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Todd
02-04-2011, 12:24 AM
--- Home Lock - 39 (BU/MC/ME) ---
UNH 28 - 48 [1-8]
BC 28 - 44 [1-8]
--- In - 27 (PC/UVM) ---
BU 23 - 39 [1-9]
MC 21 - 41 [1-10]
ME 20 - 40 [1-10]
NU 19 - 35 [1-10]
UMA 14 - 34 [1-10]
PC 10 - 30 [2-10]
UVM 9 - 29 [2-10]
UML 6 - 22 [4-10]
--- Home Eligible - 23 (BU/MC/ME) ---
--- Out - 10 (PC) ---

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
UNH - MEx2, MC/@MC, @UVMx2, NU/@NU, @BC/BC
BC - UMA, @PC, NU/@NU, @UMA/UMA, UNH/@UNH
BU - UML, @UMA, PC/@PC, UVMx2, @NU/NU
MC - @NU, UMA, @UNH/UNH, @UMA/UMA, @MEx2, PC/@PC
ME – @UNHx2, UVMx2, @UMLx2, MCx2, @UMAx2
NU - MC, @UML, @BC/BC, @UNH/UNH, BU/@BU
UMA - @BC, @MC, BU, PC, @MC/MC, BC/@BC, MEx2
PC – @UVMx2, BC, @UMA, @BU/BU, UML/@UML, @MC/MC
UVM - PCx2, @MEx2, UNHx2, @BUx2, UMLx2
UML - @BU, NU, MEx2, @PC/PC, @UVMx2


Around this time of year for the past few years, I've started a thread that lays out the math behind the playoffs in Hockey East. The impetus for starting the thread each year was when someone clinched... something. These are all manual calculations, so, as always, if anyone notices an error or oversight, feel free to let me know.

Well it’s about that time, so... where are we? Has anyone clinched anything?

UNH, BC and BU are all out of reach of UML, meaning they could each be no lower than 9th and UML can get no higher than 4th.

While either PC or UVM could pass UNH and BC's already-earned 28 points, since the Friars and Catamounts play each other for two this weekend, they can't both do it. That means there's another team that can't pass the top two, making each no lower than 8th. Therefore, both UNH and BC have clinched spots.

Conversely, while either PC or UVM could catch where UNH and BC are now, since the Wildcats and Eagles play each other for two on the final weekend, at least one of them has to move up to 30+ points. That's above UVM's max meaning UVM can get no higher than 2nd. 30 points also ties PC's max, but with PC being a combined 0-5-0, losing both tbs against the top two, that leaves PC also unable to reach 1st.

Everything else is still up for grabs.

Explanatory notes:

For those that haven't read one of these threads before, I'm basically following a couple of key benchmarks and comparing each team's min and max points to see where they might fall. As results come in, the benchmarks themselves change and the teams above or below them change.

The keys are:
"In" - what point threshold needs to be reached to guarantee a playoff spot (can't fall to 9th or 10th).
"Home Eligible" - can still reach home ice (4th seed),
"Home Lock" - can't fall below 4th,
"Home Ice" - once the top four spots are settled,
and "Out" - can no longer reach 8th.

If you're below a line, your minimum (points already earned) has not yet reached that benchmark, or in the case of "Out", cannot. If you are above a line, your maximum keeps you in play. At this point, two teams are already In but no one has yet locked up Home Ice. Conversely, no one is yet Out and everyone is still Home Eligible.

As teams earn points (win or tie), their minimum will increase, since those points are already in the bank. At the same time, as the teams fail to get points (tie or lose), their maximum falls since those are points that team can no longer get. As the mins and maxes change, any associated benchmarks move with them.

As results come in, In and Out will draw closer together and, at some point, merge once the top eight (or bottom two) are set in stone. The same is true of Home Eligible and Home Lock, which will merge into Home Ice once the top four are set.

