View Full Version : Hockey East - Bye, Home, and Road: by the numbers - 2015-16 edition

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02-05-2016, 01:35 PM
Late, but not gone...

Was hoping to get the launch out before tonight, but budget season at work and a long, snowy road trip for tonight preclude hitting that goal.

I expect to fill-in tomorrow, so, for those who know/care what's coming, watch this space.

02-06-2016, 04:54 PM
We begin as with last year....

For over a decade, we've used this thread to keep track of the math and stay away from the woofing and other pointless cr@p.

It's time to kick it off again for this season.

With the switch to 12 teams, Hockey East enters a new configuration that appears to be stable for the foreseeable future. Where we recently used to have 27 league games per season, that also meant a .500 record was 27 points. The league winner was sometimes in the low-mid 30s and sometimes over 40. With last year's switch to 11 teams and only 20 league games per team, we saw how quickly the season started sorting itself out - and how much each league game mattered.

With the total now at 22 league games per team, per season, there are no rubber games in a series. There is no "lose the singleton, but take the series with a home-and-home sweep" save to an early loss. There are four points in each pair and a loss means the best you can do is split later. Of course, the reverse is true, winning the first of the pair means at worst a split.

Coming into this weekend, we now have four weekends left. For those with seven or eight games left on their docket, that leaves about a third of the season to go.

In the posts coming up shortly, we can take a look at how we set the table for this weekend and what's at stake in the near future.

For now, with this short post, at least we have a stake in the ground to start the conversation.

02-06-2016, 06:36 PM
Heading into Fri 2/5:


--- Bye Lock 34 (BC/UML/ND/PC/BU) ---

BC 24 - 38[1-8]

--- Home Lock 24 (CT/NU/ME/UNH) ---

UML23 - 37[1-9]
ND 22 - 38[1-10]
BU 19 - 33[1-11]
PC 19 - 35[1-11]


UVM12 - 28[1-12]
CT 11 - 25[2-12]
NU 11 - 25[2-12]
ME 10 - 26[2-12]
UNH10 - 26[1-12]
MC 9 - 23[4-12]
UMA8 - 20[4-12]

--- Bye Eligible - 19 (PC/BU) ---

--- R1 Road - 11 (CT/NU) ---

Remaining schedules (NC) {HE games left}:
BC - UNH, (v BU), MC, @MC, @UVMx2, UML, @UML {7}
UML - NU, UNH, @BU, BU, (@AIU), UMA, @BC, BC {7}
ND - @UVMx2, MEx2, @PCx2, BUx2 {8}
BU - @UMA, (v BC), UML, @UML, @UNH, UNH, @NDx2 {7}
PC - @MEx2, CT, @CT, NDx2, @UMA, UMA {8}
UVM - NDx2, @UNHx2, BCx2, @MCx2 {8}
CT - @MC, @PC, PC, NU, @NU, UNH, @UNH {7}
NU - @UML, (v HU), @UMA, UMA, @CT, CT, MEx2 {7}
ME - PCx2, @NDx2, MCx2, @NUx2 {8}
UNH - @BC, @UML, UVMx2, BU, @BU, @CT, CT {8}
MC - CT, @BC, BC, @MEx2, UVMx2 {7}
UMA - BU, (v AIU), NU, @NU, @UML, PC, @PC {6}

OK... let's go!

(Remember, all notes below are prior to Friday's results)

Coming into the weekend, there is a clear separation between the haves and have-nots at the break between the Top 5 (with PC/BU trailing at 19) and the Bottom 7 (with UVM leading that pack at 12).

That said, teams from the bottom can all still get a Bye, and everyone from the top could still be on the road in Round One - except for BC. BC already has more points than UMA or MC could reach, so an obvious 10 as a minimum. Any of the four teams at 10 (with 8 to play) and 11 (with 7 to play) points could pass BC with sweeps or near-sweeps, but with the interplay among them, they can't all do it.

For example, with BC holding the 1-0-1 advantage over both CT and NU either would need to pass BC at 25, sweeping the rest of their schedule to hit 25. CT and NU play 2. A sweep would keep one alive, a split would mean neither could catch the Eagles. Meanwhile, ME and UNH would also be looking for 25 of their possible 26 points. They don't play each other, but ME plays two with NU and UNH plays 2 with CT. If CT sweeps NU, then the victor of UNH/CT could pass BC, but the loser could not. That puts two of three of NU/CT/UNH behind BC (plus MC and UMA). The same applies to a NU sweep of CT when they then face ME. If CT and NU split, then ME and UNH would be free to sweep their sets, but we still end up with two of these four teams joining MC and UMA behind the Eagles, making BC no lower than 8th seed. Since UNH is not required to pass BC for this scenario and MC is already out (ex: CT and ME above, UNH, NU, MC, UMA below), UVM is free to win out and stay ahead of a supposed nearly-pointless BC.

So... BC will be hosting a Home series, at least in the first round, if not the Quarters after a bye.

The explanation of UML's spot is long enough that I have to split this post. Since that's the long part, and some might not care, that's what I pulled out. For the detail, see the next post.

The summary:
UML bottoms out at 9. No home series for you... yet.

At 22 and with most tbs in their favor, ND still narrowly misses joining UML at clinching 9th.

CT and NU can now split and both stay ahead 23. ME would have the ND tb, and so is free to get swept by NU, leaving NU at 23 and ME ahead on tb at 22. UVM has room to tolerate a sweep by UNH and end ahead at 24. However, CT (max now 23) and UNH (max 26) only have three points to spare out of their four. NU (also now maxed at 23) has no room to give another point to CT from their series and stay above 22. ND has tbs against CT, UNH and NU. One of those three has to end at 22 and lose the one-on-one H2H.

However, CT did well against ME and UML, where ND does not. Their four-way at 22 goes like this:


Now with two pars of ties, they should either promote CT over UML (either TB1 or TB2) - leaving ND tied with two teams it loses tbs to - or drop ND under ME.

If I did that right, ND could still be 10th going in to Friday night.

With the interplay at the bottom, I have BU and PC at 19 ending up on top of somebody after points are distributed, so both have cleared the basement.

UVM could run the gamut from 1-12.

For the next four, they're looking up at the BC/UML series meaning that someone has to have 26 points. With maxes of 25, that means CT and NU can no longer win HE this year.

With an extra game in hand, ME and UNH could tie BC/UML at 26.

ME is winless against both BC and UML, but would add sweeps of PC and ND to possibly pull even on tbs in a five-way at 26. Sure, ND and PC are already each 1-2-1 against BC and UML and still have to take points from each other, so that bodes well for ME. The reverse of that is that Maine's best-case is a 4-4-0 record and BC and UML are each over .500. After their H2H, at least one of BC/UML will stay above .500 and be promoted ahead of ME. The Black Bears could get to 2, but the HE RS title is also out of their reach.

UNH, however, came into the weekend with the ability to work into a H2H tie with either or both of BC and UML, and could pass on TB2 by having more league wins. The HE RS crown is still within reach.

MC tops out at 23 and split with UML, so it looks like 2nd might be within reach... but it is not. UML (23) plays BU (19), meaning either BU joins the tie at 23 or UML jumps beyond it. A BU sweep of UML would give them 3-1-0 and promote them ahead of MC's 1-1-2, so MC can be no higher than 3rd.

Similarly, ND (22) and PC (19) play two, so either of them has to also reach 23. MC was swept by both, so would also fall behind another team on tb, if not points.

That leaves MC 4th at best.

With a max of 20, UMA could still get past BU and PC, who are done with each other. That leaves them also in reach of 4th and a bye.

FWIW, ME, MC and UMA are in the same position as we start as they were in the bracket from the last RS post of last year.

02-06-2016, 06:37 PM
The Friday night UML explanation:

The River Hawks not only have one fewer point in the bag than the Eagles - which means they could be caught by MC - but BC holds the relevant tbs, where UML was swept by UC and split 0-0-2 with MC. That extra point of wiggle room also makes the interplay among 7-11 more flexible.

So, does MC's split w/ UML matter? First tb (TB1) is H2H. The split does two things: it allows for going to the second tb (TB2) in a two-way H2H w/ UML, but it also keeps MC alive in a multi-way tie using H2H.

The first thing is simpler to assess. If MC and UML are to tie, MC must sweep out and UML get-swept. MC already has 5 ties while UML has 3. Those won't change in this scenario, so MC will come out behind in TB2, which is league wins.

In order for the MC/UML split to matter, we need at least a third team that MC did better against than UML. Enter UConn... UML is in the clubhouse here with two points from a 0-2-2 record. CT/MC have a tie in the bank, so MC has at least three points (0-0-3) and CT five (2-0-1). For MC to hit 23, they have to win the remaining CT game, which would give each five points to UML's two. As discussed many times in recent years, the league does top down when that removes a team. In this case, with two of three teams tied at TB1, I believe they would promote/demote the odd-man-out, and then re-commence. If so, a three-way tie at 23 would break CT/MC/UML. That's enough to put UML "behind" both and not clinching a higher berth.

However, in order for that to occur, MC would also sweep ME (and UVM), and CT would sweep NU and UNH. That result puts ME, NU and UNH all behind UML, along with UMA. UML still 8th at worst.

So what if CT isn't the team that MC did better than UML against to advance on tbs? The only other possibility is something that would have to happen anyway. For UML/MC at 23, UML would have to get swept by BU. MC already split with the Terriers. BU is at 19, so four points from UML also puts them at 23. In that scenario, MC comes out on top of MC/BU/UML.

