and so would end up at the bottom of that round-robin break (and therefore below BC) <i>before</i> getting to the 2nd TB, rendering the "wins" factor moot. With NU and UMA, BC would be 2-1-0 against both, and so would not be in 10th after that break either.

If there were one more point available to get both NU and UMA clear at 26 to leave ME in a H2H tie w/ BC at 25 (which ME would take 2-1-0), BC would still be vulnerable to 10th. Since there isn't, and none of the 3-way TBs break against them (there's too much in flux for me to explore what a ...six-way tie would do, but I sense it's the same), the simplest way to see the lowest BC can currently fall is to have one team below 25, the rest above and BC in 9th without TBs.

---
UNH at 24 could still be below that bottom troika and end up 10th, and so could everyone below them.

---
Home Lock stays at 37, but now PC is in the mix because you can get there with MC, UNH, BU and either BC or PC.

UML can only get to 36 and, in so doing, would tear down the Maxes of four other top teams to get there. Because of their schedule, I don't expect UML to be involved in this benchmark until perhaps very close to the end, if at all.

---
BU's tie and UML's win inject just enough points into the middle of the standings that PC, BU, UML have to end up at least at 25/24/24 in some order. That puts 4th place at a minimum of 25, so we'll move the Home Eligible line there.

---
With Maine's current 9th highest Max at 28, that's the total to beat to guarantee a spot in the playoffs, so that's the In line.

Normally, if you can't reach the banked points of the current 8th (UMA's 15), you're out. However, given the interplay left between the bottom three, the lowest that I can make 8th is 17, so that's where we'll set the Out line.

Todd
02-17-2013, 03:44 AM
After Sat 2/16:
BU 5 @ ME 4 OT,
UVM 3 @ NU 1,
UMA 2 @ UML 3

--- Home Lock - 37 (BC/UNH/BU/MC/PC) ---
MC 26 - 40 [1-8]
--- In - 26 (ME/UMA) ---
BC 25 - 39 [1-9]
UNH 24 - 38 [1-9]
BU 24 - 38 [1-9]
PC 23 - 37 [1-]
UML 22 - 36 [1-10]
UVM 18 - 30 [1-10]
UMA 15 - 29 [2-10]
ME 14 - 26 [4-10]
NU 11 - 25 [4-10]
--- Home Eligible - 25 (UNH/PC/UML) ---
--- Out - 17 (UMA/ME/NU) ---

Remaining LEAGUE storm-adjusted schedules:
MC - @PC, BC, @BU, @UML/UML, UMA/@UMA
BC - UNH, @MC, UML, PC/@PC, @UVMx2
UNH - @BC, @UVMx2, UMAx2, MEx2
BU - UML/@UML, MC, UVMx2, @NU/NU
PC - MC, NU/@NU, @BC/BC, @UML/UML
UML - @BU/BU, @BC, MC/@MC, PC/@PC
UVM - UNHx2, @BUx2, BCx2
UMA - NU, MEx2, @UNHx2, @MC/MC
ME - @UMAx2, NUx2, @UNHx2
NU - @UMA, @PC/PC, @MEx2, BU/@BU


It just...

keeps...

getting...

tighter.

---
5th place BU's late OT win* jumps them over PC back up into a Home Ice position and actually into a tie for 3rd with UNH only two points out of first.

* (under :05 to go, from a tap-in off a two-man breakaway rush from their own end, as Maine collapsed in to rally in their offensive zone - What? How does <i>that</i> happen?)

And, of course, because it's a BU game since Festivus 2012, BU rattled off four straight to take a 3-goal lead before Maine responded with three-in-a-row of their own to send it to OT.

---
6th place UML stays in 6th, but their victory squeezes the last air bubble out of the top six. Every point won at the moment moves someone up or down in those standings.

---
Adding four more banked points into the BU/PC/UML mix turns last post's 25/24/24 into 26/26/25. However, you could still have a 25/24/24 line by swapping UNH in for BU, so we'll leave the Home Eligible Line at 25, but swap the indicator teams.