Here's an example of how this works:

Once you earn more points than at least two other teams can reach - even if you lost every game and they won every game - then at least two teams are surely behind you, you can fall no lower than 8th, and you have clinched a playoff spot. You're "In"!

The simplest way to determine where to set the initial "In" benchmark is to find the two lowest maximums, which are usually, but not always, the maxes for teams currently at 10 and 9. That's UML (22) and UVM (29).

However, as noted above, the current 8 team (PC) is only one point ahead (with a max of 30) and plays 9 (UVM) for two games still on the schedule. For UVM to reach their max, that would be four points that PC couldn't get, so PC's best effort would yield only 26 points. If they split, each would lose the opportunity for two points, making their maxes 28 (PC) and 27 (UVM). If UVM got another point from the games to raise their max to 28, then PC would lose one to drop their max to 27, so no matter how their series works out one of them will have a max of 27 or lower. That means that if you can beat 27 points, you are assured of being ahead of one of these teams and also UML (max 22). You'd be "In" and that's why that benchmark stands at 27 ( by comparison, the last several years used 32-34 at this point).

Hence, UNH and BC, with 28 points already earned are above this mark and have clinched spots.

"Home Lock" would mean that no more than three teams could pass you. The default for this benchmark would be to find the fourth highest max. If you can exceed that (or meet it with the tie-breakers in your favor), then you'll have clinched home ice.

In this case, Maine has the 4th highest max, so it would seem that 40 would be the mark to beat. However, just like several other examples in this post, MC and ME still have two to play, and their adjacent maxes can't both be reached. At least one of them has to fall below BU's current max at 39, so effectively that puts the winner of MC/ME at the 3rd highest max, BU at 4th max and the MC/ME series loser at 5th max. BU's 39 becomes the "Home Lock" benchmark.

As Merrimack or Maine get points, or UML doesn't get points (ties or loses), UML's max could fall behind the points that either MC or ME have already banked, meaning that UML could get no higher than 5th (or even 6th) and would no longer be eligible for Home Ice, which would drop them below the Home Eligible line.

With this many games to go, I haven't factored in the remaining schedule to the benchmarks and maximum points too deeply yet. When the permutations are fewer and those fine points become more relevant, I'm sure they'll get added in either by myself or fellow posters.

Todd
02-04-2011, 12:53 AM
Weekend Preview:

With February's first games approaching, we find ourselves in a familiar pattern. There are a couple of leaders that have put a small distance between themselves and the next group jousting for home ice. Following that are the likely road teams for the quarterfinals and the group trying to fight their way out of the cellar to stave off elimination during the regular season. While the size of these four groups changes from year to year, and from one person's perception to another's, the numbers this year reveal a couple of points that will set the backdrop for the race to the finish line.

When getting a feel for where teams are in early February, one always has to take into account the games-in-hand differential due to the three Beanpot teams playing singletons the next two weekends while the bulk of the league plays out their one or two extras on the schedule. Since UVM's arrival gave the league an even number of teams, the odd number of Beanpotters usually means that someone doesn't have a dance partner for league play. Some years the games-in-hand are distributed more broadly. This year, it looks like they've just made UML's schedule match up with BC, BU and NU, so the 'Hawks remaining schedule is also two games short, like the other three. In fact, perhaps matching BC's two Beanpot Mondays, UML has to face just BU this weekend, before hosting just NU next weekend. For the next two weeks, there will be some mixed schedules with some playing pairs against each other, some wrapping up season series rubber games and so on. By the time the Beanpot is over, we'll just have three weeks of home-and-homes or, in the case of Maine and Vermont (and their opponents), their usual overnight roadtrip pairs.

Taking those games-in-hand into account, here's how I see things standing heading into the weekend:

UNH and BC make up the top group in that they have a little separation from the others while staying close to each other. They're tied as far as points in the bank, but with UNH having four more points available in the next five weeks - and odds being that a team over .500 will pick up at least one of those four - they hold a slim advantage. Of course, with these two playing H&H at the end, each team holds destiny in their own hands. Should it matter, UNH also leads the pending tie-breaking advantage after winning the first meeting between the two.

