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sterlippo1
02-25-2012, 08:48 AM
BC needs just 1 point over its last 3 games to eliminate Lowell.

yeah, because we have the tie break vs them. part of my post was if we lose out

FiveHole12
02-25-2012, 09:13 AM
I'l bet my house, your house, and everybody else's house that if BC wins the rest of their games, they clinch the RS title and home ice advantage throughout the Hockey East playoffs. ;) :p

claver2010
02-25-2012, 10:00 AM
I'l bet my house, your house, and everybody else's house that if BC wins the rest of their games, they clinch the RS title and home ice advantage throughout the Hockey East playoffs. ;) :p

BC GAMBLING DURR!!! *wipes drool*

ScottK
02-25-2012, 10:18 AM
BC needs just 1 point over its last 3 games to eliminate Lowell.

You mean 3 points. BC is 3 points ahead of Lowell with 3 games left. If BC only gets 1 point and Lowell gets all 6, Lowell finishes 2 points ahead of BC.

mookie1995
02-25-2012, 11:16 AM
BC needs just 1 point over its last 3 games to eliminate Lowell.

Blah blah... You guys have uvm next weekend. You already have those 4 pts banked! ;)

Todd
02-25-2012, 08:23 PM
Any way BC can clinch tonight? My initial thought is no (closest is if BC wins & BU loses but BU has tie breaker) but I didn't run all the permutations

Short answer: No.

There are permutations with ties w/ BU or BU & UML where BC does not come in 1st, so they can't clinch.

As you - and now others - have pointed out, in BC's best case scenario, they win, BU and UML lose. 5 up on UML with two games left means at least second, but 4 up on BU and the tb going BU's way means BC could still be 2nd.

bottomdweller
02-25-2012, 11:23 PM
From what I can deduce, with the tie with MC tonight, Lowell clinched any potential tb with MC. Merrimack can not have as many league wins as Lowell, nor do they have a better record against BU or BC, the two most likely #1 seeds. Lowell can still get 5th, but for that to happen, I believe the following would have to occur:

PC sweep Lowell AND
Maine beats UNH AND
MC takes at least 3 points from UMass

Any points next week for Lowell and they will clinch 4th at the least due to the tiebreaker they win vs Maine.

BCeagle
02-26-2012, 12:34 AM
Blah blah... You guys have uvm next weekend. You already have those 4 pts banked! ;)

On paper yes, they still have to win 1 game and get at least a tie to clinch but you can't take any team lightly.

i.e. BU needed OT to beat UVM tonight to sweep as they almost lost until they tied it with under 2 minutes left.

You're my alter ego ...

Todd
02-26-2012, 03:33 AM
BC 35 - 39 [1-3]
BU 33 - 37 [1-3]
--- Home Lock - 33 (MC) ---
UML 31 - 35 [1-5]
ME 30 - 32 [3-5]
MC 29 - 33 [3-5]
--- Home Eligible - 30 (ME) ---
UNH 24 - 26 [6-7]
--- In - 24 (NU/UMA) ---
PC 23 - 27 [6-9]
NU 20 - 24 [7-9]
UMA 20 - 24 [7-9]
--- Out - 20 (UMA/NU) ---
UVM 7 - 11 [10]

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
BC - UVMx2
BU - NU/@NU
UML - @PC/PC
ME - UNH
MC - @UMA/UMA
UNH - @ME
PC - UML/@UML
NU - @BU/BU
UMA - MC/@MC
UVM - @BCx2


FWIW, I was at Matthews witnessing the ME blowout of NU, so I had plenty of time to work out lots of three- and four-way tie scenarios when it looked like BU might lose and MC might beat UML. Now many of those are moot. At least it gave me something to do besides feel bad for the Huskies. Once a blowout gets that bad, it doesn't really translate into feeling good for the winners. At least not for me.

Anyway...

In a three-way tie at 35 between BC, BU and UML, I see it breaking down as follows:
- Round robin of 2-1-0 results gives all three a 3-3-0 record.
- With one tie each and the same number of points, they'd have the same number of wins (unless BU had two ties which would mean BC 1 over UML 2 on H2H tb and BU 3 with fewer wins).
- Since these would be the top three teams, tie breaking would next compare their record against 4th place team.
- - if ME: UML 2-1-0, BC/BU 1-2-0 UML 1, BU 2, BC 3 (based on BU 2-1-0 tb once UML is placed #1)
- - if MC: BC 2-0-1, BU 2-1-0, UML 1-1-1 and the seeds would fall that way.