---
The top six are packed so densely that they are beginning to absorb light. It's even possible that Vermont may have crossed the Event Horizon and is being tugged into the pack which, given UVM's victory tonight and remaining schedule, is quite possible.

---
The other side of the coin tonight is that the bottom three all lost. We've entered the point of the season where the drop in possibilities for the bottom group will accelerate. With the top teams so close, that drop will be precipitous, as every game lost will pass teams in chunks.

Here's an example:

NU's Max dropped from 27 to 25 tonight with their loss. While previously they could pass any given team, they already couldn't get 1st because the schedule required that someone would be ahead of them, we just couldn't say who. Now at 25 Max, we know they can't catch MC (26). They could catch BC, but lose the H2H tb, so they'd need a mutli-way tb in their favor.

But merely tying BC would mean that BC losses would put at least UNH (26) and PC (27) ahead of them, so 4th at best. If we instead cede 2nd for NU and hope for BC to sop up enough points for NU to reach 3rd, that still won't work. NU could hope for a 3-way tie with BU and PC at 25 and take that on a 5-1-0 tb, but that would leave UML with 27 and UVM with 26.

Can NU cede the top three slots and try to hang on for Home Ice? Well, as expected with Home Eligible at 25, it'll be close. It depends on who it is that has the 25. It's possible for NU to be in a tie for 4th and win a H2H tb with, say, PC (with a sweep next weekend giving NU 2-1-0 on the season). So, the opportunity for points missed from just one game (tonight) drops NU from a possible 2nd to 4th, by their fingernails.

---
Maine could tie MC, but loses that tb, so ME can't catch MC without some sort of multi-way tb help. With a 0-2-1 (as opposed to 1-2-0) against MC and no 3-0-0 sweeps possible (and a 2-0-1 vs. UMA wouldn't matter), ME would need at least a favorable four-way tie to get their round-robin record above .500 to have a shot.

MC and BC play. BC and UNH play. MC-BU. MC-PC. MC-UML. BC-UML. BC-PC. BU-UML. PC-UML. UVM against UNH, BU, BC. There are just too many points to hold back that have to go somewhere in here.

Ultimately, like NU, Maine could be 4th - but at 26, they could be ahead of the 25/24/24 Home Eligible crew by themselves.

---
With 29 Max, UMA could pass anyone, but they can no longer pass the entire field. Best case: 2nd.

---
UVM could still top everyone with 30 points.

---
From the top of the stack down:

As noted, MC can't be caught by NU. It would also be questionable as to whether ME could get past MC on tbs, but that turns out to be moot.

We can fairly easily get MC behind the rest of the top seven. NU can't catch them, so their points are usable by other squads. If UMA and ME win out, with only their own series pending, we have MC at their banked 26, UMA at 25 and ME at 22.

Of course ME would need to sweep everything to reach their Max, so they would need all the points from UMA just to tie MC. But that would leave UMA behind MC anyway at 25. If UMA takes any points from Maine, that would leave Maine short of MC, so UMA might as well take them all.

Net result: MC has to finish ahead of NU and at least one of UMA/ME. With two teams unable to catch them, that secures 8th - and a playoff spot for MC. The Warriors are our first team in.

---
Accordingly, after tonight's losses and considering the schedules as we just have, I will move the In line to 26 with UMA/ME as the factors.

---
For BC, it's fairly quick to see that they haven't clinched yet.

Referencing the MC clinching scenario above: if we split the UMA/ME series 1/3, that puts UMA above BC at 26 and gives ME enough points to catch BC at 25 and take the final playoff spot by virtue of their weekend sweep at Conte three weeks ago. BC can still be 9th and out.

---
Looking at the bottom three - and their interlocking schedules - a different way, the Max that I can get for 10th is now actually a two-way tie for 9th at 23, whatever pair that might be of the three.

That puts BC, UNH and BU out of reach of 10th (BC already was) and PC in a potential three-way tie at 9th. With PC already owning the tb with ME (2-0-1) and UMA (2-1-0), even a sweep next weekend by NU would mean, at worst, that PC would be 2nd in the round-robin break at 23. 2nd is not last out of three, so PC is also no longer at risk for 10th.

