Even closer than we thought…   20 comments

Everyone knows that Montreal barely made the playoffs. But no one seems to realize how close the habs were from missing it. In the end, the difference between playoffs and holidays was one little goal, scored in january.

Just look at this:

mtl-flo-standings

Montreal and Florida have the exact same record. Same number of points, same number of wins.

So what was the tiebreak between those two teams? According to the nhl, here is how it works:

“At the conclusion of the regular season, the standing of the teams in each Conference shall be determined in accordance with the following priorities in the order listed:

  • a) First place in each of the three Divisions seeded 1, 2 and 3.
  • b) The higher number of points earned by the Club.
  • c) The greater number of games won by the Club.
  • d) The higher number of points earned in games against each other among two or more Clubs having equal standing under priorities (b) and (c).
  • e) The greater positive differential between goals scored for and against by Clubs having equal standing under priority (d).”

So, the difference here was the games played between Montreal and Florida. Here is how it went between those two teams:

Oct 20. Montreal 3-1 Florida, in Montreal

Dec 29. Montreal 5-2 Florida, in Florida

Jan 4. Montreal 6-5 Florida (SO), in Montreal

Jan 29. Montreal 1-5 Florida, in Florida

Montreal earned 6 pts, Florida 3, so Montreal is in. But if Florida had managed to win the Jan 4 game in regulation, the two teams would have split the points. And we would have had to use the last tiebreak : the greater positive differential between goals scored for and against.

In this case, Florida would be in. They’re +3 and Montreal is +2 (and had Florida won that january game, the difference would have increased).

Of course, things would probably have gone a bit differently yesterday if Montreal had’nt already grabbed its  playoffs spot, and yes, if Florida had won that game back in january, the two teams would not have ended with the same record, so that’s pretty much a moot point, but it just shows how close things really were.

UPDATE: I just quickly went through the last 20 seasons, and it never happened during that span that two teams ended up with the exact same record, but one made the playoffs and the other did not.  (I’m not sure this sentence makes sense in English, but whatever). On some occasions, the 8th and 9th teams (or the 4th and 5th when the playoffs were determined into each division) had the same number of points, but never the exact same record. It’s completely meaningless, and I shouldn’t lose my time researching something like this, but I just found this situation funny (well, except for the Panthers fans of course…)

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Posted April 12, 2009 by Grrrreg in Uncategorized

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20 responses to “Even closer than we thought…

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  1. That is scary….. very scary….. Wow…… As it is, I get to predict a Habs loss to the Bruins instead of a Panthers loss. Huh…..

  2. *pokes head back in* You should be working on coming up with a losing formula for predicting the playoffs instead of coming up with ways to make me feel bad about the team =D

    But seriously… that’s creeping me out a lot right now… I remember that 6-5 win… It was not a fun win and a lot of people were bashing Jaro for it… Well, you can all thank Jaro now for winning the shootout!

  3. Oh, I was not trying to be negative actually! It was more a “Phew that was close!” thing… It’s just funny how things turned out. At times, the habs have seemed completely jinxed this year (with all the injuries, and the off the ice stuff), but in the end, maybe the hockey gods helped us a tiny bit.

    I’m not scared of the playoffs. Nobody expects Montreal to do anything, so there’s not much pressure on them. The pressure is on Boston, exactly as it was on Montreal last season. They’re the #1 seed. They’re supposed to be the better team.

  4. Yeah… Actually when I went back and read my very random game summary of the game it was actually Markov who saved us with the only goal in the shootout….I knew we loved Markov but seriously now… he saved our playoff run with that goal!

    Well, let’s see if we can push Boston to 7 like they pushed us to 7 last year!

  5. You may have noticed Yahoo Sports has linked to your post. It really is a great analysis, Greg. Yikes! That was close.

    I remember that game too… insane. Although the Habs backed into the playoffs with a few tough losses, Florida only has themselves to blame. I would say losing to Atlanta was the backbreaker.

  6. Thanks Shan! You’re right, Florida only has themselves to blame. I think they lost too much ground in march. I was really hoping the Panthers would make it instead of the Rangers. It’s sad for the fans there, they really deserve better than this after all those sad years.