(If UML had won tonight, the possible BC/BU/UML tie at 36 would have broken at the Wins level in UML's favor. UML would have needed to sweep to get to 36, and have no ties. BC and BU would have needed to add a second tie to make their odd points even to hit 36. Same net result: UML 1, BU over BC for 2 based on H2H tb, BC 3.)

So, I have BC as a 1-3 range.

BU wins the tb w/ MC H2H, but what if in a three-way tie w/ UML?
BU v MC: 2-1-0
UML v BU: 2-1-0
UML v MC: 1-1-1
UML 3-2-1, BU 3-3-0, MC 2-3-1 and seeded in that order.

With no other combos possible at 33, BU can't fall behind MC. Therefore, the Terriers can't drop below 3rd. That also means there are two teams out of reach of MC, so they can't be higher than 3rd.

While UML loses the H2H tb w/ BC 1-2-0, the demo above on three-way tie with BC and BU shows a scenario where UML gets seeded 1st (w/ ME 4th). They can also be passed by both ME and MC, so they haven't clinched Home Ice yet. UML is 1-5.

With only one game left, ME could only pass UML ahead of them, for a high of 3rd. With only MC below them able to catch and pass, ME can fall no lower than 5th.

Similarly, MC will be 3-5. This gives us a mathematic separation between the Top 5 and the rest of the conference.

UNH's tb advantage mentioned last night still holds. Neither UMA nor NU can now pass UNH. That leaves the Wildcats either 6th or 7th, depending on whether they can hold off the Friars, who are a point back with a game in hand. Note that PC would have to pass UNH as the 'Cats hold the tb 3-0-0.

PC could still be passed by both UMA and NU, so they could still fall to 9th and haven't grabbed a playoff spot yet. Since they could still pass UNH, they range from 6-9.

NU and UMA are 1-1-1 against each other, with identical records. Unless they both split next weekend where one goes 1-1-0 and the other 0-0-2 (in which case the tb would be Wins in favor of the 1-1-0 team), a possible tie here would depend on who ends up 1st. If BC, UMA would be the higher seed. If BU, that would mean NU would have lost the BU series by losing at least another two points to go with the earlier loss. Since UMA split with BU 1-1-1, that goes UMA's way, too. If it's UML at 1, even though NU has a 1-2-0 record, UMA was swept (0-3-0), so NU gets the higher seed.

In a tie w/ PC, whether H2H or in three-way combo, it works for NU (1-0-2), but doesn't fare well for UMA (0-2-1). If they all tied, both PC and NU would be 2-1-3, UMA 1-3-2. Seeding NU 7, PC 8, UMA 9.

UVM... still dead (http://www.hulu.com/watch/1426/saturday-night-live-the-death-of-franco).

SPCSMAN
02-26-2012, 10:46 AM
Todd, is the reason home lock is 32 due to MC winning TB over ME? Thanks for doing this analysis again this year.

Patronick
02-26-2012, 11:41 AM
If Merrimack's max is 33 and Lowell's is 35, I don't think 32 can be home ice lock. Maine can reach 32 with a win over UNH and still be passed by Lowell and MC.

Right now Maine has fallen out of home ice lock, right?

Todd
02-26-2012, 12:44 PM
Todd, is the reason home lock is 32 due to MC winning TB over ME? Thanks for doing this analysis again this year.


If Merrimack's max is 33 and Lowell's is 35, I don't think 32 can be home ice lock. Maine can reach 32 with a win over UNH and still be passed by Lowell and MC.

Right now Maine has fallen out of home ice lock, right?



So:
A) I was thinking of "must pass" as opposed to "must reach".
B) It was 3:30 am.
C) Yes, since my thread starting definition is "must reach"...


"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.

... then Home Lock should be 33.

Patronick
02-26-2012, 01:24 PM
So:
A) I was thinking of "must pass" as opposed to "must reach".
B) It was 3:30 am.
C) Yes, since my thread starting definition is "must reach"...



... then Home Lock should be 33.

Still the best thread of the year my dude :D

SPCSMAN
02-26-2012, 02:47 PM
Still the best thread of the year my dude :D

Ditto!

Todd
02-26-2012, 03:26 PM
Another thing...

Some of you may remember a couple of years ago when the league was very tight 3-9 and there was a lot of discussion here about multi-way ties. (By definition, all ties are "multi". One entity can't be in a tie by itself. What I mean here is "more than two".) One key point of the discussion was an apparent change in how the league was breaking such ties. Precedent was Bottom Up (see below), but that year they were projecting based on Top Down (also see below).