Next up, I see the second group as BU, MC and ME, but not quite NU. Here's why: With the remaining schedule, MC and Maine actually have more points available to them than BU does (their current "max" values are higher), so even though they trail current #3 BU by two and three points, respectively, one could argue who has the advantage - even moreso when looking at the tb situation. NU is not only currently at the bottom of this pack, but has the same game-in-hand disadvantage that BU has. They are four points behind the Terriers and so is their max. While the other three's maxes swirl around the 40-point mark, NU tops out at 35. By comparison, the next team down from NU - UMA - has a similar max of 34. At this specific moment, I think it's more realistic to group NU and UMA a step below the other three. This is also indicated by the fact that BU, MC, and ME collectively set both the Home Lock and Home Eligible benchmarks at the moment, but NU and UMA don't really factor in yet.

The bottom three are close in banked points, but UML is really handicapped by already being two or three points back while having four fewer points left to gain. What might make for an interesting final weekend is that UVM and UML will be facing off for a pair while PC will end up with two against Merrimack's best team since moving to D-1. If things stay status quo for the next month, will PC be in a position to hold onto a playoff spot against the Warriors or will either the Cats or Hawks be able to leap up a spot or two and into the playoffs?

Historically, the second group is often around the 18-20 point mark at this point, so this year's set is a little ahead of the norm (at 20-23). Those points, obviously, have to be coming from somewhere else.

On the upper end, the top sometimes already has 30+ points banked instead of this year's initial top of 28, so we could be looking at a tighter race for the top seed this year, although outside of UNH/BC (and an outside shot of BU/NU factoring in for both teams to fight for the top) the schedule for the final weekend won't allow for the four-way head-to-head race to the tape that we had a few years ago.

On the lower end, some seasons will have a lone struggling bottom-feeder or a distant trailing pair or trio. So far, UML has struggled to earn points, but is still within range and there is enough balance among the lower teams that, realistically, any combination of the bottom three or four could make it or be out. Still, the playoff-clinching "In" line starts off 5-7 points lower this year than it has in recent memory, meaning there are fewer points rattling around the bottom teams collectively.

Of course, this evaluation is just a snapshot and these arbitrary groupings are in flux until the final horn of the final regular season game sounds.

Other items of note:

One scheduling oddity is that UMA faces four different teams over the next two weekends, instead of facing anyone for two games. Quite unusual for this stage of the season.

Also unusual is that six of the Minutemen's next eight games are against BC and MC. That means that UMA has finished playing four of their nine league opponents before facing either the Eagles or the Warriors once. Looked at another way, with only five weekends left in their season, UMA will spend three of those five playing just two teams. Given how well those two opponents have been playing, especially at home, and that UMA is only hosting two of the six games, it appears that Toot will need to keep his troops highly motivated to avoid spinning their wheels while the rest of the league leaves them behind.

Similarly, seven of NU's remaining eight games are home-and-homes against the top three teams (UNH, BC, BU) and a home game against fourth place MC. Also a tough road ahead. Of course, if NU is successful, they will simultaneously be knocking off the very teams that they are chasing, so they won't have to rely so much on other teams to help them out from afar.

Like NU, UNH will also have to face BC, MC and ME, which comprise all but one of the rest of the top five.

On the flip side, BU has already finished with the rest of the top five, winning the season series against UNH (handing them both of their only league losses of the season) and Maine, while going winless against BC and MC. That means that BU will spend their next six games (four of them at home) playing teams 7-10 before wrapping up with a H&H at current #6 NU.

SteveF
02-04-2011, 10:45 PM
this is my favorite thread every year!












except that ones where todd asks bu coeds out on dates to bu basketball games

SPCSMAN
02-04-2011, 10:52 PM
I will second that....I enjoy looking for the "Todd Report" every season.