That also frees us up to sacrifice CT in favor of keeping both UNH and NU alive. Further, UNH would have to sweep BU anyway to keep the Terriers at 23. However, ME still has to lose twice to MC, dropping them behind UML. Eliminating ME means NU is clear to sweep-out and be ahead of UML. That leaves us with UMA, ME and CT behind and NU, MC, BU (and the other top teams) ahead. What remains is to see if we can get both UVM and UNH ahead of UML.

UVM's max drops from 28 to 24 with the required MC sweep. UNH's max is 26 and has not dropped. UNH and UVM play two. The only way to keep both possibly ahead of UML is to have a 1-0-1 split in favor of UVM. That puts both at 23 and we have a five-way tie instead of just MC/BU/UML. UML is already ahead of MC on the UNH tb so a Saturday UML loss doesn't hurt as badly, and MC would only pull into a 2-0-0 tie with UML's UVM record with their UVM sweep.

The five-way goes like this:


The relevant question is: does UML fall to the bottom of this stack? I don't see how they fall below UVM here.

UNH wins and we re-calc.


UNH was UVM's best result and we just pulled them out. With only a single win (and no ties) remaining, UVM can't ever be ahead of UML as long as UML has two wins against UVM. So, in our scenario, either UVM stays ahead on points, dropping UNH under UML, or UVM falls below whether on tb or points.

Either way, there's no way to include MC above UML and not have (at least) four other teams below the 'Hawks.

Instead, if we drop MC down with UMA, we can get four of the other five ahead of UML at 23. For example: CT sweeps NU, leaving their max at 25 and leaving ME free to sweep the already-dropped NU and finish ahead of UML. That leaves CT and UNH free to split, with CT at 23 (with the 2-0-0 UML tb) and UNH at 24. UVM can then get swept by UNH and still hit 24. That puts UML behind CT, ME, UNH and UVM and only ahead of NU, MC, UMA.

02-06-2016, 09:28 PM
After Fri 2/5:

UNH 3 @ BC 4
PC 1 @ ME 0 OT
BU 6 @ UMA 3
NU 2 @ UML 2 OT
ND 2 @ UVM 1

Sat 2/6:


--- Bye Lock 34 (BC/ND/UML/PC/BU) ---

BC 26 - 38 [1-6]
ND 24 - 38 [1-8]
UML24 - 34 [1-7]

--- Home Lock 24 (CT/NU/ME/UNH) ---

PC 21 - 35 [1-9]
BU 21 - 33 [1-9]


UVM12 - 26 [2-12]
NU 12 - 24 [4-12]
CT 11 - 25 [3-12]
ME 10 - 24 [4-12]
UNH10 - 24 [4-12]
MC 9 - 23 [4-12]

--- Bye Eligible - 21 (PC/BU) ---

UMA8 - 16 [6-12]

--- R1 Road - 11 (CT) ---

Remaining schedules (NC) {HE games left}:
BC - (v BU), MC, @MC, @UVMx2, UML, @UML {6}
ND - @UVM, MEx2, @PCx2, BUx2 {7}
UML - UNH, @BU, BU, (@AIU), (UMA), @BC, BC {5}
PC - @ME, CT, @CT, NDx2, @UMA, UMA {7}
BU - (v BC), UML, @UML, @UNH, UNH, @NDx2 {6}
UVM - ND, @UNHx2, BCx2, @MCx2 {7}
NU - (v HU), @UMA, UMA, @CT, CT, MEx2 {6}
CT - @MC, @PC, PC, NU, @NU, UNH, @UNH {7}
ME - PC, @NDx2, MCx2, @NUx2 {7}
UNH - @UML, UVMx2, BU, @BU, @CT, CT {7}
MC - CT, @BC, BC, @MEx2, UVMx2 {7}
UMA - (v AIU), NU, @NU, (@UML), PC, @PC {4}

Friday pitted Top 5 teams against Bottom 7 in all five games (CT/MC had the night off).

In all five games, the rich got richer. The only points for the Have-Nots was a single earned by NU in their tie with UML. ME was close, but lost in OT to PC. UNH and UVM also fell by a point in regulation. BU kicked a field goal in the first five minutes at Mullins and the rest of the game had each team kicking another to keep that margin at the final buzzer.

The Beanpot Three have the night off, and UMA joins them off the schedule.

Also, a slight but impactful correction from the last post: I just noticed that the UML/UMA game still on the slate is NC. They did a similar thing last year with a late NC game during league play. While it makes the outlook even bleaker for UMA - who drops from league-lowest 5 to now-only 4 games left - to get out of the cellar, it really magnifies the situation for UML who, after tonight, will only have pairs left with BU then BC to fight for their spot in the Top 4.

Six teams can no longer catch BC, so the Eagles will finish in the top half. BC and UVM have yet to play, so if they were to tie, that means a UVM sweep and the tb. BC could be passed by the rest of the Haves, so they could still be 6th on the UVM tb loss.

That 26-point BC/UVM tie could not be for first, however. BC and UML play two, so UML would have to pass BC by sweeping them.

ND plays pairs with both PC and BU. Best case for UVM looks close to ND losing all four, staying at 24 and having PC and BU move to 25. If ND picked up a tie to take a point from PC or BU, that works for the Cats, too.

BU and UML also play two, but if UML is already past them, it benefits UVM to pile the points with the 'Hawks.

That all still allows UVM to come in 2nd.

Two points back of BC, but with a game in hand, a H2H split, and fewer ties, it is actually the Irish that control their own fate for the 1 seed, not the Eagles.

That said, they are still two back, so have not clinched as much as BC has yet.

MC and UMA can no longer catch ND. NU/ME/UNH all max at 24, but NU and ME still play two, so one of those two can't catch ND. ND took 3-of-4 from NU, but would be swept by ME, so let's say that ME wins that and drops NU to keep things more interesting.

UNH plays two each with UVM and CT - so either UNH can tie ND, or CT and UVM can pass with slim margins. UNH got swept by ND anyway, making tb victory unlikely, so let's drop UNH and keep both CT and UVM alive. There is now room for the dropped teams to lose out and the remaining bottom teams to jump up past ND, leaving ME to win the H2H tb at 24.

Still, UMA/MC/NU/UNH all behind ND means the Irish clinch a home spot in some round.

Because the tbs fall differently, a ME/UML tie at 24 with four teams below (like ND scenario above) puts UML ahead. UML swept ME, but would split with UNH here and took three from NU. However, swapping ME for NU at 24 just pulls down CT, too, and still leaves UML with the NU tb. Raising UNH up to 24 kills CT and UVM's chances to pass UML.

That all looks to me like the same scenario that clinches 8 for ND actually clinches 7 for UML and no changes bury the River Hawks deeper.

For PC and BU, while it looks like all but one team can pass them, with last night's results, there just aren't enough points to spread around the Have-Nots for all of those teams to catch them.

In fact, not only does one team have to fall by the wayside, I can't find a way to keep it less than two - plus UMA - that can't collectively pass BU and PC. I can get just two more to happen, however, so that puts PC/BU with at least three teams behind them and clinching 9th. No home ice yet, but very close.

With a max of 25, UConn can catch anyone but BC, but they can't catch everyone at once. ND and UML (24) each play BU (21) for 2. Either could stay at 24, but each puts BU at 25 min, together that's BU at 29. At best for UConn, only one of these three will pass 25.

Similarly, ND also has a pair with PC (21). From CT's perspective, either ND loses out and BU/PC each get to (or beyond) 25, or ND wins out and keeps PC/BU down.

UConn has the tb with UML (2-0-0) and would have the tb w/ PC (2-0-0). The best CT can hope for is stay ahead of everyone (and/or even with UML and/or PC) except BC and the winner of the ND/BU series. That puts their high bar at 3rd.

With maxes of 24, NU, UNH, and ME lose another notch. With the ND(24)/PC(21) and UML(24)/BU(21) series, each of those matchups puts someone at 25 and out of reach of the NU/UNH/ME trio. The ND/BU series can go to whichever one we assign as the winner of their other pairing here, so we can limit the damage to being behind just two of these four, plus BC. 4th and a bye is still within reach.

At 23 max, and for the same reasons as the 24s above, MC could also get 4th and a bye.

There are already five teams that UMA can't catch. Amazingly, there are exactly enough points in exactly enough games to be spread around so that that's all that they can't catch and they can end up 6th.

The points can work out so that everyone else in the bottom group has 15 to MC's 16, or that either/both of CT (already swept by UMA) and NU (would be swept) have 16 (losing the tb) and someone else drops to 14.

Strange but true...

02-08-2016, 02:05 AM
After Sat 2/6:

CT 2 @ MC 2 OT
PC 4 @ ME 2
UNH 3 @ UML 2
ND 3 @ UVM 1


NU v Harvard


--- Bye Lock 33 (UML) ---

ND 26 - 38 [1-5]
BC 26 - 38 [1-5]
UML24 - 32 [1-7]
PC 23 - 35 [1-7]

--- Home Lock 22 (UVM/NU/CT/UNH) ---

BU   21 - 33 [1-9]


UVM12 - 24 [4-12]
NU 12 - 24 [4-12]
CT 12 - 24 [4-12]
UNH12 - 24 [4-12]

--- Bye Eligible - 23 (PC) ---

ME 10 - 22 [5-12]
MC 10 - 22 [5-12]
UMA8 - 16 [6-12]

--- R1 Road - 11 (CT) ---

Remaining schedules (NC) {HE games left}:
ND - MEx2, @PCx2, BUx2 {6}
BC - (v BU), MC, @MC, @UVMx2, UML, @UML {6}
UML - @BU, BU, (@AIU), (UMA), @BC, BC {4}
PC - CT, @CT, NDx2, @UMA, UMA {6}
BU - (v BC), UML, @UML, @UNH, UNH, @NDx2 {6}
UVM - @UNHx2, BCx2, @MCx2 {6}
NU - (v HU), @UMA, UMA, @CT, CT, MEx2 {6}
CT - @PC, PC, NU, @NU, UNH, @UNH {6}
UNH - UVMx2, BU, @BU, @CT, CT {6}
ME - @NDx2, MCx2, @NUx2 {6}
MC - @BC, BC, @MEx2, UVMx2 {6}
UMA - (v AIU), NU, @NU, (@UML), PC, @PC {4}

After Saturday, all the HE-games-remaining are balanced at 6 with the exception of UML/UMA, who have 4 each.

