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Todd
01-28-2012, 04:56 PM
--- Home Lock - 38 (BU/BC/MC/ME) ---
--- In - 30 (NU) ---
BU 25 - 43 [1-10]
BC 23 - 39 [1-10]
ME 22 - 38 [1-10]
MC 21 - 43 [1-10]
UML 20 - 42 [1-10]
PC 17 - 39 [1-10]
UMA 14 - 36 [1-10]
UNH 13 - 33 [1-10]
NU 12 - 30 [1-10]
UVM 5 - 25 [3-10]
--- Home Eligible - 24 (Field) ---
--- Out - 13 (UNH) ---

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
BU - ME, @MC, UMA, @UML/UML, @UVMx2, NU/@NU
BC - @UNH, @UVM, MC/@MC, @PC/PC, UVMx2
ME - @BU, @PC, @UML, UMAx2, @NUx2, UNH
MC - PC, BU, @UMA, @UML, UNH, @BC/BC, UML/@UML, @UMA/UMA
UML - UMA, UVMx2, MC, ME, BU/@BU, @MC/MC, @PC/PC
PC - @MC, @UNH/UNH, ME, @UMA, @NU/NU, BC/@BC, UML/@UML
UMA - @UML, @NU, MC, @BU, PC, @MEx2, UNHx2, MC/@MC
UNH - BC, PC/@PC, NU, @MC, UVMx2, @UMAx2, @ME
NU - @UVM, UMA, @UNH, PC/@PC, MEx2, @BU/BU
UVM - NU, @UMLx2, BC, @UNHx2, BUx2, @BCx2


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 itís about that time, so... where are we? Has anyone clinched anything?

Itís usually easiest at this point in the year to look at the top and bottom, since the middle will still be muddled.

On its face, UVM could still tie BU and, with a pair at the Gut, have the tb. That, however, does not mean that UVM could finish in first. They would also have to worry about staying ahead of BC, and Maine, and so on.

One unusual scheduling quirk in favor of catching the top three teams as a whole, is that after tonightís ME @ BU game, they are done with each other, meaning that they could all lose on any given night. Of course, the flip of that is that they could all win.

If you add current 4th place MC, they add a singleton w/ BU and a H&H w/ BC to the mix, but thatís still only three games between the top four teams in the seasonís final five weeks.

Traditionally, if youíre trying to move up in the standings by just a spot or two, itís usually beneficial for you if the teams ahead of you are playing each other. For example, if your team is in 5th, trying to get the final home ice spot, you are often thought to be best off if 3 and 4 are playing each other. That way, if you win (which you will always need to do to move up Ė other teams losing doesnít give you more points), you gain on at least one of the teams ahead of you. One could also argue that youíd be helped by 1 and 2 hosting 3 and 4, so that 3 and 4 would be at their least likely to win and perhaps both would lose Ė but that gets into matchups, playing styles, and other intangibles that get away from math.

-----

So, for UVM (and others chasing Home Ice), with all of the games that are still remaining, someone else Ė in fact, a bunch of ďsomeone elsesĒ Ė would pick up the points that BU, BC and Maine would need to drop and all those ďsomeone elsesĒ would stay ahead of UVM.

I could, for example, get UVM into a favorable position against all of the top four, with the following results. BU loses out and UVM wins out. Tied at 25. Maine loses out except tonight vs. BU (mandated because BU must lose out in this scenario). Maine @ 24. Similarly, MC picks up 2 from BU. BC and MC split and each loses the remainder, leaving both at 25. Now UVM is in a 4-way tie w/ BU, BC and MC at 25 and ahead of Maine at 24.

The problem for UVM at that point is that every other team in the league could have passed these five teams. In fact, if the team that is currently lower in the standings wins each of the remaining match-ups, UML, UMA, PC, and NU host, UNH is fifth and then we go to tbs to break up the log jam at 25 to see who is at each of 6 through 9.

The other way to see how high UVM could get is to not try to catch everybody, but let some teams ahead of you win out, taking points from those closer. For example, if UVM gives up on catching BU and both BU and UVM win out (UVM taking the 2 BU games), with a BC/MC 1/3 split and everything else the same as before except these changes, all of a sudden UVM could be 6th on their own.