At 22 banked, UML and therefore everyone below, are still 10th-eligible.

---
Since only one (BU) of the five indicator teams for Home Lock played tonight, and they won, that line doesn't move - it is just as hard to lock up Home Ice as it was when the night started.

Since all three of the indicator teams for Out lost tonight, that line also does not move - as no team made it any harder to reach 8th place for those below.

---
The pair of Sunday 4:00 games should prove interesting for how things shift in the aftermath.

At the rate we've been going we'll get either:

The lower two (PC and UNH) will win, which will give us a pair (MC, UNH) at 26, a pair (BC, PC) at 25, and a team (BU at 24) two points out of first that wouldn't get Home Ice if the playoffs were seeded Monday.

- or -

two ties.

Todd
02-17-2013, 11:05 PM
Ahem...


---
The pair of Sunday 4:00 games should prove interesting for how things shift in the aftermath.

At the rate we've been going we'll get either:

...

- or -

two ties.Called it.

Just sayin'.

Todd
02-18-2013, 04:03 AM
After Sun 2/17:
UNH 4 @ BC 4 OT
MC 2 @ PC 2 OT

--- Home Lock - 37 (MC/BC/UNH/BU) ---
MC 27 - 39 [1-8]
BC 26 - 38 [1-8]
--- In - 26 (ME/UMA) ---
UNH 25 - 37 [1-9]
BU 24 - 38 [1-9]
PC 24 - 36 [1-9]
UML 22 - 36 [1-10]
UVM 18 - 30 [1-10]
UMA 15 - 29 [2-10]
ME 14 - 26 [4-10]
--- Home Eligible - 25 (UNH/PC/UML) ---
NU 11 - 25 [5-10]
--- Out - 17 (UMA/ME/NU) ---

Remaining LEAGUE storm-adjusted schedules:
MC - BC, @BU, @UML/UML, UMA/@UMA
BC - @MC, UML, PC/@PC, @UVMx2
UNH - @UVMx2, UMAx2, MEx2
BU - UML/@UML, MC, UVMx2, @NU/NU
PC - NU/@NU, @BC/BC, @UML/UML
UML - @BU/BU, @BC, MC/@MC, PC/@PC
UVM - UNHx2, @BUx2, BCx2
UMA - NU, MEx2, @UNHx2, @MC/MC
ME - @UMAx2, NUx2, @UNHx2
NU - @UMA, @PC/PC, @MEx2, BU/@BU


So that's fun.

Four of the top five teams faced off Sunday afternoon and the result was sister-kissing on the level not seen since... Angelina Jolie and her brother got really creepy at that awards show a few years back - unless, of course, you live in , in which case, it was just "Sunday".

By which I mean: both games were ties.

Now the whole group taking a half-step forward might seem like it has little impact, but remember how tightly packed everything is and how fragile all of the benchmarks and seeding ranges are at this point. One point makes a huge difference.

----
Sure, all four teams add one to their banked point totals - but they also all drop one from their respective Maxes.

That means that there are now only four teams capable of reaching the current Home Lock line of 37. Does that mean we have to drop the line, or just drop PC (new Max 36) as a factor from the benchmark?

Simple enough to figure out.

UNH's Max is now 37, so they'd have to win out - but they're done within the group, so that's fine.
BU has one point to play with, so let's give them a tie in their storm-delayed game with MC and otherwise win out to also hit 37.
The tie w/ BU would drop MC's Max even with BC's at 38, giving each one point to spare. The only remaining game within the group is a single MC/BC match. A tie here uses up both spares, but gives both teams 37 after winning out, so we can still have a four-way tie at 37.

That means Home Lock will stay at 37 for now, but any points lost outside this exact scenario will drop it.

----
Since the teams that tied were all adjacent in banked points, we just did analysis on seeding ranges at those totals, and all four moved up one point, much of the day's analysis work is already done.

For example: Coming into the day, MC had clinched at 26, but BC had not at 25. That was because 26 is beyond NU and either ME or UMA also had to fall short of 26. No tbs, just straight-up point counting. So now that BC adds a point to get to 26, they become the second team to clinch a spot. Congrats, Eagles.