That also means that, even though UML is currently 3rd in points banked, it is actually the current 4th and 5th place teams, PC and BU, that control their own destiny for the 3rd and 4th seeds.

With the UVM loss, CT tie, and UNH win (NU was idle), we not only have a four-way tie for 6th, but they also share the same max of 24. More about that in a moment.

The maxes of 24 in the middle of the pack now put idle BC (26) and victorious ND (26) out of reach. That means those two are now locked into the Top 5. I have put ND in the first slot since they split H2H w/ BC, but have more wins (TB2), and so would be the 1 seed at the moment.

Within that foursome at max-24, there is a lot of interplay left.
UVM @ UNH x 2 this coming weekend
CT h/h w/ NU in two weeks
CT h/h w/ UNH on the final weekend

That means they can't all hit 24. In fact, only two at most could. Either UVM or UNH, and either CT or NU. Depending on how the prior two weeks ended, CT v UNH may mean we're left with only one at best. To get two teams at 24, it would either be UVM/CT, UVM/NU, or UNH/NU. That would also take (at least) 4 points from the other member of each pair, limiting them to 20 max. If the sweeping pairs the first two weeks are UVM and NU, then CT and UNH will be playing to drop the other team's max from 20, perhaps as low as 16.

Just below that pack, we have ME and MC tied at 10, with maxes of 22. Not only do they play each other at Alfond twice - meaning if one hits 22, the other can only reach 18 - but ME wraps up with two at Matthews while MC is hosting UVM for two. That's six teams within two points and ten games between them in the next three weeks. That's also 20 points off their collective maxes that will disappear.

For UML, who already has 24 points, they could be behind the other four leaders. In fact if they stay at 24, they have to be behind ND, BC, and BU - after the latter two sweep them. Of the teams that could hit 24, only CT has the advantage over UML with a H2H sweep. That means UML could still be 6th. However, upon further review, I think I find a way for UML to be 7th. If CT gets to 24 to tie UML, the only other team that could join them would be UVM. UVM was swept by UML, but also swept CT. That puts the three in a 2-2-0 deadlock for TB1.

Moving to TB2, UVM only has two ties to UML's and CT's four, so UVM would be ahead on wins by one. UVM would get promoted out of the trio, leaving CT/UML to restart and CT would take that on H2H. That means UML could actually be 7th at 24.

At 23 points, PC could be behind the other four leaders and any combination of the max-24s on points outright. That means PC could also be 7th.

With 21 points, BU could be behind three of the max-24s outright, but not all four. For the first two weekends, all four teams could split, bringing all their maxes to 22. But CT/UNH still has to happen, so one of those could not top BU. But don't forget that either (but not both) of ME and MC could hit 22. For one of them to do so, it would pull down one of the max-24s. However, since only three of those four could be ahead of BU, we'd just have to make sure to line up the one that doesn't make it as the one that gets pulled further down by ME/MC.

Here's one way that could happen, leaving BU behind the other four at the top and another four from the middle:
Maine wins out, which eliminates MC and NU, and gives ME 22.
Since NU is out, they can give up all points to CT. CT now has two points to spare, so they split with UNH. CT has 22.
Since BU is stuck at 21, they have been swept by UNH.
Since MC is out, they can be swept by UVM, who also sweeps BC.
We now have UVM at 20 and UNH at 18 with their H2H pair still to play. UVM takes one from their H2H and UNH takes three, putting both at 21 with BU.
In the round-robin at TB1, UNH has 7 of 8 points, and so is promoted.
Re-starting with BU and UVM, they split 1-1-0, and both would have three ties (meaning the same number of wins).
TB3 is record against top teams. BU split with BC, but UVM just swept them in this scenario. If BC is first, UVM takes the BU tie.
If ND is first, UVM has already been swept, but BU would get swept to stay at 21, so the TB would move down to #2 seed, which might again be BC.
In any event, we don't need to find all of the ways that could keep BU at 9, just one. We've just found two.
The Terriers have still not clinched a Home series.

For any of the 24-maxes, PC and BU don't play again, so they could all pass both PC and BU. However, we don't have to go into tbs with UML because UML and BU do play a pair. That means for UML to stay at 24, BU would have to have 25. To keep BU from hitting 25, UML has to get there. So no matter how it happens, one of UML/BU is also out of reach for the 24s. Still, each could conceivably get the final bye at 24.

For ME and MC, there are now four teams out of reach, so they can't get a bye. However, either of them could pass the rest of the pack and get up to 5th.

While UMA can no longer be ahead of the rest of the bottom group cleanly at 16, with a six-way tie at 15 below them, they could still be 6th. They have already swept CT and would sweep NU on their way to 16. The remaining points can be distributed so that UMA is at 16 with CT/NU - winning the three-way tb 4-0-0 - and ME/UNH/MC/UVM are all at 15.

02-13-2016, 03:57 PM
After Fri 2/12:

MC  3 @ BC 6
UML 1 @ BU 2 OT
ME  1 @ ND 4
CT  0 @ PC 4
NU  5 @ UMA 0
UVM 3 @ UNH 2

Sat 2/13:

BC  @ MC
ME  @ ND
PC  @ CT

--- Bye Lock 31 (UML) ---

ND 28 - 38 [1-5]
BC 28 - 38 [1-5]
PC 25 - 35 [1-5]
UML24 - 30 [1-5]
BU 23 - 33 [1-7]

--- Home Lock 20 (CT/UNH) ---
--- Bye Eligible - 25 (PC/UML/BU) ---

UVM14 - 24 [5-11]
NU 14 - 24 [5-12]
CT 12 - 22 [6-12]
UNH12 - 22 [6-12]
ME 10 - 20 [6-12]
MC 10 - 20 [6-12]
UMA8 - 14 [8-12]

--- R1 Road - 11 (CT) ---

Remaining schedules (NC) {HE games left}:
ND - ME, @PCx2, BUx2 {5}
BC - @MC, @UVMx2, UML, @UML {5}
PC - @CT, NDx2, @UMA, UMA {3}
UML - BU, (@AIU), (UMA), @BC, BC {3}
BU - @UML, @UNH, UNH, @NDx2 {5}
UVM - @UNH, BCx2, @MCx2 {5}
NU - UMA, @CT, CT, MEx2 {5}
CT - PC, NU, @NU, UNH, @UNH {5}
UNH - UVM, BU, @BU, @CT, CT {5}
ME - @ND, MCx2, @NUx2 {5}
MC - BC, @MEx2, UVMx2 {5}
UMA - @NU, (@UML), PC, @PC {3}

The rich keep getting richer...

Friday night, the maximum amount of Top 5 teams won. With BU hosting UML, they were going to have to distribute two points among themselves. BU took both points on an OT goal after essentially handing UML the tying goal late in the game. With BU having been at the bottom of this stack, and the rest of the Top 5 winning, the distance between the Haves and Have Nots grew in most cases. UVM and NU came out on top of battles with fellow Have Nots, UNH and UMA, so they managed to stay the same distance back of the leaders. However with games dwindling rapidly, the chance to close that gap is evaporating as well.

Let's see where we are numerically.

Last night's results lock the Bottom 7 out of the Byes.

While UVM and NU can still get to 24, arguably ahead of BU's current points (23) and tying UML's (24), BU and UML still have a game to play. That means at least one of them is reaching 25. Combined with PC's win (25), the entry to the Bye-Eligible club is now 25 points. That's out of reach of everyone outside the Top 5, so the four byes will come out of those five teams.

BU also locked up Home Ice last night, as they can now only be caught by two more teams (UVM/NU), and so bottom out at 7th.

While UMA lost again and drops to a Max of 14, they could still host a First Round series. Ahead of them, CT and UNH still play two, as do ME and MC. If ME and MC split, that leaves both
at 12 (or 13/11). If CT and UNH have an even split, they both have 14. If they grab no further points, that leaves ME/MC behind UMA and CT/UNH in a three-way tie with UMA at 14. In that case, UMA wins 2-0-2 over UNH (1-1-2 or 0-0-4) and CT (1-3-0 or 0-2-2). That leaves UMA in 8th and hosting (UNH, in this case).

Just ahead of UMA, CT/UNH/ME/MC can no longer catch any of the Top 5, could pass all of the Bottom 7, or could end up at the bottom of the stack. That leaves all four of these teams with a 6-12 range.

While UVM and NU can no longer get a bye, they can each (or both) catch and pass BU for 5th. In a H2H tie, UVM has the 1-0-1 advantage. UVM and NU can tie UML, but in either a H2H or three-way tie (3WT), UML gets the nod (meaning UML can't drop out of the Top 5). If they 3WT with BU, BU is promoted first. BU swept NU for that H2H tb. BU/UVM split, so they'd move to TB2. If that tie is at 24, UVM would win (2 ties to 4, so an extra win). If that tie is at 23, UVM would be adding another tie, so the wins would be equal. That moves to TB3 and would depend on the top of the standings. These teams cannot have a 4WT, as BU and UML still have tonight's game, spreading two points, and there is only one point remaining to take their current 24/23 to 24/24. In any event, either UVM or NU could top off at 5th by being alone at 24 ahead of BU at 23.