Add in PC winning out and UMA losing to UML tonight or to Maine in mid-Feb, and suddenly UVM would be looking at Home Ice. The best path Iíve found so far for UVM is to let two of the teams at the top run away and suck up all the points with them. For instance, I can get UVM to a 3 seed with BU and MC taking all of their available points (who wins the BU/MC H2H is irrelevant to UVM), sprinkling in a couple of well-placed (for UVM) outcomes, and leaving UVM at 25 ahead of a logjam at 24 and 23.

Therefore, I cap out UVM, after last nightís loss, at 3.

Moving up to NU, I can still get NU into a 1 seed. One way is with a 3-way tie at 28 w/ PC and BU, whose tbs NU would pick up by sweeping out their season.

Since NU can still get to first in that scenario, simply flipping the NU@UNH game in the same scenario over to the UNH column gives UNH a 1 seed at 29 pts.

Give UMA the wins against NU and UNH in the current scenario and they jump up to 1, and so on.

Basically, everyone except UVM could mathematically still get to a 1 seed, even with the remaining schedule factored in.

-----

Moving from the top down, letís see how low we can drop BU.

Well, taking where we just were and having BU instead lose out and having NU beat UMA, weíre in a situation with BU tied for last w/UVM @ 25. Since UVM would get the pair at home, that gives them the tb and BU is 10th.

Take that as a starting point and have BC lose out and BC stays at 23, and at the bottom.

Safe to say, at this point, anyone losing the rest of their games could still end up in 10th place. Current 10th UVM canít get higher than 3 against the field, but they can get higher than your individual team.

-----

Also to be noted at this point is the games-in-hand situation. In most seasons, at this point the Beanpot schools (BU, BC, NU) have played more games and the other teams generally make up their games in hand over the two Beanpot weekends.

This year, Maine is also ahead of the other teams in terms of Games Played (GP) because they have a non-conference pair coming up with UAH.

So, when trying to figure out where teams really stand, and where their maxes are, note that BC and Maine have played 19 league games, leaving just 8 each. BU and NU have 18/9. UNH and UVM are at 17/10 and the other four are at 16/11. For perspective, that means that some teams (BC, ME) have played more than 70% of their HE schedule, while many others - essentially the whole current Home Ice bubble of MC, UML, PC, UMA Ė have played less than 60% of theirs.

Itíll be interesting to see which teams, if any, in the middle use those extra games to move up.

-----

So, where do we set the marker lines to start?

Well, BU and MC can each hit 43, but they canít both hit it because they play each other. Similarly, PC plays everyone ahead of them except BU, so if they hit their max of 39, the rest of their opponents donít. Factoring in the schedule, I place the Home Lock bar Ė where I can max out the points for 4th - currently at 38.

On the flip side of that equation, the lowest I can get 4th Ė so that the most teams could reach the plateau Ė is the scenario above where UVM hits the 3 seed. In that case, the 4th seed is at 24.

For the In bar, itís simply a matter of staying ahead of #9ís (NUís) max of 30.

For Out, if you canít catch 8th, currently UNH @ 13, you canít make the playoffs.

Everything else is still up for grabs.

Todd
01-28-2012, 04:56 PM
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, no one is either In or Out. Everyone could still reach Home Ice and no one has yet clinched it.

As a team wins, their minimum will increase, as those points are already in the bank. At the same time, as a team fails to get points, their maximum falls as 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 NU (30) and UVM (25).

Given the schedule as it is, NU plays UNH (max 33) and UMA (36) only once each. That means that NU hitting their max doesnít bring anyone elseís max lower than NUís 30, so that is still the current line to pass to lock up a playoff spot. As NU or other teams towards the bottom fail to pick up points, their max will drop, and so the ďInĒ line will drop.

"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, for the reasons above, the "Home Lock" benchmark goes to 38. In other seasons, the interplay at the top might drop this further, but we essentially have the top playing the middle and bottom for the bulk of the remaining schedule, so thatís where we stand.

Tonight, with UVM hosting NU, either UVMís max will drop them below the Home Eligible line, or NUís max will drop, taking the ďInĒ line with it. Of course, with a tie, both might happen, especially when other actual, rather than theoretical, results are taken into account.