Todd
02-05-2011, 12:13 AM
--- Home Lock - 39 (BU) ---
UNH 30 - 48 [1-7]
BC 30 - 44 [1-7]
--- In - 27 (PC/UVM) ---
BU 25 - 39 [1-9]
MC 23 - 41 [1-9]
ME 20 - 38 [1-10]
NU 19 - 33 [1-10]
UMA 14 - 32 [2-10]
PC 11 - 29 [3-10]
UVM 10 - 28 [3-10]
--- Home Eligible - 23 (MC) ---
UML 6 - 20 [5-10]
--- Out - 12 (PC/UVM) ---

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
UNH - ME, MC/@MC, @UVMx2, NU/@NU, @BC/BC
BC - @PC, NU/@NU, @UMA/UMA, UNH/@UNH
BU - @UMA, PC/@PC, UVMx2, @NU/NU
MC - UMA, @UNH/UNH, @UMA/UMA, @MEx2, PC/@PC
ME – @UNH, UVMx2, @UMLx2, MCx2, @UMAx2
NU - @UML, @BC/BC, @UNH/UNH, BU/@BU
UMA - @MC, BU, PC, @MC/MC, BC/@BC, MEx2
PC – @UVM, BC, @UMA, @BU/BU, UML/@UML, @MC/MC
UVM - PC, @MEx2, UNHx2, @BUx2, UMLx2
UML - NU, MEx2, @PC/PC, @UVMx2


First off, a correction:

UNH, BC and BU are all out of reach of UML, meaning they could each be no lower than 9th and UML can get no higher than 4th. Using the previously noted MC/ME series still ahead, at least one of those two would have to end up with 23+ points, so UML could get no higher than 5th before tonight's games and therefore was out of the running for Home Ice before tonight's results made it more obvious.

Along the same lines, the Out line should actually have been 12 coming into tonight, since at least one of PC/UVM would have to hit that after their H2H series.

On to tonight's updates:

Simply put, the top four all won and the rest of the league lost, except for PC/UVM (8/9) who tied each other.

Since all the benchmarks were based on combinations of possibilities, rather than tied to one team's min or max, none of them move (other than the corrections above) until at least tomorrow night. The only changes are that the Home benchmarks are now tied to single teams (BU and then MC), since BU and MC won and ME lost. If ME had also won, these marks would still be tied to all three teams, but Home Eligible would have moved.

UNH and BC each reaching 30 points puts them out of reach of both PC and UVM (as opposed to at least one of them), so each could fall no lower than 7th and PC and UVM can go no higher than 3rd.

Since the top two will play two, either both will reach 32+ or at least one will be higher. Since UMA already loses the tb to UNH (but would have the tb with BC if they reached their max of 32), UMA can't pass both UNH and BC. That means that UMA can climb no higher than 2nd. With either of the top two still being able to end up behind UMA's max, neither UNH or BC's bottom end of the range moves up from 7 yet.

With the UML tb already in hand, NU's magic number (M#, or combination of NU points won and UML points not won) to avoid 10th is 1. On the other end of the spectrum, their ability to reach 1st only leaves 2 points of wiggle room.

Maine could still be tied by UML, and if that were to happen, UML would have the tb with a 2-1 season series lead. Even factoring the rest of the schedules, UML could still be as high as 5th (with zero points to spare) and ME could still end up 10th - but not both at the same time, of course.

With the BU tb in hand (1-0-2), MC could jump into 3rd with a win Saturday. That win would also mean a UMA loss, which would guarantee UNH no less than 6th (as would a UNH win), but leave idle BC still vulnerable to a lose-out-plus-UMA-win-out tb loss.

With only three games Saturday and the non-league Beanpot on Monday, that's pretty much all we can expect other than minor tweaks until next weekend.