At the other end of their spectrum, either could be caught at 14 by UMA. UVM already has that tb, but NU would need to lose to UMA tonight, giving UMA a split. NU/UMA H2H would be decided by TB3.

There are a wide variety of combos where teams might be tied at 14. That said, UMA starts in a two-point hole against UVM (0-1-1 vs 1-0-1). Of the teams that could be involved in a multi-way tie at 14, the only opponent UMA did better against than UVM is MC (0-1-1 vs required 0-2-0), climbing only one point, but needing another. Against everyone else - sweep, swept, or split - UVM at least matches UMA. That means there's no combo where UVM ends up losing a tb to UMA.

For NU, the TB3 would almost certainly go in their favor, but that's not quite locked. Here's why. UMA was swept by everyone in the Top 5 - and NU got some points, so NU would eventually take the TB3 when their points got above zero - except PC, who UMA has yet to play. However, if UMA sweeps PC to max out (the point of this scenario) and tie NU, then PC is unlikely to be the top team. Still, PC could otherwise win out to hit 31 and everyone else could stay below that. NU was swept by PC. So, in that limited case - UMA wins out, NU loses out, PC tops the league - then UMA would climb over NU. NU can still be 12th.

UML (24) and BU (23) are a point apart in the 4/5 slots heading into tonight's game at Tsongas. UML seemingly has the advantage there, but BU has two games in hand next weekend vs UNH, while UML plays two NC games (Tues and Fri). With these two facing off against the current leaders on the final weekend (BU @ ND x2, UML H&H w/ BC) tonight's game is critical for BU, but it may be vital for UML. If UML can get back to a three-point buffer for BU to cut into next weekend, they have a much better chance heading into the BC games than they do if a point up (tie tonight) or a point back (BU win). Plus, if UML doesn't win tonight, BU will have the H2H TB1. Even with a UML win tonight to draw even in H2H, TB2 would either go to BU or they would tie again to move to TB3. The irony there might be that any wins on the final weekend to have a better record against the top team makes it less likely that the opponent being beaten will be the top team. Of course, to get to the tie, they might both have to match wins, leaving the door open for PC to pass both ND and BC... so lots to keep an eye on there.

PC's win puts them out of reach of the Bottom 7. In order to keep pace in the race for a bye and the top spot, PC needs to take care of business against CT tonight and not get caught looking ahead to next week's huge match-up hosting ND for a pair.

The ND and BC wins last night didn't change their current ranges, but they're close. With both at 28 and UML's max at 30, if either gets more points than UML tonight, they will wrap up a bye. As noted, UML and BC still haven't met, so that TB is undetermined (but would likely go UML's way if relevant). UML took three-of-four from ND. That means each of BC and ND would need to be clear of UML's max after tonight to clinch the bye for themselves.

02-14-2016, 03:15 PM
After Sat 2/13:

BC   5 @ MC 5 OT
BU   3 @ UML 6
ME   1 @ ND 5
PC   3 @ CT 2
UMA 2 @ NU 4
UVM 2 @ UNH 2 OT

--- Bye Lock 31 (UML) ---

ND 30 - 38 [1-5]
BC 29 - 37 [1-5]
PC 27 - 35 [1-5]
UML26 - 30 [2-5]
BU 23 - 31 [1-7]

--- Bye Eligible - 26 (UML) ---
--- Home Lock 19 (CT/UNH) ---

NU 16 - 24 [5-11]
UVM15 - 23 [5-11]
UNH13 - 21 [6-11]
CT 12 - 20 [6-12]
MC 11 - 19 [6-12]
ME 10 - 18 [6-12]

--- R1 Road - 13 (UNH) ---

UMA8 - 12 [10-12]

Remaining schedules (NC) {HE games left}:
ND - @PCx2, BUx2 {4}
BC - @UVMx2, UML, @UML {4}
PC - NDx2, @UMA, UMA {4}
UML - (@AIU), (UMA), @BC, BC {2}
BU - @UNH, UNH, @NDx2 {4}
NU - @CT, CT, MEx2 {4}
UVM - BCx2, @MCx2 {4}
UNH - BU, @BU, @CT, CT {4}
CT - NU, @NU, UNH, @UNH {4}
MC - @MEx2, UVMx2 {4}
ME - MCx2, @NUx2 {4}
UMA - (@UML), PC, @PC {2}

Well that was interesting...

We went from having four pairs of teams tied up and down the standings to... none - none at all - in the span of a few hours. Two ties with four teams, one from each pair, will do that, I suppose.

OK. From the top, this time...

ND got the win to hit 30, but UML also won. That keeps UML's max at 30, with the TB1 (1-0-1) over ND. ND has arguably the toughest schedule remaining, with all four games against Top 5 teams - PC, then BU. UML's remaining league games are also only against Top 5, but that's because they only have two games left, a H&H vs. BC. If UML sweeps BC and BC splits (or better) with UVM, BC is past the Irish and UML hits 30. For ND to stay at 30, PC and BU would have each swept them. That puts PC ahead of ND (regardless of PC's UMA games), and BU only three points back. Add in a BU sweep of UNH and ND is fifth as UML takes the H2H tb. BU taking 3-of-4 from UNH makes a 3WT at 30, but the BU sweep of ND still puts the Irish fifth.

No bye clinched yet, but their Magic Number (M#) to do so is now 1 w/ UML or 2 for BU.

BC is in a similar situation to ND, but a point further back. In BC's case, they actually have tbs in their favor, however, with 1-0-1s against BU and PC. BC and ND split 1-1-0. UML is pending.

If BC were to tie UML on points, it would have to be at 30, with a BC point from the UVM series. With BC already at 29 and UML's max at 30, and UML's only point opportunities coming vs. BC, UML can't drop a point to 29 without BC gaining that same point to go to 30. In that case - a tie at 30 - UML would have swept BC, taking the H2H at TB1. If either PC or BU were thrown into that mix, they'd add a 1-1-0 vs UML to their 0-1-1 record vs BC for a 1-2-1 record. BC would add their 1-0-1 to the UML sweep, also ending at 1-2-1. However, UML would have 3-1-0, get promoted, and then BC would be next with their H2H record against either PC or BU. If all four were there, BU and PC went 0-0-2 against each other, so that doesn't help promote either. However, if ND were in the mix at 30, BU would add a sweep to their Round Robin Record (RRR), where BC split (1-1-0) and UML adds a 1-0-1 against the Irish. PC would take the league in this case as their sweep of ND (ND stays at 30, so loses both to PC) puts them ahead of the 4WT at 30.

In any event, BC has not yet clinched a bye, but with the BU tb in their favor, their M# for a bye is 2 against both UML and BU.

Slow-and-steady PC is a point ahead of UML and four up on BU heading into PC/ND weekend. Even if PC were to get swept at home by the Irish, they'd still be a point up on league-idle UML and at-worst tied with BU for the final weekend.

In that last slate, while the UML/BC and BU@ND series rage on, PC plays two with bottom-of-the-standings UMA. At that point, UMA might just be playing for Senior Night parents and pride.

While PC hasn't clinched anything beyond Home Ice at this point, you have to like their chances for at least a bye. Their success - or lack thereof - against ND next weekend will likely determine whether they're playing for a RS title or just a week off when they face the Minutemen, but - as we've just seen - even a ND sweep still leaves PC in control of their own fate for the bye.

Keep in mind that, regardless of their RS finish, PC rode "slow-and-steady" all the way to the NC last year.

UML's victory last night kept them from looking up at four teams, while seeing only two NC games and a tough BC series ahead. Not ideal to be behind with such a small, hard window to earn points to catch up. Even with the win, while UML is idle, BU will be playing UNH and BC will be playing UVM. While UML is facing BC, PC will be playing UMA. ND has four tough games left, but UML would have to sweep BC and hope that ND fell in a hole for two weeks in order to just tie. These sunny prospects are after they won last night. A loss would have put ND and BC out of reach and PC and BU tough to catch.

With the ND(30)/PC(27) series ahead, one of those two has to reach 31. UML's max is 30, so the 'Hawks can no longer win the RS and the 1 seed. Can't even be co-champs and hang a banner. Can they be 2nd? Well, given the schedule, UML may be best off to just concede that they won't catch ND and instead root for the Irish to kill off PC and BU for them. At the same time, ND will be rooting for UML to stifle BC. If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, ND and UML will be emotionally shacking up together for the next couple of weeks.

Even though the Terriers are three points back of the River Hawks and UML can't be first, BU still can - by virtue of their two extra games.

BU's max is 31. Even if UML sweeps BC, they only hit 30 and are done. BU hitting 31 means a sweep of ND, and that comes with the H2H tb. Since one of ND/PC needs to reach 31, let's call that a 1/3 split, putting ND at 31 and PC at 30. If PC and BC otherwise lose out (or BC gets only one point to reach 30), we have BU/ND at 31 and atop the standings. Co-Champs and BU gets the 1 seed.

PC at 31 instead of (or in addition to) ND makes things a little more complicated with their 0-0-2 record vs BU. If it's H2H, that'll end up at TB3, so the mix below them will decide that matter. If it's a 3WT with BU/ND/PC, even though ND and PC have a couple of ways to get 31 on their own, in this scenario ND would have to have gotten the 1/3 split as BU needs to win out to hit 31. That means BU with 2-0-2, PC with 1-0-3 and ND with 0-3-1. BU is promoted (6 pts to PC's 5 and ND's 1), and PC is next with the 3/1 ND split. BC could also be added into that mix at 31.