With this many games to go, I haven't factored in the remaining schedule to the benchmarks and maximum points beyond what is noted above, which is deeper than I usually go at this point. 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
01-29-2012, 02:39 PM
--- Home Lock - 38 (BU/BC/ME/UML/MC) ---
--- In - 28 (Field) ---
BU 25 - 41 [1-9]
BC 25 - 39 [1-9]
ME 24 - 38 [1-9]
UML 22 - 42 [1-10]
MC 21 - 43 [1-10]
PC 17 - 39 [1-10]
UMA 14 - 34 [1-10]
NU 14 - 30 [1-10]
UNH 13 - 31 [1-10]
--- Home Eligible - 25 (Field) ---
UVM 5 - 23 [5-10]
--- Out - 14 (UMA/NU) ---

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
BU - @MC, UMA, @UML/UML, @UVMx2, NU/@NU
BC - @UVM, MC/@MC, @PC/PC, UVMx2
ME - @PC, @UML, UMAx2, @NUx2, UNH
UML - UVMx2, MC, ME, BU/@BU, @MC/MC, @PC/PC
MC - PC, BU, @UMA, @UML, UNH, @BC/BC, UML/@UML, @UMA/UMA
PC - @MC, @UNH/UNH, ME, @UMA, @NU/NU, BC/@BC, UML/@UML
UMA - @NU, MC, @BU, PC, @MEx2, UNHx2, MC/@MC
UNH - PC/@PC, NU, @MC, UVMx2, @UMAx2, @ME
NU - UMA, @UNH, PC/@PC, MEx2, @BU/BU
UVM - @UMLx2, BC, @UNHx2, BUx2, @BCx2


Of the top six teams only BU lost this weekend, so far at least.

The Terriers were swept by the Black Bears a week after BC suffered the same fate. BC did some sweeping of their own this weekend with two squeakers over UNH. UML swept UMA while handing the Minutemen their first home L of the season (including Frozen Fenway, where they were a Home squad) on Friday. Those four points put them ahead of idle MC, at least for a few hours.

The teams currently at 5 (MC) and 6 (PC) did not yet play this weekend, although they face off against one another this afternoon.

All of that victory at the top is bad news for the teams at the bottom, most notably UVM. While UVM held slim hopes of Home Ice yesterday, those hopes have evaporated. Before even having to do any scenarios, UVMís max dropped to 23 with last nightís loss. Three teams (BU, BC, ME) are already past that point. The two next teams (UML, MC) have 22 and 21 points and still have all three games against each other remaining. Thereís no way to divide up those six points and keep both of these teams below UVMís 23-point max. That said, I can get UVM into 5th, with a tb, so thatís where they cap out for now.

I can also keep everyone else below MC and UML, so something approximating a split of their three games keeps the 4th place slot, and the Home Eligible bar, at only 25, moving up one from yesterday.

While NU, who was setting the In line yesterday, won, keeping their max intact, UNH lost. That ate up the buffer that made the upcoming NU/UNH irrelevant in this case. Now, at least one of those two has to get no higher than 29.

Now we have to factor in that UMA also lost. Since UMA has to play NU once and UNH twice, for the combo of NU/UNH to be at 29, UMA has to drop six off their max, making it 28. For that to happen, Maine would have to drop a whopping 10 points, as they end the season with two v UMA, two @ NU and one v UNH. That would also put Maineís max at 28. If either Maine or UMA moves up from 28, that means that someone else in the group has dropped points.

Expanding that further, if all of those teams do what they need to do in this scenario, that leaves PC at a max of 27, since they have six games left against the other four. Of course, with NU at 30 and PC at 27, PC could take 2 from their set and we still have a line at 28. So thatís where weíll leave it for now.

If PC loses to MC today, the line stays at 28.

To lock up Home Ice right now would still take 38 points, but we can add UML into the equation.

J.D.
01-29-2012, 02:45 PM
I appreciate your passion, but...wow. I'm just worried about the next game at this point.

acs64
01-29-2012, 05:44 PM
I appreciate your passion, but...wow. I'm just worried about the next game at this point.