Todd
02-05-2011, 12:32 AM
UML could still be as high as 5th (with zero points to spare) and ME could still end up 10th - but not both at the same time, of course.FWIW, it is mathematically possible to have a six-way tie for the 5-10 slots at 20 points, but as Maine already wins some of those tbs, I'm fairly confident that they can't be 10th while UML is 5th.

Just sayin'...

MAINEhockeyFireWhitehead
02-05-2011, 12:38 AM
Maine has no shot wih tim whitehead and the numbers reflect this over the last 3 seasons. Its the second half of the season wich means its when other teams peak but tims sink faster than the titanic.

dmjossel
02-05-2011, 03:52 AM
Maine has no shot wih tim whitehead and the numbers reflect this over the last 3 seasons. Its the second half of the season wich means its when other teams peak but tims sink faster than the titanic.

I think the author is evaluating the statistical possibilities, not the practical possibilities. Coaching is irrelevant when the only discussion is about the maximum and minimum points it is possible for each team to earn given the number of games remaining, nothing more.

sterlippo1
02-05-2011, 05:16 AM
I think the author is evaluating the statistical possibilities, not the practical possibilities. Coaching is irrelevant when the only discussion is about the maximum and minimum points it is possible for each team to earn given the number of games remaining, nothing more.

but you don't understand,maine fan's disdain for Timmay is omnipresent

Todd
02-06-2011, 12:06 AM
--- Home Lock - 39 (BU) ---
UNH 32 - 48 [1-6]
BC 30 - 44 [1-7]
--- In - 27 (PC) ---
MC 25 - 41 [1-9]
BU 25 - 39 [1-9]
ME 20 - 36 [1-10]
NU 19 - 33 [1-10]
UMA 14 - 30 [2-10]
UVM 12 - 28 [3-10]
PC 11 - 27 [3-10]
--- Home Eligible - 25 (MC/BU) ---
UML 6 - 20 [5-10]
--- Out - 12 (UVM) ---

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
UNH - MC/@MC, @UVMx2, NU/@NU, @BC/BC
BC - @PC, NU/@NU, @UMA/UMA, UNH/@UNH
MC - @UNH/UNH, @UMA/UMA, @MEx2, PC/@PC
BU - @UMA, PC/@PC, UVMx2, @NU/NU
ME - UVMx2, @UMLx2, MCx2, @UMAx2
NU - @UML, @BC/BC, @UNH/UNH, BU/@BU
UMA - BU, PC, @MC/MC, BC/@BC, MEx2
UVM - @MEx2, UNHx2, @BUx2, UMLx2
PC - BC, @UMA, @BU/BU, UML/@UML, @MC/MC
UML - NU, MEx2, @PC/PC, @UVMx2

So this happened:
With the BU tb in hand (1-0-2), MC could jump into 3rd with a win Saturday. That win would also mean a UMA loss, which would guarantee UNH no less than 6th (as would a UNH win), but leave idle BC still vulnerable to a lose-out-plus-UMA-win-out tb loss.

With UNH's win, the combo of UNH/BC will now reach at least 33, but NU could still be 1st with a 3-way tie at 33, since they would beat both teams twice en route and earn both tbs.

Todd
02-10-2011, 12:22 PM
--- Home Lock - 39 (BU) ---
UNH 32 - 48 [1-6]
BC 30 - 44 [1-7]
--- In - 27 (PC) ---
MC 25 - 41 [1-9]
BU 25 - 39 [1-9]
ME 20 - 36 [1-10]
NU 19 - 33 [1-10]
UMA 14 - 30 [2-10]
UVM 12 - 28 [3-10]
PC 11 - 27 [3-10]
--- Home Eligible - 25 (MC/BU) ---
UML 6 - 20 [5-10]
--- Out - 12 (UVM) ---