Part of the problem was that the league rule regarding multi-way ties was vague when it came to how to do it. In fact, based on our discussion here, and those I had around the rinks, I contacted the league office and had a lengthy back-and-forth via email, with lots of examples on my end (no... really?), which stopped very suddenly from their end without any further explanation. It turned out that the league had changed their interpretation without changing the text - and without realizing they had done so until it was broken out for them. Right when they realized it, they stopped corresponding.

Since then, Bertagna has hinted acknowledgement at the prior confusion during TV-game interviews and happily noted that they have internally resolved some issues. Note that the league had never actually had a more-than-two-way tie prior to that season. In sum, while all precedent had historically been Bottom Up, they have now apparently switched either to Top Down or All At Once.

In case it comes up, I can use examples from this week's outcomes to illustrate all the scenarios - and why they matter.

With two teams tied, you simply go down the hierarchy of pre-determined priorities.

In the case of Hockey East, they have decided to use the following:

For playoff seeding purposes, the following tiebreakers will be used at the conclusion of the regular season

1. Head-to-head results between the tied teams

2. Number of wins in conference play

3. Best record against the first-place team(s), then the second-place team(s), then the third-place team(s), and so on

4. Coin flipThe trouble comes in with the language around more-than-two ties, as seen here:

If more than two teams finish in a tie, the same criteria will be applied to reduce the number of teams tied, and then the process will commence again.

"...reduce the number of teams tied..."? Couldn't be any clearer than that?

If you have three teams tied, as you move through the hierarchy of tie-breakers, you will eventually get to a situation where one team is better than the other two (BC/BU/UML w/ ME 4th), one team is worse than the other two (PC/NU/UMA), or all three teams have different values (BC/BU/UML w/ MC 4th). (The same general process applies for four or more, but three is sufficient, and easier, to demonstrate.)


In a three-way tie at 35 between BC, BU and UML, I see it breaking down as follows:
- Round robin of 2-1-0 results gives all three a 3-3-0 record.
- With one tie each and the same number of points, they'd have the same number of wins (unless BU had two ties which would mean BC 1 over UML 2 on H2H tb and BU 3 with fewer wins).
- Since these would be the top three teams, tie breaking would next compare their record against 4th place team.
- - if ME: UML 2-1-0, BC/BU 1-2-0 UML 1, BU 2, BC 3 (based on BU 2-1-0 tb once UML is placed #1)
- - if MC: BC 2-0-1, BU 2-1-0, UML 1-1-1 and the seeds would fall that way.

In a tie w/ PC, whether H2H or in three-way combo, it works for NU (1-0-2), but doesn't fare well for UMA (0-2-1). If they all tied, both PC and NU would be 2-1-3, UMA 1-3-2. Seeding NU 7, PC 8, UMA 9.For the first two, the general consensus across all leagues everywhere is to either promote the solo top team or demote the solo bottom team and then start over with a two-way tie between the remining pair. That fits with HE's description.

The tricky situation is what to do when three tied teams are suddenly all different - Scenario 3. Basically, there are three ways to break that tie.

The simplest - and fairest to me - is to simply seed them as they are, All At Once (AAO). That is how I described that split:

- - if MC: BC 2-0-1, BU 2-1-0, UML 1-1-1 and the seeds would fall that way.

However, historically, on all prior projection occasions (remember, they never had to do it for real until the controversial year), HE had done Bottom Up (BUp). In our demo case, HE would have dropped UML as the lowest team and seeded them 3. Then, starting over with BC/BU, BU would be 1 based on H2H and BC would be 2nd.

In the controversial year, they suddenly switched to Top Down (TDn) in their projections. In our demo case, HE would have promoted BC as the highest team and 1 seed. Starting over with BU/UML, UML would be 2 based on H2H and BU would be 3.

So there you have a stark example of how and why the unspecific "...reduce the number of teams tied..." is insufficient.

AAO seeding would be BC, BU, UML.
BUp seeding would be BU, BC, UML.
TDn seeding would be BC, UML, BU.

Three different seedings. Three different opponents for the 7 seed (each of the three teams could end up #2). No clear description of what's going to happen.

As it turned out, in the one year with a three-way tie, the league kind of lucked out in that one team was 2-1-0 aganist both of the others and the other pair was also a definitive 2-1-0. With a 4-2-0, 3-3-0, 2-4-0 split, all three methods give the same result.