Translation: JD thinks you are wasting your time, and our time.

Go-UML
01-29-2012, 10:37 PM
Thanks Todd. Always look forward to your posts, except for last year.

quiddlet
01-29-2012, 11:27 PM
We were actually sitting around the other night trying to figure out whether or not UVM could still finish first this year... I mentioned this thread, I'm glad it's here!

Thanks in advance for making our lives simple, Todd.

Todd
01-30-2012, 05:22 PM
--- Home Lock - 38 (BU/BC/ME/MC/UML) ---
--- In - 28 (Field) ---
BU 25 - 41 [1-9]
BC 25 - 39 [1-9]
ME 24 - 38 [1-9]
MC 23 - 43 [1-9]
UML 22 - 42 [1-10]
PC 17 - 37 [1-10]
UMA 14 - 34 [1-10]
NU 14 - 30 [1-10]
UNH 13 - 31 [1-10]
--- Home Eligible - 24 (Field) ---
UVM 5 - 23 [5-10]
--- Out - 14 (UMA/NU) ---

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
BU - @MC, UMA, @UML/UML, @UVMx2, NU/@NU
BC - @UVM, MC/@MC, @PC/PC, UVMx2
ME - @PC, @UML, UMAx2, @NUx2, UNH
MC - BU, @UMA, @UML, UNH, @BC/BC, UML/@UML, @UMA/UMA
UML - UVMx2, MC, ME, BU/@BU, @MC/MC, @PC/PC
PC - @UNH/UNH, ME, @UMA, @NU/NU, BC/@BC, UML/@UML
UMA - @NU, MC, @BU, PC, @MEx2, UNHx2, MC/@MC
UNH - PC/@PC, NU, @MC, UVMx2, @UMAx2, @ME
NU - UMA, @UNH, PC/@PC, MEx2, @BU/BU
UVM - @UMLx2, BC, @UNHx2, BUx2, @BCx2


Just the one game = minimal change.

MC moves up into 4th and at worst could tie UVM for last. With the 3-0-0 tb in hand, MC can fall no lower than 9th.

UVM's prospects don't change, however. Remember that UVM's opportunity for being 5th relied on how the six points from the three MC/UML games were split. If they went heavily to one side, then UVM could sneak in. Now we just now which side they'd have to be on: MC's. To get to 23, UVM would have to take the season series, and tb, from UML, so they could even tolerate UML getting one more point and still earn 5th.

Found a different scenario where one could still get Home Ice at 24, so I'm dropping that line by a point. My oversight, not an impact of yesterday's game.

With PC's max dropping by 2, the In line stays at 28, but just barely.

Home Lock still at 38. Out still at 14 (13 w/ tb).

Patronick
01-30-2012, 10:19 PM
--- Home Lock - 38 (BU/BC/ME/MC) ---
--- In - 28 (Field) ---
BU 25 - 41 [1-9]
BC 25 - 39 [1-9]
ME 24 - 38 [1-9]
MC 23 - 43 [1-9]
UML 22 - 42 [1-10]
PC 17 - 37 [1-10]
UMA 14 - 34 [1-10]
NU 14 - 30 [1-10]
UNH 13 - 31 [1-10]
--- Home Eligible - 24 (Field) ---
UVM 5 - 23 [5-10]
--- Out - 14 (UMA/NU) ---

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
BU - @MC, UMA, @UML/UML, @UVMx2, NU/@NU
BC - @UVM, MC/@MC, @PC/PC, UVMx2
ME - @PC, @UML, UMAx2, @NUx2, UNH
MC - BU, @UMA, @UML, UNH, @BC/BC, UML/@UML, @UMA/UMA
UML - UVMx2, MC, ME, BU/@BU, @MC/MC, @PC/PC
PC - @UNH/UNH, ME, @UMA, @NU/NU, BC/@BC, UML/@UML
UMA - @NU, MC, @BU, PC, @MEx2, UNHx2, MC/@MC
UNH - PC/@PC, NU, @MC, UVMx2, @UMAx2, @ME
NU - UMA, @UNH, PC/@PC, MEx2, @BU/BU
UVM - @UMLx2, BC, @UNHx2, BUx2, @BCx2


Just the one game = minimal change.