----
Next up: BC had not clinched at 25 because even though one of UMA/ME had to top out at 25, BC would lose on tbs to ME. Now that UNH has moved to 25, does that apply to them as well, or have they won the tbs and clinched?

Well, neither of their UMA or ME tbs is settled yet, but that just means those games are still to come. Since the scenario demands that UNH lose out to stay at 25, that mandates that they would lose a pair - and the tbs - to both. Therefore, whichever of UMA or ME one sticks at a hypothetical 25, UNH would lose the H2H tb, and - like BC yesterday - could still be 9th.

----
At 23, PC was escaping 10th only by virtue of owning tbs on whatever collection ended up in a three-way tier for 9th in the highest possible current outcome for distributing points to the bottom of the league - which was also 23. Now that they are at 24, they join the other top squads that are beyond tbs and do it on points alone. Same seeding range result, but more straightforward to determine.

----
Since UNH and PC (with idle UML) were part of the group setting the Home Eligible line at 25 with a possible 25/24/24 points distribution, adding a point to each levels that out to 25/25/25. So Home Eligible stays at 25, but it would have to be at least a three-way tie with those three teams.

----
The flip side of UNH and PC moving up one point is that NU was barely hanging on to a chance at Home Ice with the Home Eligible line at 25 and could get there by winning a tb with PC at 25.

The long version is in a separate post to follow, but all that discussion leads to: NU can no longer get a H2H tb w/ PC that would give them Home Ice, but would have to get atop a 4-to-6-way tie - any combination of which, they would lose. NU is iced out of a Home slot.

That said, NU could still take [I]5th place at 25 either on their own or in a tie with BU, PC, or both.

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With the Home Eligible line scraping by at 25, Maine's 26 Max means they could still be 4th solo and grab Home Ice.

UMA can still get ahead of all but one team (TBD) and grab 2nd, while UVM can still top the field solo.

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Just for fun:

One notable thing about the possible six-way tie at 25 is that they would be situated such that most would get a similar result - on the road for the QFs. However, the winner of the group would get Home Ice and the loser of the group would be 9th and Out.

Reminds me of the NewsRadio "Big Day" episode (with "The Big Bonus" and "The Shaft").

If you haven't seen it, click here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gVQyfYuExA) for context and my favorite part begins at 3:10 of this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXDcnfne5Kc) chunk - but I am <i>very</i> familiar with the original movie and the Isaac Hayes score.

If you aren't familiar with the movie, you may also be unaware that the Shaft soundtrack (which they are quoting) is the inspiration for the character of "Chef" on South Park, voiced by Isaac Hayes.

Todd
02-18-2013, 04:21 AM
---- NU cannot get Home Ice: The Long Version ----

***Nothing besides this detailed thought experiment is posted in this thread , so if you're not into it, save yourselves...***

Since the Home Eligible Line is a three-or-more-way tie at 25 (using UNH/PC/UML as the smallest combo), and NU's Max is 25, for NU to have a shot at Home Ice, they would have to win out on a four-or-more-way tie at 25.

They would have to sweep a weekend with PC to get there (which is why they could have taken 4th before today, when it could have been H2H), but they are already 0-2-1 against both UNH and UML and lost the first game with PC. That puts them at a comparative 2-5-2 in the first tb. UNH, by comparison, is 5-2-2 in the same group.

MC and BC are already beyond 25 and Maine would have to fall short of 25 by losing four points to NU, if NU were to win out. Therefore, none of those three teams could join the four at 25 to improve (or harm) NU's lot within the tb group.

To get the specific outcome of 25/25/25 with UNH/PC/UML, UNH, PC, and UML would all have to lose out except for PC/UML splitting their series 1/3. That means BU sweeps UML and is beyond 25 points.

However, adding in BU to a round-robin would add 3-0-0 to NU (won the first game, would have to sweep to hit 25). To do that, BU could only earn one more point. That means no sweep of UML, which moves UML above the group. Since that brings BU - who was above the group - back down to it, this would still be a theoretical tie for 4th with Home Ice on the table - but instead of a five-way tie <i>adding</i> BU, it's a <i>swap</i>, BU for UML. That works for NU, since they drop a 0-2-1 and pick up a 3-0-0, a massive swing. Instead of 2-5-2, they'd be 5-3-1 (UNH:0-2-1, BU:3-0-0, PC:2-1-0).