AAO seeds them in the above order: A, B, C.
BUp drops C (2-4-0) and then settles the other two beased on A's 2-1-0 tb to keep them at A, B, C.
TDn promotes A (4-2-0) and then seeds B over C with the 2-1-0 tb. Result, again, A, B, C.

A, B, C was the right result, no matter how you slice it. The problem is that since all outcomes were the same, we still don't know for sure how the league will split a situation that doesn't break as cleanly - like our demo.

I'm not positive at this point, but I think they described the real tb, when it happened, by listing the AAO records, so that's why I describe the splits as I do.

In the end, it may not matter. We've only had one actual more-than-two in nearly 30 years of league play, so they're rare. That said, we've had at least one two-way almost every year. In fact, we had three pairs of two-way ties in the standings in one season before we had our first three-way tie. However, it could happen again this year, and will probably happen again at some point - even if it's another 25 years.

Here's why it's important during play, as opposed to after the RS is over:

In our demo, BU could end up either 1, 2, or 3 depending on how the tb happens. It is conceivable that everyone else could be in the locker room and BU could be in OT with a tie putting them into our demo scenario. If they know that BUp prevails, they could clamp down on D and try to ride out the tie for 1st. On the other hand, if they know that TDn would be used, it would make sense to pull the goalie late in OT to go all out for the win - surpassing the tie for 1st instead of ending up 3rd with either a tie or a loss.

This is reminiscent of a few years ago when BU and NU were fighting it out in the standings for the 8th and final seed. NU had the tb and was a point behind coming into the final night. NU had finished with a win and BU was in OT at UNH. BU knew that a loss would have NU pass them, but a tie would also leave them out of the playoffs on the NU tb. As it turned out, BU scored about half-way through OT for the win, but had the game gone on much longer, it is likely that Parker would have pulled the goalie in OT. He would only have the opportunity to make that informed decision because everyone knew where the tb procedure stood.

Ironically, NU winning that tb was due to their better record against 1-seed BC, so it would seem that, of the two options that year, BC would have preferred to not face NU. However, as a result of BU squeaking ahead into 8th, that year was also the second time in league history that 8 beat 1 in a best-2-of-3 when BU went to Conte and beat BC in three games.

What is also unclear, based on this:

3. Best record against the first-place team(s), then the second-place team(s), then the third-place team(s), and so on
... is how the league would resolve our demo if ME and MC were themselves tied for 4th. Since we've seen that who is 4th changes who is 1-3, that's a real issue.

Do they compare records against the combined pair at 4th? Do they resolve who wins the tb at 4th first?

What if both the Trio at 1st and the Pair at 4th had tbs that came down to the 3rd tb (i.e., if ME and MC were 1-1-1 H2H with the same number of wins - not the case, but for the sake of example)? You can't settle 1st until you settle 4th, but you can't settle 4th until you settle 1st. It's recursive. They don't state which gets decided first. Do they then go to records against 6th place?

If so, which tie do you break first, the Trio or the Pair? Because once you break either the Trio or the Pair, you can use that broken tie to break the other one.

Further, in theory, UNH and PC could be tied at 6 and UMA and NU could be tied at 8th. Would that then mean that everyone's record against UVM - who is the one team definitely not making the playoffs - would decide the entire playoff seedings?

My point is that everyone knowing what they're playing for is important.

Guessing shouldn't be involved.

Priceless
02-26-2012, 03:57 PM
Another thing...

Some of you may remember a couple of years ago when the league was very tight 3-9 and there was a lot of discussion here about multi-way ties. (By definition, all ties are "multi". One entity can't be in a tie by itself. What I mean here is "more than two".) One key point of the discussion was an apparent change in how the league was breaking such ties. Precedent was Bottom Up (see below), but that year they were projecting based on Top Down (also see below).

Part of the problem was that the league rule regarding multi-way ties was vague when it came to how to do it. In fact, based on our discussion here, and those I had around the rinks, I contacted the league office and had a lengthy back-and-forth via email, with lots of examples on my end (no... really?), which stopped very suddenly from their end without any further explanation. It turned out that the league had changed their interpretation without changing the text - and without realizing they had done so until it was broken out for them. Right when they realized it, they stopped corresponding.

Since then, Bertagna has hinted acknowledgement at the prior confusion during TV-game interviews and happily noted that they have internally resolved some issues. Note that the league had never actually had a more-than-two-way tie prior to that season. In sum, while all precedent had historically been Bottom Up, they have now apparently switched either to Top Down or All At Once.

In case it comes up, I can use examples from this week's outcomes to illustrate all the scenarios - and why they matter.