MC moves up into 4th and at worst could tie UVM for last. With the 3-0-0 tb in hand, MC can fall no lower than 9th.

UVM's prospects don't change, however. Remember that UVM's opportunity for being 5th relied on how the six points from the three MC/UML games were split. If they went heavily to one side, then UVM could sneak in. Now we just now which side they'd have to be on: MC's. To get to 23, UVM would have to take the season series, and tb, from UML, so they could even tolerate UML getting one more point and still earn 5th.

Found a different scenario where one could still get Home Ice at 24, so I'm dropping that line by a point. My oversight, not an impact of yesterday's game.

With PC's max dropping by 2, the In line stays at 28, but just barely.

Home Lock still at 38. Out still at 14 (13 w/ tb).

Why is Lowell left out of the home lock scenario?

Cat lover
01-31-2012, 06:36 AM
On the bright side at least Vermont is all but insured the #1 pick in the draft, Luck should look good in Green & Gold

Todd
01-31-2012, 12:53 PM
Why is Lowell left out of the home lock scenario?After Saturday, whoever took the lion's share of the points from the MC/UML series would factor in. MC adding two points from their Sunday win means that we can do 38 w/out factoring in UML's wins. UML will still likely factor into the race, esp. given the vast difference in games played/remaining within the top group. In fact, if either MC or UML wins out, they'll be the #1 seed. We just don't need to get beyond the top four to set the Home Lock line right now.

I suppose I could have included UML again as well, but I try to make this about just what we know with math, not about what is likely to happen. Since we don't need to go beyond a combination of the top four, I only included the top four. If UML should pick up a couple, esp at the expense of other top teams, the IDs will change.

A month-plus out, the indicators are pretty fuzzy. If UML should pick up a couple, esp at the expense of other top teams, the IDs will change. I've already done more schedule-based analysis than in most seasons at this point. Once we get closer, indicators will be more precise.

Basically, I wouldn't worry about it too much yet.

*** Upon further review, I decided to add UML back into the Home Lock combo. Even though they are currently in 5th, they have the second highest max and face the only team with a higher max three times. I suppose they belong in the Home Lock line as much as anyone else currently in the top group.

Todd
02-03-2012, 02:09 PM
--- Home Lock - 38 (BU/BC/ME/MC/UML) ---
--- In - 28 (Field) ---
BU 25 - 41 [1-9]
BC 25 - 39 [1-9]
ME 24 - 38 [1-9]
MC 23 - 43 [1-9]
UML 22 - 42 [1-10]
PC 17 - 37 [1-10]
UMA 14 - 34 [1-10]
NU 14 - 30 [1-10]
UNH 13 - 31 [1-10]
--- Home Eligible - 24 (Field) ---
UVM 5 - 23 [5-10]
--- Out - 14 (UMA/NU) ---

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
BU - @MC, UMA, @UML/UML, @UVMx2, NU/@NU
BC - @UVM, MC/@MC, @PC/PC, UVMx2
ME - @PC, @UML, UMAx2, @NUx2, UNH
MC - BU, @UMA, @UML, UNH, @BC/BC, UML/@UML, @UMA/UMA
UML - UVMx2, MC, ME, BU/@BU, @MC/MC, @PC/PC
PC - @UNH/UNH, ME, @UMA, @NU/NU, BC/@BC, UML/@UML
UMA - @NU, MC, @BU, PC, @MEx2, UNHx2, MC/@MC
NU - UMA, @UNH, PC/@PC, MEx2, @BU/BU
UNH - PC/@PC, NU, @MC, UVMx2, @UMAx2, @ME
UVM - @UMLx2, BC, @UNHx2, BUx2, @BCx2


Weekend Preview:

As far as HE play is concerned, we won't hear from BC or ME until next weekend. Maine hosts UAH for a pair this weekend before facing two different road foes next weekend. BC is off until Monday's late Beanpot game and plays their singleton at UVM next Friday.

For the other Beanpot schools, BU's only game is at MC on Fri before MC heads out to UMA on Saturday. UMA's Friday match is at NU.