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
UNH - MC/@MC, @UVMx2, NU/@NU, @BC/BC
BC - @PC, NU/@NU, @UMA/UMA, UNH/@UNH
MC - @UNH/UNH, @UMA/UMA, @MEx2, PC/@PC
BU - @UMA, PC/@PC, UVMx2, @NU/NU
ME - UVMx2, @UMLx2, MCx2, @UMAx2
NU - @UML, @BC/BC, @UNH/UNH, BU/@BU
UMA - BU, PC, @MC/MC, BC/@BC, MEx2
UVM - @MEx2, UNHx2, @BUx2, UMLx2
PC - BC, @UMA, @BU/BU, UML/@UML, @MC/MC
UML - NU, MEx2, @PC/PC, @UVMx2

Weekend Preview:

Just as last weekend's UNH/ME series had an impact on the jockeying for position at the top of the conference, this weekend's UNH/MC match-up is key.

For UNH, this will probably be their most important weekend until the season wrap-up with BC. If they can take two points, they will keep their seven-point margin over Merrimack and take the tb (1-0-0 advantage coming into what would be a weekend split). However, taking only two points would burn the final game-in-hand advantage that they have over nearest competitor BC and, to the extent it matters, current 4th seed BU. (UML and UNH are already mutually irrelevant for the season. If UNH got two points, NU could also no longer catch them.) If they can get more than two, they can guarantee a lead over BC heading into the next two weeks with very similar schedules before they ultimately face-off.

For Merrimack, not only would they like to use their game-in-hand to close in on BC and get a points lead on BU (in addition to the tb), but a sweep would put them within real striking distance of a 2-seed, if not a 1 - especially considering that the two teams ahead of them still meet each other twice with someone guaranteed to miss out on points. On the flip side, getting swept could leave them dangerously close to #5 Maine with a two-game visit to Alfond still ahead. That would put the Warriors' best chance at Home Ice since joining Hockey East in serious jeopardy.

Situated between these two, BC needs to keep their mid-Beanpot focus and take care of business in their visit to Schneider against a skidding PC team who was over .500 for the fall of 2010, but is winless against D-1 in 2011. From the Eagles' point of view, the UNH/MC series couldn't come at a better time. If they can get two points of their own, that would assure them that, at worst, either UNH could get separation or MC could gain ground, but not both. Given the strength of both teams at home, perhaps neither. In any event, they will have their closest foes knock each other about and eat up their remaining games-in-hand in the process.

Comparing the schedules of the top two after the weekend is done, both have H&H with NU and with each other. UNH has to travel to 12-point UVM for two, while BC has a H&H with 14-point UMA. BC has a two-point tougher opponent, but UNH has both games on the road. Looking at how similar these schedules are, odds are that whatever the relative standings are come Sunday night, they'll be about the same when these two meet.

Comparing the schedules of the current 2 and 3, both BC and MC have H&H with UNH and with UMA. BC plays one at PC, while MC has the Friars for a H&H. For remaining schedule strength's sake, it is this extra home game against PC on the final Friday that is MC's game-in-hand. BC also has their H&H with 19-point-but-streaking NU, while MC travels for a pair to 20-point-and-stumbling Maine. MC already has the season's tb (2-1-0). If we assume a victory in the extra PC game at Lawler Arena, then MC has to find a way to make up three points on BC from the other seven, fairly similarly matched games to move up to the 2-slot. Holding serve, or better, this weekend would put more pressure on BC to do the same in three weeks.

Currently in the 4th slot (due to tb w/ MC), BU needs to toss aside the cons of Monday's Beanpot loss to BC, hold on to the pros and beat a UMA team whose only league wins are against UML (3-0-0) and UVM (2-1-0) and is coming off a brutal road shellacking last weekend, losing by a combined 16-2. To make matters worse, top goalie Dainton gave up ten of those before being pulled for Teglia who gave up the other six. (Third G Moore stopped the only shot he faced in mop-up duty.) Given the remaining schedules in the league, including the pair between 3-slot MC and 5-slot Maine where one will knock the other off, BU is likely to hold onto a Home Ice position if they get the points they are "supposed to". Factoring in that they are exclusively playing teams currently 6 through 9 for the duration, that should be most, if not all, of them. If the Terriers can come close to running the table, they should end up in the mid-30's or higher. That would probably put them at a 3 or 4, but they might sneak higher at the wire.