So - BU has a couple of ways to get the 1 seed, but with their max at 31 and ND/PC putting someone else there, BU can be Co-Champs, but can no longer win this year's RS title outright.

At the other end of their spectrum, BU can still be passed by NU and caught by UVM. The BU/UVM tie would go to TB3 (1-1-0 split and same ties, so same wins). UVM would sweep BC, and BU went 0-1-1 against the Eagles, but a UVM sweep makes BC less likely to be the top seed. On the other hand, BU would be swept by ND making them more likely leaders, but UVM also went 0-2-0, so ND wouldn't matter here. UVM was swept by PC, but BU split 0-0-2, so BU would advance if PC was ahead of BC. UVM would advance if BC is ahead of PC. If UML were 2nd, ahead of both PC and BC, BU just finished splitting with UML 1-1-0, and UVM was swept. Nod to BU.

In any 4WTs involving BU/UVM/BC - where UVM has a 3-point advantage over BU - adding either PC or UML into the mix would give BU two more points vs UVM in the RRR. Not enough to overtake UVM's 3-pt lead. However, by adding both PC and UML into a 5WT, BU adds a four-point advantage to pass UVM. That scenario, and whether it could even happen, probably isn't worth the read (or the write) at this point, especially since we have a cleaner way to get to the same result (BU 7th).

Where does that leave us? With more games to play than UML, BU has a wider range of outcomes. BU's range is both higher and lower than the 'Hawks'. We've seen that BU can take the 1 seed on tbs. BU could still be 7th if: they lose out (23); NU wins out (24); UVM wins out (23); BC manages to stay ahead of UML and PC, even though they were swept by UVM.

(to be cont'd in next post)

02-14-2016, 03:16 PM
(part two)

NU's win puts them a point ahead of UVM's tie. The Huskies can still pass BU for 5th. They can no longer be caught by UMA for the cellar. Even with the interplay just below them, NU could be passed pretty simply by UVM, UNH, and CT. MC and ME have maxes of 19 and 18. Only one of those can stay above NU's current 16, but one definitely will. The other could be at 16, so how do the tbs fall? Well, a MC/ME split puts MC's max at 17 and ME's at 16. ME then plays NU for two and would have to sweep to both keep NU at 16 and get ME to 16. That would drop NU to 11th, which is their current floor.

NU's schedule is all against teams below them in the Bottom 7. While that seems like an easier path to stave off those trying to catch them, it also means that losses directly improve the chances of those trying to catch them. So, NU has only "four-point" games ahead.

UVM was already at a 5-11 range. We've already seen that they have a path to top BU on TB3, so they could still be 5th. They are now ahead of UMA on points, not tbs, so it's more obvious that they can't be 12th. Still, same result. 5-11.

With the UNH tie and UMA loss, the Wildcats are now out of reach of the Minutemen and so can't be 12th. They can't catch the Top 5, so top out at 6th.

CT's 12 in the bank matches UMA's new max. UMA swept CT, so would take the H2H at TB1. CT can still be 12th.

MC and ME can still get ahead of the Bottom 7 pack outright, and so 6th is in reach for both. Either could fall behind UMA. Since they play each other - and start at 11/10 to UMA's 12 max - both cannot, as at least one has to reach 13.

That leaves UMA with a best outcome of passing the loser of the MC/ME series and tying CT at 12 to move up to 10th. Their paper-thin chances of reaching 8th have torn through. The good news for UMA is that, as recently as three years ago, not reaching 8th meant the end of their post-season chances. Now, it just means that they are HE's first official road team.

02-20-2016, 03:49 PM
After Fri 2/19:

BC   3 @ UVM 1
BU   3 @ UNH 3 OT
MC   6 @ ME   4
ND   2 @ PC   3 OT
NU   5 @ CT   2
UMA 2 @ UML 4 (NC)

Sat 2/20:

BC   @ UVM
UNH @ BU  
MC   @ ME  
ND   @ PC  
CT   @ NU  

BC  31 - 37 [1-3]

--- Bye Lock 31 (UML/BU) ---

ND 30 - 36 [1-5]
PC 29 - 35 [1-5]
UML26 - 30 [3-5]
BU 24 - 30 [3-5]

--- Bye Eligible - 26 (UML) ---


NU  18 - 24 [6-8]

--- Home Lock 18 (UNH/CT, UVM/MC w/ tb) ---

UVM15 - 21 [6-11]
UNH14 - 20 [6-11]
MC 13 - 19 [6-11]
CT 12 - 18 [6-12]
ME 10 - 16 [7-12]

--- R1 Road - 14 (UNH) ---

UMA8 - 12 [10-12]

Remaining schedules {HE games left}:
BC - @UVM, UML, @UML {3}
ND - @PC, BUx2 {3}
PC - ND, @UMA, UMA {3}
UML - @BC, BC {2}
BU - UNH, @NDx2 {3}
NU - CT, MEx2 {3}
UVM - BC, @MCx2 {3}
UNH - @BU, @CT, CT {3}
MC - @ME, UVMx2 {3}
CT - @NU, UNH, @UNH {3}
ME - MC, @NUx2 {3}
UMA - PC, @PC {2}

As the weekend began, the marquee series was ND @ PC for two. The current 1 and 3 seeds were battling for positioning leading into next weekend's matchups between current 2 and 4, BC and UML, and 1 and 5, ND and BU, respectively.

BC was looking to add separation from the loser of the 1/3 series while facing one of the leaders of the bottom tier up in Burlington. Similarly, BU was looking to close or overtake the 3-point gap on league-idle UML (and possibly gain on #3 PC), putting themselves in better position to keep pace against ND while UML plays BC.

BU will also be looking to make lemonade out of lemons while watching the ND/PC results. PC wins make the Friars harder to catch, but simultaneously keep the Irish within reach when the Terriers can take matters into their own hands next weekend. Conversely, ND wins keep the Irish ahead of BU arch-rival BC and give BU another possibility (PC as well as UML) to catch a team and climb out of 5th seed and into a week off.

Given the league playoff format, and how the league has bunched this year, one could argue that the 5th seed is the worst finish for teams looking ahead to the national tournament. With there being a clear separation between the top five teams and the rest of the league, it's no surprise that those same five are the ones in contention for the field of 16 nationally (NC16). However, four of those five will get a week off, both mentally and physically, to prepare for the post-season.

The odd-team-out will need to play at least two games against an opponent that will damage their CV for the NC16 if they do anything but sweep. Best case, they'll need to travel to the 4-seed for another 2-of-3. If brackets fall according to seed, they would then have to face the 1-seed in the semis, with an upset placing them in the final against the 2 (or 3) seed. This schedule places them in four or five games - none at home - against three of the top four teams in the conference. The flip side of that tough road is that, should they at least make the HE final, their success against a raised strength-of-schedule will boost their RPI (and perhaps more, for a given pair) and likely their PWR along with it. A few years back, UVM narrowly took an 8th seed - a then last-team-in - slot and rode their HE post-season schedule to slide into the NCAAs in just that way. HE sent the 1, 2, and 8 seeds to the NC16 that year.

The silver lining of ending up fifth-of-five could also be that whatever stumbles left you at the bottom of that stack can get worked out with a couple of extra home games against a bottom-of-the-league opponent. If you can keep away from injury, that might give you a different kind of momentum boost heading into the 4/5 series against a rested but perhaps rusty opponent. Still, most would rather have the week to rest up and scout.

In the lower tier, six teams within a range of six points are battling it out for positioning and a home series before hitting the road to face the Bye teams.

So... how did things fare on Friday?

With 7:00 to go in the 3rd, PC was trailing visiting ND 2-0. Four-and-a-half minutes later, the game was tied, and PC sent the home fans home happy with a game winner 83 seconds into OT. 3-2 Friars. That pulls PC within a point of ND and gives them a leg up on the H2H TB1. It also keeps them apace with BC, who beat UVM to leapfrog the Irish onto the top of the leaderboard.

Meanwhile, in Durham, BU swarmed UNH and also jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Like ND, they also were caught by the home team, this time UNH, and this time all goals were in the 2nd period. However, BU rallied to take a 3-2 lead with two-and-a-half to go on Danny O'Regan's hat-trick completer. UNH then responded with just under two left to re-knot the game at 3. After a full OT, that's where it stayed in the books. (Despite O'Regan netting all three of BU's goals in a 3-3 game, UNH goalie Tirone was awarded the game's 1st Star off of 34-of-37 saves - many facing a swirling BU offense.)

Having had a chance to pass idle UML with a four-point weekend, BU will now have to look to tie the 'Hawks with a win at home tonight in the second half of the home-and-home with UNH.

BU's lost point-opportunity drops their max even with UML's at 30. BC's win banks their 31st point, making them 3rd at lowest and giving them the first lock of a bye.

BU came into the weekend with only a slim shot at a RS co-championship. That one-point drop of their max also means that BU drops even with UML in not being able to be the 1 seed. In fact, both UML and BU now top out at 3. While either could catch ND at 30 or pass PC at 29, neither can do both. The results of tonight's ND/PC game will put one of those two at 31 or higher. That adds another team joining BC at 3 or higher, clinching a bye, and out of reach of both UML and BU. Who that is remains to be seen, but we'll know before midnight.

That PC win makes the Top 5 cluster a little more like the Top Three and 4/5 Two. If PC gets more points tonight, that will look even more the case.