With two teams tied, you simply go down the hierarchy of pre-determined priorities.

In the case of Hockey East, they have decided to use the following:
The trouble comes in with the language around more-than-two ties, as seen here:


"...reduce the number of teams tied..."? Couldn't be any clearer than that?

If you have three teams tied, as you move through the hierarchy of tie-breakers, you will eventually get to a situation where one team is better than the other two (BC/BU/UML w/ ME 4th), one team is worse than the other two (PC/NU/UMA), or all three teams have different values (BC/BU/UML w/ MC 4th). (The same general process applies for four or more, but three is sufficient, and easier, to demonstrate.)


For the first two, the general consensus across all leagues everywhere is to either promote the solo top team or demote the solo bottom team and then start over with a two-way tie between the remining pair. That fits with HE's description.

The tricky situation is what to do when three tied teams are suddenly all different - Scenario 3. Basically, there are three ways to break that tie.

The simplest - and fairest to me - is to simply seed them as they are, All At Once (AAO). That is how I described that split:


However, historically, on all prior projection occasions (remember, they never had to do it for real until the controversial year), HE had done Bottom Up (BUp). In our demo case, HE would have dropped UML as the lowest team and seeded them 3. Then, starting over with BC/BU, BU would be 1 based on H2H and BC would be 2nd.

In the controversial year, they suddenly switched to Top Down (TDn) in their projections. In our demo case, HE would have promoted BC as the highest team and 1 seed. Starting over with BU/UML, UML would be 2 based on H2H and BU would be 3.

So there you have a stark example of how and why the unspecific "...reduce the number of teams tied..." is insufficient.

AAO seeding would be BC, BU, UML.
BUp seeding would be BU, BC, UML.
TDn seeding would be BC, UML, BU.

Three different seedings. Three different opponents for the 7 seed (each of the three teams could end up #2). No clear description of what's going to happen.

As it turned out, in the one year with a three-way tie, the league kind of lucked out in that one team was 2-1-0 aganist both of the others and the other pair was also a definitive 2-1-0. With a 4-2-0, 3-3-0, 2-4-0 split, all three methods give the same result.

AAO seeds them in the above order: A, B, C.
BUp drops C (2-4-0) and then settles the other two beased on A's 2-1-0 tb to keep them at A, B, C.
TDn promotes A (4-2-0) and then seeds B over C with the 2-1-0 tb. Result, again, A, B, C.

A, B, C was the right result, no matter how you slice it. The problem is that since all outcomes were the same, we still don't know for sure how the league will split a situation that doesn't break as cleanly - like our demo.

I'm not positive at this point, but I think they described the real tb, when it happened, by listing the AAO records, so that's why I describe the splits as I do.

In the end, it may not matter. We've only had one actual more-than-two in nearly 30 years of league play, so they're rare. That said, we've had at least one two-way almost every year. In fact, we had three pairs of two-way ties in the standings in one season before we had our first three-way tie. However, it could happen again this year, and will probably happen again at some point - even if it's another 25 years.

Here's why it's important during play, as opposed to after the RS is over:

In our demo, BU could end up either 1, 2, or 3 depending on how the tb happens. It is conceivable that everyone else could be in the locker room and BU could be in OT with a tie putting them into our demo scenario. If they know that BUp prevails, they could clamp down on D and try to ride out the tie for 1st. On the other hand, if they know that TDn would be used, it would make sense to pull the goalie late in OT to go all out for the win - surpassing the tie for 1st instead of ending up 3rd with either a tie or a loss.

This is reminiscent of a few years ago when BU and NU were fighting it out in the standings for the 8th and final seed. NU had the tb and was a point behind coming into the final night. NU had finished with a win and BU was in OT at UNH. BU knew that a loss would have NU pass them, but a tie would also leave them out of the playoffs on the NU tb. As it turned out, BU scored about half-way through OT for the win, but had the game gone on much longer, it is likely that Parker would have pulled the goalie in OT. He would only have the opportunity to make that informed decision because everyone knew where the tb procedure stood.

Ironically, NU winning that tb was due to their better record against 1-seed BC, so it would seem that, of the two options that year, BC would have preferred to not face NU. However, as a result of BU squeaking ahead into 8th, that year was also the second time in league history that 8 beat 1 in a best-2-of-3 when BU went to Conte and beat BC in three games.

What is also unclear, based on this:

... is how the league would resolve our demo if ME and MC were themselves tied for 4th. Since we've seen that who is 4th changes who is 1-3, that's a real issue.