BUT...

For UNH to lose out, that means UVM moves up from 18 to 22 points and has a pair with BU to resolve. The only way for BU to be in the mix at 25 is to take a single point from the rest of their schedule. If that point <i>isn't</i> taken against Vermont, the Cats will leap over the logjam at 25 and make Home Ice irrelevant. That means we require a 1/3 BU/UVM split, which brings UVM <b>also</b> into the party at 25. That means we can't add BU without also adding in UVM.

NU is 0-3-0 against UVM, so instead of adding BU's 3-0-0, it's BU/UVM's 3-3-0. Still, that's a good trade for NU in place of the UML 0-2-1. That now puts them at 5-6-1 in the NU/UNH/BU/PC/UVM pool.

Whether 2-5-2 or 5-6-1, both are sub-.500, and sub-.500 - by definition - cannot be the best round-robin record (RRR), no matter the size of the group.

NU is 1-1-0 vs UMA, but could win the remaining game and leave UMA enough points to join the 25ers. That would add 2-1-0 to their RRR and bring them up to .500 at 7-7-1 in the BU/UVM scenario.

Better, but in order for NU to come out on top, they would have to have everyone else in the group each also be .500 (it's zero-sum: if someone is under, then someone is over - and anyone over beats NU) and then win it on the next tb, which is league wins.

Skipping past the six-way RRR calculations, and keeping in mind what I have said about using banked ties to figure out league wins, we can compare to NU's 3 and get a quick result to see if all that calculation is necessary. The comparison NU needs is to have the fewest ties (which equates to more wins noting that 1-1-0 & 0-0-2 are each two points, but the latter can't un-bank their ties and would lose a "most wins" tb), which - at worst - would move them to the next tb level. UNH has 3, BU has 2, but would pick up a 3rd vs. UVM. PC has 6 and would add a 7th. UVM has 4 and would add a 5th. Looking good so far. (UML also has 2 and would add a 3rd, but the BU/UVM 3-3-0 combo is preferable to UML's 0-2-1, so UML is moot here.)

Here's where the potential for irony comes in: It is the inclusion of UMA that brings NU's RRR to .500, but UMA only has 1 tie, meaning that they could be the only team at 25 to have more wins than NU. However, they have wiggle room to add a pair of ties (but not two pairs) to also be at 3, so NU would still be alive here if they made it this far.

However, that would just serve to bump NU, UNH, BU, UMA into another round of tb with their matching W-L-T records. Here NU would luck out because, instead of dropping down to the next level (record against top team(s) - whichever of MC/BC/UML that might be - where UNH (at least) has a better record against BC and UML, and BU is better against MC), that foursome would start over. That drops NU's 0-3-0 w/ UVM, but also the 2-1-0 w/ PC. Still, that's back to 5-3-1 - where NU was after adding BU, but before factoring in UVM or UMA.

Since 5-3-1 might be a winning scenario, I guess we need to go back to calculate some six-way RRRs to see if we can find even a single non-.500, since above-.500 beats NU and sub-.500 implies a super-.500 elsewhere.

UNH at 25 has: BU: 2-1-0 + UMA: 0-3-0 + NU: 2-0-1 + PC: 0-2-1 + UVM: 1-2-0 = 5-8-2. UNH is under .500, which means that at least one of the other six is above. NU can't win any tb in these cases (UNH/PC/UML/NU, UNH/BU/PC/UVM/NU, UNH/BU/PC/UVM/UMA/NU) which eliminates them from Home Ice.

To clarify: if fewer than all three of UNH/PC/UML (or UNH/PC/[BU/UVM]) were tied at 25, that would mean that one of them had taken <i>more</i> points, and 25 wouldn't be relevant for Home Ice. So, NU could still beat PC or BU in a H2H tb at 25, it just wouldn't be for 4th.