The loser of PC/ND would still be reachable by UML/BU. At 30, ND would lose tbs to UML (0-1-1), BU (0-2-0), or both (0-3-1). At 29, PC could still be passed by both.

With a ND/PC tie (ND gets bye at 31, PC at 30), like ND at 30, PC could still be caught by both BU and UML. PC split with UML (1-1-0) and BU (0-0-2). The additional PC tie would put them all at 4, so the wins would be even as well. That would come down to TB3, which depends on BC or ND being the top seed. BU and UML would have to win out to hit 30, which means ND would have 31 (PC tie, BU sweeping). BC would lose twice next weekend as well. That could put the top seed in the hands of tonight's BC/UVM game. If UVM wins, this scenario would have a BC/ND tie for 1st at 31 with a PC/UML/BU tie for 3rd at 30. The fifth seed could be one point behind a regular season title and a banner raising.

Last year, we had a possible tie at 1 needing to be decided by the 3rd seed, but a tie at 3 that needed to be broken by the 1st seed. Recursive tie breakers! This, however, breaks a little more cleanly. At 3, we have a RRR of .500 for all three, and all with the same wins, needing TB3. At the top however, we have a H2H tie (1-1-0), but ND would have 3 ties to BC's 5, so ND would have more wins, take the tie at TB2, and avoid the recursive binder at TB3.

With ND at 1 and BC at 2, and a 3WT PC/UML/BU at 3, BU would be promoted 2-0-0 vs ND (off of final weekend sweep) over UML/PC at 1-0-1. PC/UML H2H would again hit TB3 vs. BC. UML's final weekend sweep of the Eagles beats PC's 0-1-1.

If BC gets points tonight, they would be the 1-seed here. The 3WT PC/UML/BU TB3 vs BC would go to UML (2-0-0) with BU and PC at 0-1-1. Then BU's 2-0-0 vs ND puts them 4th over PC's 1-0-1.

In sum: Someone at Schneider tonight will clinch a bye by breaking 30. The other team will still be on the hook for being 5th behind UML and BU - if BU can beat UNH.

(to be cont'd in next post)

02-20-2016, 03:49 PM
(part two)

Looking below, the point BU did manage to pull in at UNH puts them beyond UVM and no worse than a tie with NU. The only possible tie with these two would be at 24 and head-to-head. Everyone else is either already past 24, or can't reach it. BU swept NU, so BU takes TB1, can't be below 5, and none of the lower tier can now reach 5th. The last link between the two groups is now severed.

Within that lower tier, we now also have some separation.

NU's win gives them 18 points in the bank, but no longer able to catch the Top 5, so their ceiling drops to 6th. They were already out of reach of UMA, but are now past ME's new max of 16, moving NU's floor up to 10th.

The other four teams behind NU pair off next weekend. For UNH (max 20) and CT (18), only one of those could catch or pass NU. That moves NU's floor up another notch to 9th.

With UVM(max 21) and MC (19), the only way NU could be caught by both is UVM over BC, then a 3/1 split in favor of MC. That puts all three at 18, which works out as follows:
That leaves NU atop that 3WT.

So either NU is ahead of one of UVM/MC, or is ahead of both in this 3WT.

Adding in UNH to this mix at 18 gives NU another sweep (4-1-1), so they couldn't be caught by MC or UVM, and UNH would already have the two losses to NU, which is worse than NU even if UNH swept MC and UVM. NU tops that 4WT. Adding CT at 18 instead of UNH means a NU/CT 1-1-0 split (NU 3-2-1). CT also split w/ MC (0-0-2) and was swept by UVM (0-2-0), so is no threat to NU here. UVM would move up to 3-1-2 and atop this 4WT, but NU (3-1-0) would be next over CT (1-1-2) and MC (0-2-2).

Therefore, worst case for these Huskies is another team (UVM or MC, if not both or CT instead) below them, putting their floor at 8th and a Home series clinched. Range 6th-8th.

Any of UVM/UNH/MC could jump up to pass NU for 6th, and none can be caught by UMA. Even with the heavy remaining interplay, any of them could be caught by the rest of the 6-11 pack and end up anywhere in that range, including at the bottom.

CT could match NU at 18 H2H and ahead of the pack. With their TB1 split and TB2 match, that could come down to TB3, with the top of the board undetermined. CT and NU matched against BC (0-1-1) and PC (0-2-0). CT did better against UML (2-0-0 v 0-1-1) and BU (1-1-0 v 0-2-0), but worse against ND (0-2-0 v 0-1-1). In short, one path for CT to still be 6th is to tie NU H2H at 18 and have UML, BU, or both finish higher than ND.

ME's ceiling is now 7th, below NU.

As long as CT and ME keep losing, however, they can still be caught by UMA - until and unless UMA loses again too.

Until such time as that changes, CT and ME still have floors of 12 and idle UMA can still hit 10th.

02-21-2016, 03:44 PM
After Sat 2/20:

BC   4 @ UVM 1
UNH 2 @ BU   3
MC   2 @ ME   3 OT
ND   1 @ PC   3
CT   1 @ NU   4

BC  33 - 37 [1-3]
PC 31 - 35 [1-3]

--- Bye Lock 31 (UML/BU) ---

ND 30 - 34 [1-5]
UML26 - 30 [4-5]
BU 26 - 30 [3-5]

--- Bye Eligible - 26 (UML/BU) ---


NU  20 - 24 [6]

--- Home Lock 17/18 (MC) ---

UVM15 - 19 [7-10]
UNH14 - 18 [7-11]
MC 13 - 17 [7-11]
ME 12 - 16 [7-11]
CT 12 - 16 [8-12]

--- R1 Road - 14/15 (UNH) ---

UMA8 - 12 [11-12]

Remaining schedules {HE games left}:
BC - UML, @UML {2}
PC - @UMA, UMA {2}
ND - BUx2 {2}
UML - @BC, BC {2}
BU - @NDx2 {2}
NU - MEx2 {2}
UVM - @MCx2 {2}
UNH - @CT, CT {2}
MC - UVMx2 {2}
ME - @NUx2 {2}
CT - UNH, @UNH {2}
UMA - @PC {2}

As the weekend wraps, the marquee series of ND @ PC for two was all Friars in the end. ND was passed by both BC and PC and now sits in 3rd. With PC having a lighter schedule on paper - hockey is not played on paper, however - than the rest of the Top 5, it seems likely that PC will also fare well next weekend.

BC was looking to add separation from the loser of the 1/3 series, and they did that by creating a 3-point gap over ND. Similarly, BU was looking to close or overtake the 3-point gap on league-idle UML (and possibly gain on #3 PC), putting themselves in better position to keep pace against ND while UML plays BC. They grabbed 3-of-4 to tie UML, but missed the opportunity to pass them and have a leg up going into next weekend. Combined with PC's sweep of ND, the Irish are still within striking distance when BU goes to South Bend.

On to the numbers...

BC's sweep of UVM had them pass the swept ND from 1-under to 3-over and keep their 2-point margin over sweeping PC. For their UML series, they have a Magic Number (M#) of 2 vs PC and 1 vs ND to clinch a tie for the RS title. Another point gained by BC or lost by the chasing team gives the Eagles the RS title outright. With the PC TB1 in hand (1-0-1), basically two points next weekend gives the Eagles the 1 seed, independent of what happens elsewhere. Mathematically, they could still drop to 3rd.

PC's sweep puts them at 31 points and they are now beyond the grasp of UML/BU, meaning they are locked into the 1-3 spots and have clinched a bye. While their opponent next week (12-seed UMA) seems easier than their neighbors' foes (each other), each game is still worth just two points, regardless of how tough or easy it is. With BC holding the tb, PC needs to be three points better than BC next week to come out on top and get the one seed. The ND sweep lets PC be one point worse than ND next week and keep the higher seed. (See 3WT below.)

With the remaining schedule, ND's current 3 seed may be their eventual seed.

After being swept by PC, ND loses the H2H tb (2-0-0). That means ND has to be two points better than PC next weekend to pass them. If PC could sweep then-top ND, a sweep or near sweep of now-bottom UMA is not out of the question for the Friars.

If they catch BC, whom they split with (1-1-0), ND would have more wins, and so take that at TB2. To do so, they would have to be three points better than the Eagles.

In a 3WT at 33 or 34, using TB1, BC and PC both are 2-1-1 to ND's 1-3-0. Either they drop ND out at 3rd and re-match BC/PC, which BC takes (1-0-1), or they do the reverse - pulling BC ahead of PC for the 1 seed, then rematching PC/ND, which goes to PC at 2-0-0 TB1. However they slice it, that 3WT goes BC/PC/ND.

To be caught by BU means the Terriers just swept them. To be caught by UML, add a River Hawks sweep of BC to the BU sweep of ND. That means a single point earned by ND (which is also lost by BU) or lost by UML clinches a bye for ND.

This all puts the Irish in an interesting position while scoreboard watching next week. The only way they win the title outright is by UML sweeping BC - while ND sweeps BU. The only way they drop to 5th and lose the bye is by UML sweeping BC - and ND getting swept by BU. That means the Irish both want and don't want UML to sweep BC, depending on how their own Friday night game is going.

If the Irish are winning on Friday, they want UML to win too, keeping alive ND's chance for the 1 seed. However, if the Irish are losing on Friday, they'd feel more comfortable with UML getting dinged to take away the risk of getting caught and falling to 5th after Saturday.

UML and BU go into next weekend with identical records, having split H2H. Whoever does better gets the bye over the other. Whoever does worse hosts the 12-seed for a series before traveling to the other for a quarterfinal series if successful against 12.