Outside of hosting MC for two, ME's schedule is similar in strength to BU's. Their problem is not only making up at least one five-point gap with both the Terriers and the Warriors (four of which they could reel in against MC by sweeping them) to move up into Home Ice, but also righting their own ship after a rough couple of weeks. It may be that all it takes to turn things around is to play the same quality of game they did against the top of the league when they are playing against the bottom - and to make sure their skates can hold an edge at the end of the third period.

One point behind Maine, but a world apart in momentum, NU will need to continue their roll, but do it against the iron of the league in what has to be the toughest remaining schedule in the conference, if not the country. Including the Beanpot victory, the Huskies are 6-2-2 in 2011 and in their last seven are 4-1-2 with four shutouts (the wins) and three OTs (the ties and the loss to MC on a rebound put-back with under :30 to go in bonus time).

What lies ahead for NU begins with avoiding the distraction of an impending Beanpot Final and coming out of Tsongas with two points on Friday. Following that - due in part to the result of the bounces on Monday night and in part to the bizarre scheduling of any two of the three HE Beanpotters against each other the week after the tourney wraps - the Huskies face the Eagles for three straight games in three different venues in a span of only six days. Once that gauntlet (for both teams) is run, NU is treated to a H&H with UNH and wraps the season with a H&H against BU, the collective results of which last season (0-1-1 vs UNH and 0-2-0 vs. BU) gave UNH just enough points to edge out BC for the RS title, situated BU atop the league's first three-way tie ever (giving the league a lesson on their tie-breaking procedures) and earned them a 3-seed, but forced NU to skate off the ice and out of their season in front of their home crowd, stunned by having a playoff run that once seemed so sure slipping one point short of their grasp. Cronin will no doubt use that 0-4-1 flameout (they also lost the H&H finale at BC) to keep the Huskies sharp, working to avoid a repeat.

UMA is unlikely to jump up to Home Ice and may, in fact, be out of the mix by this weekend's results if they lose to both BU and PC, and MC can split or better with UNH. While six of their final eight are at Mullins, the last three weeks has them facing the meat of the order in #3 MC, #4 BU, and then #5 Maine. A tough road, but at least if they manage to run that skein, they'll be nicking points and tbs from the very teams they need to catch.

UVM can already get no higher than 3rd and has to face pairs with Maine, UNH and BU (at Alfond, Gutterson, and Agganis) before their finale at the Gut with Lowell. Whether that finale is relevant to mid-tier seeding, a great chance to squeak into one of the final playoff spots, or a p!ssing contest in the basement to not be dead last has yet to play out.

PC's schedule is, in many senses, all over the place for the final month. Home, away-away, home-home, away-away, home. 2, 7, 4, 4, 10, 10, 3, 3 (BC, UMA, BUx2, UMLx2, MCx2). Currently in 9th by a single point to UVM, the Friars could be as close as one back of 7th seed UMA by the time they head to Mullins on Saturday. With a 1-0-1 lead on the series, even a tie there would be very valuable to PC as it would cement the tb with UMA and improve by one point their chances of making the playoffs while hoping to gain the slightest of ground on UMA and UVM (who has already banked the tb with PC).

If UML has not already started making tee times, their final two weekends will be against the two teams directly ahead of them and in their way to find a playoff slot. That said, three of those four games are on the road, and they in all likelihood need to make up two of these three gaps: five w/ PC, six w/ UVM and nine w/ UMA. To do so, UML will likely need a near sweep of both PC and UVM (where they already hold a 1-0-0 tb advantage with both), which would give them not only points, but also tbs, while keeping their rivals anchored. UML already lost the tb to UMA (0-3-0), so they'll need to pass, rather than tie, the Minutmen for it to matter.