Do they compare records against the combined pair at 4th? Do they resolve who wins the tb at 4th first?

What if both the Trio at 1st and the Pair at 4th had tbs that came down to the 3rd tb (i.e., if ME and MC were 1-1-1 H2H with the same number of wins - not the case, but for the sake of example)? You can't settle 1st until you settle 4th, but you can't settle 4th until you settle 1st. It's recursive. They don't state which gets decided first. Do they then go to records against 6th place?

If so, which tie do you break first, the Trio or the Pair? Because once you break either the Trio or the Pair, you can use that broken tie to break the other one.

Further, in theory, UNH and PC could be tied at 6 and UMA and NU could be tied at 8th. Would that then mean that everyone's record against UVM - who is the one team definitely not making the playoffs - would decide the entire playoff seedings?

My point is that everyone knowing what they're playing for is important.

Guessing shouldn't be involved.

I have a headache.

Todd
02-26-2012, 11:08 PM
With today's release from Hockey East, we know two things that we did not know previously.

First, by looking at the way they break the tie described in our demo, we can see that they use TDn:
BC, UML, BU (If MC finishes No. 4)

Second, in the press release - but not on the standings page - they now have changed the multi-way tb to be more precise:
If more than two teams finish in a tie, the same criteria will be applied to reduce the number of teams tied from the top, and then the process will commence again.

I happen to think that AAO is the fairer way to go, but what's important is that they clarified how they will do it.

Now in the scenario where BU is in OT they'll know whether they need to pull their goalie. Of course, in the case that a tie would put them at 35, they would necessarily have had an earlier tie on Friday and would lose out at the second tb (Wins) anyway.

Point is: thanks to the league for clarifying.

Now to figure out the recursive ties...

jjmc85
02-27-2012, 10:01 AM
Point is: thanks to the league for clarifying.
:rolleyes: It's about time.

smitre
03-01-2012, 12:47 PM
Great stuff!

Todd
03-02-2012, 05:40 PM
BC 35 - 39 [1-3]
BU 33 - 37 [1-3]
--- Home Lock - 33 (MC) ---
UML 31 - 35 [1-5]
ME 30 - 32 [3-5]
MC 29 - 33 [3-5]
--- Home Eligible - 30 (ME) ---
UNH 24 - 26 [6-7]
--- In - 24 (NU/UMA) ---
PC 23 - 27 [6-9]
NU 20 - 24 [7-9]
UMA 20 - 24 [7-9]
--- Out - 20 (UMA/NU) ---
UVM 7 - 11 [10]

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
BC - UVMx2
BU - NU/@NU
UML - @PC/PC
ME - UNH
MC - @UMA/UMA
UNH - @ME
PC - UML/@UML
NU - @BU/BU
UMA - MC/@MC
UVM - @BCx2


Final weekend is here.

Maine and UNH have the night off before wrapping up tomorrow at Alfond.

A BC split or worse this weekend would leave the door open for BU to take over the driver's seat, with the H2H tb in hand. On the flip side of that, BC's magic number (M#) - i.e., points won + opponent (in this case, BU) points not won - is 3 to clinch the RS campionship and the 1 seed. A M# of 2 would clinch co-champs. Any of those events, pro or con for the Eagles, could happen as early as tonight.

For the same reasons, BU's M# with UML for the 2 seed is 3. By the end of tonight, BU could control their own fate for the top spot, could own at least 2, or could need help to get above 3 - or be right where they are with only one game left.

UML's M# to clich Home Ice is 2. With ME off tonight, UML will be looking at the MC results, as well as their own, to see if they can start selling tickets for next weekend.

MC owns the tb w/ ME, so they need at least a point tonight to make use of their game-in-hand and take control of a Home Ice spot for the finale. Of course, the Warriros would prefer two points.

Similarly, PC looks to leapfrog UNH for the 6 seed. Remember that UNH swept PC, so the Friars need to pass the 'Cats for it to matter. In so doing, they would also - finally - secure a playoff spot.

For UMA and NU, not only are they battling each other - and PC - for the final slots in the playoffs, but they aren't even sure who owns the tb yet. With a 1-1-1 H2H and the same number of wins likely in a tie situation, it would probably all come down to who is at the top of the standings for the UMA/NU third-tier tb. There is a good chance that the team with the better record against the regular season champ will end up being their opponent in the quarterfinals.

For all the contending squads, best to focus on what you control, and the rest will play out as it will play out.

UVM... still dead (http://www.hulu.com/watch/1426/saturday-night-live-the-death-of-franco).