UVM comes to UML for two while PC and UNH round out the weekend's schedule first in NH and then RI.

For BU, the weekend's task is straight-forward, if not simple. This weekend's game is effectively the game-in-hand advantage they have over BC and Maine. Win it and they trade a theoretical cushion for an actual one. Lose and they're still down with BC and Maine with only a point's difference among the three going into the final four weeks of the season. Without any head-to-head meetings, it'll be a month of TCB and scoreboard watching for all three squads.

These next two weekends are the time for the middle four squads to make hay while the sun shines - or grab points as they catch up with their games in hand. In particular, while I can guarantee that BC and Maine will add no HE points this weekend (barring a ruling from the Commissioner's Office reversing the outcome of a game in the books), MC and UML each play two, which would allow either to pass all of the schools in front of them. In fact, with the exception of their relative position with each other, they could both do so.

For MC, a win over BU would not only put them in first - what may be a February first for the program since joining D1 - but give them the season tb over BU, 2-1-0. They already own the tb with Maine, 2-0-1. The BC series is 0-0-1 and they still have all three left with UML. In what may be another February first, I will type the phrase "trap game" when referring to Merrimack when Merrimack is not itself the potential "trap" opponent. "Merrimack needs to keep their focus for Saturday's match up at UMass. With all that's riding on Friday's BU contest, and how tough UMA has been at Mullins, this could be a trap game for the Warriors regardless of the prior night's outcome." See. I did it right there. "Trap game".

For UML, the road seems easier with two home games against the team with the worst record in the league this season to date, UVM. It is mathematically in UML's hands this weekend to definitely be as high as second, and perhaps in first, depending on the outcome of BU@MC and, to a lesser extent, MC@UMA. After the weekend is over, they will still have a game in hand over BU, BC, Maine, and - to the extent it is relevant - NU.

That said, if UVM has any fire left in their belly, they could spell trouble. If UVM is going to claw their way back into the playoffs, they're going to have to pull points from someone. The good news for UVM is that they have two games still to come with the team in front of them, UNH, who is the worst performing team in the league that isn't from Vermont. The bad news is that they are eight points behind UNH and a sweep only cuts that deficit in half. Even making up that deficit would only make them the best of the two teams not to make the playoffs. They'll still need more points to get up to eighth. All but two of their remaining nine games are against the current top five: these two with UML and the other five against the teams currently tied atop the standings. With the teams in front of them facing off - PC with UNH and UMA with NU - someone they're trying to catch will get points, perhaps all of them. If UVM sweeps this weekend, they could still get as high as 5th and will have closed on some of the other teams in the lower half of the standings. Conversely, if they get swept, their max will drop to 19, putting them behind UML for good and potentially PC as well, capping their hopes at 7th. What may be worse is if they aren't behind PC in that case. That would mean points earned by UNH, making it even harder to climb out of the root cellar.

For PC/UNH, we'll see whether it's likely going to be a six-team race for Home Ice, with PC joining that fray, or if we're going to be in a much tighter four- (or five-) team death match at the bottom of the standings, trying to stay ahead of the reaper and the #9 position.

For UMA/NU, I am reminded of the old joke about two campers awakened by a bear outside their tent. After deciding that their best course of action is to run, one of them begins to put their shoes on. The barefoot camper says, "What are you doing, you can't outrun a bear." The now-shod camper replies, "I don't have to outrun the bear. I only have to outrun you." In this scenario, a win is a pair of shoes, and the Out line is the "bear".

Patman
02-04-2012, 01:33 AM
after tonight... yes, BU can still finish in 9th... playing with the sioux sports applet you'd have a 6 way tie for 3rd w 28 points.. though i think you can still play with it and have UML and Merrimack swap on top and keep a five way tie for 4th... edit: you can get BC on top as well... either way, BU is as close to in without being in at this point.