If they both do optimally well - sweeping their respective series - then both get promoted and ND loses the bye as the bottom of the 3WT at 30. BU goes to 3rd at 3-1-0 to UML's 2-1-1 and ND's 0-3-1. Then UML takes 4th at 1-0-1 over ND. This also means that UML cannot be 3rd, because the only way they catch ND is to have BU pass them at the 3WT.

If they tie each other, but not at 30, what happens? Well, if they tie at 28, but one split the weekend 1-1-0 and the other 0-0-2, then the one with the win gets promoted on TB2.

Other than that, they will have the same points, the H2H split, and the same number of wins, putting them at TB3. Both split against PC (BU 0-0-2 and UML 1-1-0), so wherever PC falls, they won't affect the TB (sounds like last year when PC split with almost everyone concerned).

If ND is ahead of BC, that means BU didn't fare well against them (since ND is 3-points back of BC now). That means UML's 1-0-1 should move them ahead and into the bye.

If BC is ahead of ND, that tells us little about what happened, other than we're not in the 3WT at 30, so UML did not sweep. BU has one point banked against BC.

If UML took more than one from the Eagles and we're still tied, that means a) ND did not catch BC, b) record against BC is the TB3 decider, and c) UML has a better record. Edge UML.

If UML took less than one from BC and we're still tied, then: a) both teams were swept, b) BC is the top seed and decider here, and c) BU's one point stands up. Edge BU.

If UML took exactly one from BC, then we're at 27, BC is the RS champ, both teams have a point against BC, and we move to PC, and then again to ND. BU would have one point against ND to UML's 1-0-1, so edge UML.

One factor here is the PC sweep of ND this weekend. If ND had swept (or if BC had been swept), then ND would have the incumbent lead on BC. For BU and UML, they have the situation where the better a record they compile against their opponent for the tie-breaker advantage, the less likely it is that that is the tie-breaker that matters. In this case, since we're matching results, the team that has the lead keeps their lead. That means the record against current-leader BC is the likeliest factor. BU only having one point against BC gives UML a lot of wiggle room. If the Terriers had banked more points against the Eagles (and lost them elsewhere to be in the same place), then UML would have had a higher bar to clear to take TB3. Compare that to the case where ND is ahead, but BU would be facing the bar of UML's 1-0-1. Sure, that's harder for BU to clear, but it also means that record against BC might come into play - but with UML getting bad results instead of good ones as we have now. Anyway, an interesting thought experiment, but probably distracting here.


If one team does better than the other, including splitting 1-1-0 over 0-0-2, they get the 4th bye and the other is 5th.

If we have sweeps in either direction, BU gets a bye. If we have BU/UML sweeps, 3/4/5 is BU/UML/ND. If we have UML/BU get-swept, 4/5 is BU/UML.

If we have none of that - no sweeps, no difference of splits, same points earned - then UML's superior record against either BC or ND prevails and UML gets the bye and BU is 5th.

NU's win puts them out of reach of the four teams below them who could have caught them, but who all lost. NU is now locked into 6th.

(to be cont'd in next post)

02-21-2016, 03:44 PM
(part two)

Let's look at the bottom six by working our way up:

After ME's win, the best that UMA can hope for is to tie someone at 12. ME's sweep of UMA advances ME whether H2H, or 3WT with CT (ME 2-1-1, UMA 2-2-0, CT 1-2-1). UMA's sweep of CT and a tie at 12 is the only thing keeping UMA from locking up 12th.

For CT to pass UVM for 7th, they would be sweeping UNH, keeping CT ahead of UNH as well. However, that also means that MC - who is a point ahead of CT - would be the one taking points from UVM. The only window for CT to get 7th is a 3WT at 16 after a 3/1 split by MC/UVM (or 4WT by adding in ME). In the 3WT, CT would only have two points from 0-0-2 w/ MC and 0-2-0 vs. UVM. That's not going to get CT to 7th. Add in ME, whom CT took three points from, and it's still not enough to overtake the four-point hole from the UVM sweep. Being sub-.500 (1-2-3 or 5-of-12 points) is never going to move you to the top of the stack.

After the tbs, UConn has no path to 7th. They could pass all-but-one of the rest, be 8th and host a first round series.

ME starts from the same spot as CT, so could also only hit 7th out of a 3WT with UVM/MC (or 4 with CT or UNH). ME, however, split with MC and swept UVM so would be 3-1-0. For the UVM/MC results needed for this tie, MC would add three to their ME split (2-1-1), being one short of ME's four points from UVM, with - of course - UVM being behind both. So ME can still be 7th, but (as seen above) can't fall to 12th.

MC and UNH can pass or be passed by anyone currently 7-11, and so have that same range.

UVM can be passed by MC and ME solo or in tandem. However, since UNH and CT face-off, UVM can only be passed by one of those two. With a 3/1 CT/UNH split and UVM getting swept, there could be a 3WT (or 4WT with ME) at 15.

Against CT and UNH, UVM would bring in a 3-0-1 record, so would top that stack. If UVM stays at 15, then MC has 17, due to the sweep. If ME jumps into a 4WT at 15, their sweep of UVM brings UVM down to 3-2-1, but ME is 2-2-2, CT is 2-2-2, and UNH is 1-2-3. UVM tops the 4WT as well.

That leaves UVM possibly behind three of those in this pack, but not all four. Add in UMA and UVM can fall no further than 10th.

02-27-2016, 02:41 AM
After Fri 2/26:

UML 1 @ BC   3
UVM 1 @ MC   4
BU   3 @ ND   2
ME   3 @ NU   5
UNH 1 @ CT   4
PC   4 @ UMA 1

Sat 2/27:

BC   @ UML
UMA @ PC  
BU   @ ND  
ME   @ NU  
UVM @ MC  
CT   @ UNH

BC  35 - 37 [1]
PC 33 - 35 [2]
ND 30 - 32 [3-4]

--- Bye Lock – 31 (BU) ---

BU 28 - 30 [3-5]
UML26 - 28 [4-5]

--- Bye Eligible - 28 (BU) ---


NU  22 - 24 [6]

--- Home Lock – 17 (MC/UVM) ---

MC 15 - 17 [7-10]
UVM15 - 17 [7-9]
CT 14 - 16 [8-10]
UNH14 - 16 [8-10]

--- R1 Road - 15 (UNH/CT) ---

ME 12 - 14 [11]
UMA8 - 10 [12]

Remaining schedules {HE games left}:
BC - @UML {1}
PC - UMA {1}
ND - BU {1}
BU - @ND {1}
UML - BC {1}
NU - ME {1}
MC - UVM {1}
UVM - @MC {1}
CT - @UNH {1}
UNH - CT {1}
ME - @NU {1}
UMA - @PC {1}

For BC, with the PC TB1 in hand (1-0-1), and having a three-point lead over ND, the Eagles just needed two points to get the 1 seed. They got them with a win over UML on Friday, so they are RS champs.

PC needed to be three points better than BC to come out on top and get the 1 seed. The Eagles' win means PC can't pass them, so PC tops out at 2nd. The ND sweep last weekend lets PC be one point worse than ND this week and keep the higher seed. The Friars' win puts them out of reach of the Irish, who lost to BU. That locks PC into the 2 seed.

ND could be 1 through 5 going into this weekend. They can no longer get 1 or 2. A single point either way puts them out of reach of both BU and UML. UML's loss to BC means they can't catch ND. The Irish can be no lower than 4th, so lock up a bye.

If ND wins or ties Saturday, they are 3rd. If BU wins instead, they catch ND and earn 3rd on the TB1 based on this weekend's then-sweep. ND would drop to 4th.

In the BU/UML battle, BU takes a two-point lead going into the final night.

The only way for UML to climb up is to beat BC while BU loses to ND. That would reverse tonight's results and re-knot these two. BU/UML split and would have the same # of wins. TB3 goes to record against the top teams. With BC as the top seed, TB3 starts there. BU has one-point from BC (0-1-1). UML would have just split 1-1-0, so would take the final bye, knocking BU down to 5th. As that is the only way for BU to not get a bye, BU's M# for a bye is 1.

Seen from the BU POV, a win gives them 3rd. A tie gives them 4th. A loss and a UML non-win also makes BU 4th. A BU loss and UML win makes BU 5th.

With the exception of the specific scenario where UML ties BU to gain 4th, UML is 5th.

FWIW, coming into the weekend, there was no risk that BU would have to make a turnaround trip to ND, as they did two years ago - when they played two in South Bend, finished the RS with a H&H vs NU, then matched up @ ND for the single playoff game in the only year of the 11-team format. BU's floor of 5 could only play at the 4 seed, if successful against 12 next weekend. The only way for ND to drop below 3 is if they got no further points so that BU or UML could catch them. Since the only way that could take place would mean that BU swept, if ND dropped to 4, then BU would be 3 (and UML would be 5). If BU didn't sweep, ND would be 3rd and BU/UML would be 4/5 in some order.

NU was already locked into 6th before the weekend began.

For the bottom half of the standings, it was looking an awful lot like UVM and MC were playing for one of the two home ice spots up for grabs and UNH/CT were playing for the other. With the right splits in those series, ME could wiggle their way up as high as 7.

However, with ME's loss, the best they can hope for is a tie with the loser of the CT/UNH finale. Since ME lost both their CT & UNH series 0-1-1, they would lose either on TB1. Since UMA lost, too, that locks UMA into 12 and ME into 11.

ME will be headed to Huntington Avenue next weekend. UMA will be headed to whoever comes out the bottom of ND/BU/UML.