JB
02-10-2011, 02:27 PM
Todd - I think UNH can lock up home ice this weekend. Sweep MC and with the tie breaker with Maine in hand UNH would be at 36 - Maine's max. Any other combination like UNH 2 points and Maine drops 2 to UVM etc and we are left in the same situation as Maine's Max drops. The only question I have is some crazy 3 or 4 way tie (example at 36) with UNH-Maine and BU and/or BC.

I guess BC could get home ice with a win getting to 32 pts and a UVM sweep of Maine as BC holds the tie breaker over Maine. Again ignoring the 3 or 4 way tie at 32.

'MackFan
02-10-2011, 03:34 PM
Todd - I think UNH can lock up home ice this weekend. Sweep MC and with the tie breaker with Maine in hand UNH would be at 36 - Maine's max. Any other combination like UNH 2 points and Maine drops 2 to UVM etc and we are left in the same situation as Maine's Max drops. The only question I have is some crazy 3 or 4 way tie (example at 36) with UNH-Maine and BU and/or BC.

I guess BC could get home ice with a win getting to 32 pts and a UVM sweep of Maine as BC holds the tie breaker over Maine. Again ignoring the 3 or 4 way tie at 32.

hockey east website says that unh can get home ice with a number of scenarios. merrimack can clinch a playoff spot too

pirate
02-10-2011, 05:56 PM
So, from a quick glanceBU perspective, seems we are rooting for Maine to sweep MC this weekend and then BC to sweep UNH at the end of the season while the Terriers hopefully win out. Didn't do the math but that is probably required to secure 3 and have a shot at 2.

WildShawn
02-10-2011, 05:58 PM
So, from a quick glanceBU perspective, seems we are rooting for Maine to sweep MC this weekend and then BC to sweep UNH at the end of the season while the Terriers hopefully win out. Didn't do the math but that is probably required to secure 3 and have a shot at 2.

Pretty sure Maine won't sweep Merrimack this weekend.

dmjossel
02-10-2011, 09:51 PM
Pretty sure Maine won't sweep Merrimack this weekend.

Well, in the sense that I think it's pretty impossible for Maine to lose to Merrimack this weekend... I guess you could call that a sweep :)

pirate
02-11-2011, 10:05 AM
Pretty sure Maine won't sweep Merrimack this weekend.

right, but what I root for and what I would bet on are often two different things:)...BU fans should be rooting for Maine this weekend if we want the higher seed...no knock on MC, and from some talk BU might be better at 4th in the final standings due to matchups...be it system or psychology, some teams have a tougher time with one opponent than another...so the silver lining to MC not getting swept could be BU not seeing BC again until the HE final...BU might need to get to the final to make it into the big skate.

JB
02-11-2011, 11:04 AM
You missed it...

MC is playing 2 with UNH this weekend.

Maine is playing 2 with UVM...

Todd
02-11-2011, 07:26 PM
Todd - I think UNH can lock up home ice this weekend. Sweep MC and with the tie breaker with Maine in hand UNH would be at 36 - Maine's max. Any other combination like UNH 2 points and Maine drops 2 to UVM etc and we are left in the same situation as Maine's Max drops.You're right. I currently mistakenly have the Home Lock line based on being the 4th seed, rather than beating the 5th. The line should be 37, 36 w/ tb. If UNH has the tb v. ME, then their M# for Home Ice is 4. If UNH can rally against MC, barring a monumental response at Alfond, then they could wrap it up tonight.

Priceless
02-11-2011, 09:59 PM
This is the first time since Vermont joined the league that all 5 road teams won. Hockey East hasn't had 5 teams win on the road on the same day since October 24, 2003.

Merrimack at NE (4-2)
BU at Prov (6-4)
Maine at SLU (3-2)
UNH at Canisius (8-2)
UML at Niagara (6-1)