  7. That’s true, but there are way more Rangers fans than Panthers fans. Plus, the New York media is better for bringing attention to the league and it’ll make a great series against the Ovechington Capitals. The simple truth is the league doesn’t need 2 teams in the state of Florida… and since the Lightning have nicer jerseys, it should be the Panthers that go. Frankly, there are a lot of teams that have been bad for several years that really could use a playoff berth. Phoenix is getting a lot better, they could make it next season. On the plus side, Columbus is finally in and Chicago is back and a legitimate threat. I’d still like to see the Coyotes move back to Winnipeg, personally.

    I agree that you never want to see a team chronically missing the playoffs. However, with big-market teams like the Rangers, Habs, or Flyers, missing the playoffs one season is too much to bear for the numerous fans, unless it’s a real rebuilding effort (like the Leafs) in which case the fans might be patient for 2 seasons before they expect results again.

  8. Wow, Grrrreg, that’s pretty crazy. I’m torn between being glad that the Habs made it, and feeling sorry for the Panthers that they had to drop out on the FIFTH tie-breaker.

  9. Thanks for dropping by, Mags!

    Shan, I’m not sure I completely agree with you on the idea that the Florida Panthers need to move. Firstly, because I think their jerseys are way better than those of Tampa. :) But more seriously, I’m from a very “non traditional” hockey market myself, so I see things trough the eyes of the people that actually care for hockey even in places where it’s not hugely popular. It’s not always easy to be a fan of hockey in a place where no one cares.

    Even if I completely understand that it’s good for the League if the Rangers make the playoffs, I can’t help but think about the fans in the cities that not only don’t make the playoffs, but also have to endure the permanent talk about how their franchise should be moved. But maybe I’m too sentimental! :P

  10. Une bonne recherche, Greg, et ta phrase est parfaitement grammatique en anglais. De l’autre part, mon français, je n’en suis pas sûr.

  11. Merci BC Bud! Ton français est très bon! :)

  12. And I agree with that, but you know, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. It doesn’t mean Florida shouldn’t have hockey, it just means that new markets need to start with a solid foundation of minor league hockey and once the community shows great support for it, then expansion of an NHL team there works. There are cities in more capable hockey markets that lost their teams with many fans praying and hoping that this gross iniquity be rectified and their franchises brought home.

  13. That’s an interesting discussion. Of course I completely agree that it’s a bad situation for fans in Winnipeg, Quebec, or Hartford who lost their teams.

    About minor hockey, sometimes having a professional franchise can help growing local interest for the sport, and then slowly developping grass roots and community level hockey. And then, the professional team gets even more support. I think I read somewhere that this is what happened in Dallas. So it can work both ways I guess. But maybe you’re right that it works better if you start with an AHL level team for instance.

    But anyway, you can’t have an unlimited number of franchises, so of course it’s always unfair for those who feel left out.

  14. I have no sympathy for the Panthers whatsoever. Sorry…*g* Maybe next year they won’t drop a very important game in a stupid fashion to Atlanta…. Maybe not.

    I still don’t understand why someone *coughsBettmancoughs* would actually put a team in a place where there was zero market for it in the first place. I don’t blame people in Florida for not being interested in hockey. That’s like saying “let’s put a basketball team in Montreal because they’ve got a city”. A basketball team would not survive in my city because we don’t care about basketball here. It just seems unfair to me to put a team in a place that you pretty much know won’t be able to support it when there are plenty of cities (like Winnipeg in Canada or even some of the eastern American cities) that can – and would love to – support a team.

  15. If Florida had won that shootout, they would have 94 points and Montreal would have 92. If they won in regulation, they would have had 94 points and montreal would have 91. They wouldn’t have had identical records so it wouldn’t have been as close as it is…

  16. You’re right, that’s what I said at the end of the post:

    yes, if Florida had won that game back in january, the two teams would not have ended with the same record, so that’s pretty much a moot point, but it just shows how close things really were.

    I wrote this post mainly because of the fact that one team will make the playoffs and the other won’t even with similar records. This alone is an unusual situation.

  17. You forgot one thing.

    Down here in Miami, our hearts are broken.

    As usual.

  18. Go Wings!!

    Great post.

  19. Pingback: Top Posts « WordPress.com

  20. Thanks for reading fullbodytransplant and Jeff Id!

    I didn’t forget the heartbroken Florida fans, read the comments, and you’ll see how I feel about the Panthers fans. ;)

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