Todd
02-04-2012, 02:49 AM
--- Home Lock - 38 (BU/BC/ME+UML/MC) ---
--- In - 28 (Field) ---
BU 27 - 41 [1-9]
BC 25 - 39 [1-9]
UML 24 - 42 [1-9]
ME 24 - 38 [1-9]
MC 23 - 41 [1-9]
PC 17 - 35 [1-10]
NU 16 - 30 [1-10]
UNH 15 - 31 [1-10]
UMA 14 - 32 [1-10]
--- Home Eligible - 24 (Field) ---
UVM 5 - 21 [6-10]
--- Out - 15 (UNH) ---

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

First things first: If MC had beaten BU and UML beat UVM, we would have had the top five teams with point totals of 25, 25, 25, 24, 24. For the top five to be separated by a collective two points amid the first weekend in February would have been pretty amazing.

Now on to what did happen...

BU's win inched them closer to clinching a playoff spot, but they will have to wait a little longer. I can still get a scenario where everyone besides Vermont has at least 28 points, so BU losing out and staying at 27 would leave them out. Depending on how things work out Saturday night around the league, BU could clinch or the line could drop to 27 with BU still vulnerable to tbs or none of the above. For tonight, they'll have to live with having a 2-point cushion on the second place team, dropping MC's max even with theirs (and holding the MC tb), and - with only UML's max ahead of theirs, but a UML H/H still on tap - controlling their own destiny.

Idle BC is either happy that MC didn't catch them (yet) or sad that BU pulled away from the tie. Given that they are done with BU, but have two left with MC, they'd probably rather have had MC get tonight's points and knock them off later themselves. I mean besides the fact that they'd like BU to lose every night, just on principle. If BC were to max out, they'd be ahead of ME's max of 38. They'd also drop MC's max to 37, so that's another team behind them. If BU and UML split, BU's max would tie BC, but BU has the tb. UML's max would be ahead of BC, but only by 1 and BC holds the tb. So, BC controls their own destiny for Home Ice and 3rd seed. With the exception of a BU/UML split, they also can take care of 2nd on their own.

UML did well in jumping MC and, with the tb, Maine tonight to hit third. A win Saturday night would jump them over BC, into second and only a point behind first, with a game in hand. With the remaining schedule, UML is the only team other than BU that controls their own fate at this point. Win out and they're RS Champs. In fact, since they play both MC and BU, winning out would mean sweeping MC (dropping MC's max to 35), in which case they could simply split with BU and still be in first. (With a single loss, UML's max would be 40 and everyone else would be sub-40.)

ME did well to erase a 3-0 deficit and pull off the OT win, but it was NC, so it doesn't help them here. But kudos for helping the RPI of everyone else in the league while chalking up the W for yourself. The bad news for ME is that they are still the owners of the 5th highest max at this point. The good news for the Black Bears is that they have one more with UML, UML and MC have to split six points, and MC and BC have to split four. UML and BU, as noted, also have to split four, but just that series alone could still leave both teams ahead of Maine. In sum, they have the 5th highest max, but if they win out, they'll still get Home Ice because the minimal interplay among the other Top Five would leave them ahead of someone in the group.

Since they can handle UML on their own, the only thing separating MC from controlling their own fate is the possibility of a tie with BU, with BU claiming the tb tonight. One point's worth of help from the rest of the league, and MC is master of their own domain... but not in the Seinfeld way. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Regardless, they can assure themselves of at least RS co-Champs and second seed.

In a nutshell: largely due to the three UML/MC games still to come, what's true of anyone in the Top Five is that none of them have even clinched a playoff spot yet, but if any one of them wins out, they're guaranteed Home Ice at this point.

The way things broke among 6 through 9 tonight, we're starting to look more strongly like a 1-5 battle, a 6-9 battle, and UVM. The loser of the first group misses Home Ice. The loser of the second group misses the playoffs. Barring a huge run, UVM just ends up this season's loser. Ten points out of a playoff spot in a best-case scenario with only eight games to go, and six of the games are against the current top three teams. Not an optimistic outlook. Still, UVM could mathematically get as high as 6th.

On the it-just-gets-harder front for the Catamounts, the Out line bumps up a notch as NU and UNH's wins make the number to beat for the eight seed now at least 15. I guess NU put on the shoes and outran UMA for the night...