The winner of MC/UVM will be 7th. The loser of CT/UNH will be 10th. The winner of CT/UNH would pass the loser of MC/UVM for the final Home Ice spot. CT/UNH winner to host the MC/UVM loser in the 8-9 series. MC/UVM winner to host CT/UNH loser in the 7-10 series.

If there are ties all around, MC and CT, as winners Friday, would each take their series 1-0-1 and win on TB1. MC 7, UVM 8, CT 9, UNH 10.

If MC and UVM tie to hit 16, they could be caught by either CT or UNH if one of the latter wins instead of a tie game.


We have no precedent that I can remember for how the league would split a tiebreaker between two teams that have the same points (MC and UVM each have 5 points from 4 games), but different records, as MC and UVM would have in this 3WT w/ CT. I think they would say they are tied and either promote those above or demote those below (and move it to the next tb if all teams were so tied). So an easy decision would be to say that MC and UVM are tied and demote CT. Then MC takes the UVM tie on TB1, as noted above.

If instead they promoted UVM over MC on wins (2 to 1), then MC and CT split, but CT would win TB2 6-4 (MC would have eight HE ties!).

Either way, UVM would be ahead of CT, but MC would either be at the top or the bottom. I'd say "top", but it's not my official call.

It looks like a MC/UVM tie would allow UVM to grab either 7th or 8th. 7th would only be on the 3WT with CT that gives UVM the nod on wins on the alternate tb. MC should be 7th with or without CT, but is vulnerable to that alternate tb dropping them to 9th.


Adding in UNH instead of CT gives all three teams 1-1-2 RRRs. UVM would take TB2 (and the 7 seed) with 6 wins to UNH's 5 and MC's 4. UNH would then take the final home slot with the 1-0-1 H2H TB1 over MC - dropping MC to 9 and heading to UNH for the first round.

So, despite a tie giving MC the TB1 win H2H with UVM, adding in a 3rd team will (UNH) or might (CT alternate) drop MC to 9th.

In any event, MC and UML can't be caught by both CT and UNH, so three teams are below them and they can fall no further than 9th.*

* see above for MC 10th under 3WT with CT and UNH.

02-27-2016, 02:58 AM
Merrimack is #10 with a loss and a UNH-UConn tie.

02-27-2016, 01:20 PM
Merrimack is #10 with a loss and a UNH-UConn tie.

Good catch. That's what I get for posting in the wee hours.

I examined the tie on the upper side of this foursome, but not the tie on the lower.

Not only can the winner of the CT/UNH series catch MC/UVM in a tie at 16, as covered already, but the loser of the MC/UVM series can be in a 3WT at 15 with a CT/UNH tie.

Here's how those break out:


CT has 5 points to UNH's 4 and MC's 3. CT gets promoted (8th, behind UVM/MC winner, UVM). Rematch UNH/MC H2H. UNH 1-0-1 over MC (9th). MC 10th, as x1g27s noted.


UVM 7 pts, CT 3, UNH 2. UVM promoted (8th, behind UVM/MC winner, MC). Rematch UNH/CT H2H. CT 1-0-1 over UNH from this weekend's series (9th). UNH 10th.

02-27-2016, 06:58 PM
Good catch. That's what I get for posting in the wee hours.

I examined the tie on the upper side of this foursome, but not the tie on the lower.

Not only can the winner of the CT/UNH series catch MC/UVM in a tie at 16, as covered already, but the loser of the MC/UVM series can be in a 3WT at 15 with a CT/UNH tie.

Here's how those break out:


CT has 5 points to UNH's 4 and MC's 3. CT gets promoted (8th, behind UVM/MC winner, UVM). Rematch UNH/MC H2H. UNH 1-0-1 over MC (9th). MC 10th, as x1g27s noted.


UVM 7 pts, CT 3, UNH 2. UVM promoted (8th, behind UVM/MC winner, MC). Rematch UNH/CT H2H. CT 1-0-1 over UNH from this weekend's series (9th). UNH 10th.

This is also why I don't trust many websites that post probabilities... For those who think math is draining PWR is MUCH more straightforward to code than tie-breakers.

With the major sports you at least have people with that much more interest in programming. We start with a weaker pool

02-28-2016, 09:42 AM
After Sat 2/27:

BC   1 @ UML 3
UMA 0 @ PC   6
BU   0 @ ND   1
ME   1 @ NU   7
UVM 0 @ MC   2
CT   5 @ UNH 4 OT

BC  35 [1]
PC 35 [2]
ND 32 [3]
UML28 [4]

--- Bye Lock 28 (tb BU/UML) ---

BU 28 [5]
NU  24 [6]
MC 17 [7]
CT 16 [8]

--- Home Lock 16 (UVM) ---
--- R1 Road - 16 (CT) ---

UVM15 [9]
UNH14 [10]
ME 12 [11]
UMA8 [12]

Post-season first round schedules:


All but one of the home teams on Saturday rode Senior Night festivities to not only win, but also keep their opponent to 1 or 0 goals. The outlier was UNH, who shot out to a 3-0 lead and took a 4-1 margin into the third, looking as if they might follow suit with the other home teams. With the 8th seed and a home series on the line, CT scored early, middle, and late in the third to draw even, then again mid-way through OT for the win and the jump past UNH and UVM into a hosting gig next weekend.

BC had the 1 seed wrapped up, but their loss with PC's win gives the Friars a share of the RS title.

ND's lone goal was enough to stand up for a 1-0 win and the point (plus one) necessary to solidify the 3 seed.

The only Saturday scenario where UML earned a bye and BU did not, occurred.

UML did their part by beating BC 3-1 with two third-period goals. Meanwhile, in South Bend, BU tallied 13 shots each period but, true to unlucky 13, couldn't get one of those past Cal Petersen to tally the goal to tie the game to pick up the point needed to stay clear of UML.

As covered previously, UML's two points earned from BC in the final game give them TB3 over BU's one point vs the Eagles earlier in the season. That gives the River Hawks the 4 seed and the final bye.

The Terriers will try to turn lemons into lemonade by gaining momentum against UMA in the 5-12 series at Agganis before heading up to UML for a 4v5 series in the quarterfinals. That said, they need to keep their focus and not look past UMA. If they do anything but sweep the Minutemen, their RPI will take a hit that may damage their PWR ranking and their seeding in the N16 tourney. Last night's loss to ND dropped the Terriers into a PWR tie for 9th with ND, but effectively 10th by .0005 in RPI.

NU knew they would be hosting ME next week and may have been trying to send a message by trouncing them 7-1 in the RS finale. Or maybe ME was rope-a-doping like MC did to BU in 1998, since this game didn't effect seeding. I guess we'll find out next weekend.

Five games ago, MC was ahead of only UMA in the league. Over the final five games, MC went 3-0-1 to summit the bottom 6 and grab the 7th seed.

Two games ago, CT was in that same situation, with only UMA below them. In fact, CT was the last team at risk of being caught by the Minutemen and falling to 12th. However, UConn took advantage of Merrimack's final-weekend sweep of Vermont - and a NU sweep of ME - by adding a sweep of their own over UNH. That vaulted these Huskies past all of the swept teams (UVM/UNH/ME), and into the final home ice spot for the first round.

The bottom four teams - UVM/UNH/ME/UMA - all got swept on the final weekend, and so kept their relative position. That said, they did end up as the bottom four, so will all be on the road for the first round series next weekend.

UMA will go to BU who swept them by a total score of 13-5. If they make it past BU, they would face BC, who beat them in both semesters, 7-0 and 8-0.

ME goes back to Matthews for back-to-back weekends. NU just swept ME by a total score of 12-4.

UVM and UNH will swap opponents from this weekend.
UNH will take the short road trip to North Andover to face MC, who they bested 1-0-1 in the fall semester.
UVM heads south to face UConn, whom they swept with double-up wins in both semesters (2-1 and 4-2).

02-28-2016, 09:54 AM
This is also why I don't trust many websites that post probabilities... For those who think math is draining PWR is MUCH more straightforward to code than tie-breakers.

With the major sports you at least have people with that much more interest in programming. We start with a weaker pool

That's why I do all of this by hand. I code, but the algo gets so wonky in the bowels of the TBs that it's easier to keep it in my head. Plus, the point of the thread has always been to explain why things are breaking a certain way and recognize when things are, or are not, clinched. If we're in the seats during a game, or standing in an arena lobby post-game, it's more informative for everyone to understand why the race stands as it does rather than trying to remember a number read from a website. Figuring it out myself also makes it easier for me to remember when I'm out and about.

When I did the "tie in the top pair w/ winner below" math, I meant to do the "tie in the bottom pair w/ loser above" set as well. I just forgot to actually do it before pressing submit, then went to bed. At least here, I'll acknowledge corrections and make adjustments, so all the readers can check math and keep us all on the same, informed, page.

02-28-2016, 11:33 AM
That's why I do all of this by hand. I code, but the algo gets so wonky in the bowels of the TBs that it's easier to keep it in my head. Plus, the point of the thread has always been to explain why things are breaking a certain way and recognize when things are, or are not, clinched. If we're in the seats during a game, or standing in an arena lobby post-game, it's more informative for everyone to understand why the race stands as it does rather than trying to remember a number read from a website. Figuring it out myself also makes it easier for me to remember when I'm out and about.

When I did the "tie in the top pair w/ winner below" math, I meant to do the "tie in the bottom pair w/ loser above" set as well. I just forgot to actually do it before pressing submit, then went to bed. At least here, I'll acknowledge corrections and make adjustments, so all the readers can check math and keep us all on the same, informed, page.

The explanatory nature is nice... but I'd still love to see some useful probability calculations. This is my personal wish, not a request.