The Home Lock line stays at 38, but I changed the description. The highest that I can get the 4th seed is a tie at 38 between some part of four of the Top Five. With UML and MC splitting six points, the best outcome to maximize 4th sounds like a 3-3 split. That would drop UML's max to 39 and MC's to 38. However, because MC also plays BC (max 39), only one of those two could then stay at 38+. Similarly, since Maine's max is 38 and UML is then at 39 and they play each other, only one of those two could stay at 38+. So, if UML and MC split, that means that only three (BU, BC/MC, UML/ME) of the top five could be 38 or higher. However, if one of UML/MC takes more than 3 from their series, it allows the flexibility to keep either BC or ME in the mix at 38+, but means the loser of UML/MC is the odd team out. Hence, the new look for Home Lock.

On the flip side of that, I can still suppress the 4th seed as low as 24 points, so that's where Home Eligible will remain for now.

Priceless
02-04-2012, 12:01 PM
The best (or worst) case scenario is a 5-way tie for 1st at 35 points coupled with a 3-way tie for 6th at 23. That would be incredibly fun!

Todd
02-05-2012, 12:31 AM
--- Home Lock - 38 (BU/BC/ME+UML/MC) ---
--- In - 28 (Field) ---
BU 27 - 41 [1-9]
UML 26 - 42 [1-9]
MC 25 - 41 [1-9]
BC 25 - 39 [1-9]
ME 24 - 38 [1-9]
UNH 17 - 31 [1-10]
PC 17 - 33 [1-10]
NU 16 - 30 [1-10]
UMA 14 - 30 [1-10]
--- Home Eligible - 25 (MC/BC) ---
UVM 5 - 19 [7-10]
--- Out - 16 (NU) ---

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

Since UML and MC both won and the other three at the top were idle, the Home Lock line stays the same.

BU could still lose out for 9th with a tie at 27 and be out on tbs, so they have yet to clinch and the In line will stay at 28.

With the UML and MC wins, current 4th seed would have at least 25 points. Either MC or BC (but not both) could lose out and still be 4th at 25, so that's where Home Eligible rests tonight. If you can reach 25, you still have a shot at Home Ice.

UNH jumps up two more spots by passing idle NU and having the tb on PC. They're currently a 6 seed, which is a good weekend for a team that was 9th and Out just over 24 hrs ago.

On the national front, UNH's win tonight brought their RPI over .5000, made them a TUC and - however briefly - makes BU and UML the top two teams in the PWR.

That win also leaves NU, at 16, the benchmark for 8th for the moment.

After this weekend's results, with the remaining schedule, UVM's best chances just dropped by a notch to a possible high of 7th. They could catch any of the four in front of them, but they can't catch all of those four.

Even if they get no points from anywhere else, the interlocking schedule and current point totals of BU/UML/MC mean that at least one of them has to reach 30. In that scenario, BC sweeping MC means BC at 29, but they could stay there. For teams still thinking of the top seed, 30 with a tb against at least one of those first three leaves you in the running.

To hit their max of 30, UMA would sweep a weekend from MC, so could be top seed with MC at 30 and BU/UML/BC at 29. Likewise, for NU to hit 30, they would take a pair from BU, so swap BU at 30 and MC at 29 in the UMA scenario and NU could make it. Everyone else besides UVM could win out and pass 30 for an uncontested top seed.

That leaves the group out of UVM's reach still at 1-9 and those that could be caught by UVM at 1-10.

Patman
02-05-2012, 12:42 AM
Todd, if Sioux Sports has the right inputs I can create a 5-way tie for last which, naturally, includes vermont at 19 points

unsure, what the breakers look like at the moment... may try to figure that one out

edit: there's no way UVM could win such a breaker... 12 games between them and the most UVM would muster in the tie is 7 points (5 they have now, 4 against UNH... and 2 of the 5 came from Lowell)

Todd
02-06-2012, 02:48 PM
Yep, there are couple of points where logjams can be created and 19 is still one of them.

In fact, at the same time that there is a five-way tie at 19, there can be a four-way tie at 36, with the remaining team in the middle at 29.

MCgrad07
02-06-2012, 04:40 PM
After last night I just hope U Mass Amherst doesn't get any home games

btb91
02-06-2012, 08:41 PM
Consistently, this is one of my favorite threads each season. Thank you for your efforts with this great breakdown.