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The Push For the Playoffs - Position Clinching Scenarios

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A breakdown of the final two games’ impact on the playoff positioning.

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks
Get Ready to Paint it Orange
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the big win by the Ducks last night and the Blues collapsing in their loss to the Blackhawks, the Ducks officially clinched their spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 6th consecutive year. With two games left for every team, there is a lot still at play in terms of seeding. The following is a breakdown of how the Ducks could finish anywhere between 2nd in the Pacific and the second Wild Card:


Current position of the teams in the race with the Ducks:

2nd in the Pacific - San Jose Sharks 80 GP 98 PTS 39 ROW (The Sharks also hold the head to head tiebreaker with the Ducks)

3rd in the Pacific - Anaheim Ducks 80 GP 97 PTS 38 ROW

1st Wild Card - Los Angeles Kings 80 GP 96 PTS 42 ROW

2nd Wild Card - Colorado Avalanche 80 GP 93 PTS 40 ROW

How the Ducks finish as the Second Wild Card:

  • The Ducks lose both games to finish the season, the Avalanche win both of their final two games, and the Kings gain at least a point in their final two games. This would leave the Ducks with 97 points, the Avalanche with 97 points, and the Kings with at least 97 points.

How the Ducks finish as the First Wild Card:

  • The Ducks lose both games to finish the season, the Avalanche fail to win both of their final two games, and the Kings gain at least a point in their final two games. This would leave the Ducks with 97 points, the Avalanche with 96 points at max, and the Kings with at least 97 points.
  • The Ducks gain 1 point in their final two games, and the Kings gain at least two points in their final two games. This would leave the Ducks with 98 points, the Kings with at least 98 points, and the Sharks would have at least 98 points.
  • The Ducks gain 2 or 3 points in their final two games, the Kings gain at least one more point than the Ducks, and the Sharks gain at least one point less than the Ducks. This would leave the Ducks at 99 or 100 points, the Kings at 99 or 100 points, and the Sharks at least 99 or 100 points.

How the Ducks finish as Third in the Pacific:

  • The Ducks and Kings lose both their games to finish the season. The Ducks would finish with 97 points and the Kings 96.
  • The Ducks gain 1 point in their final two games and the Kings gain one point or less. This would leave the Ducks with 98 points, the Kings with at maximum 97 points, and the Sharks would have at least 98 points.
  • The Ducks gain 2 or 3 points in their final two games, the Kings gain at maximum the same number of points as the Ducks, and the Sharks gain at least one point less than the Ducks. This would leave the Ducks at 99 or 100 points, the Kings at maximum 98 or 99 points, and the Sharks at at least 99 or 100 points.
  • The Ducks win both of their final two games, and the Sharks gain at least 3 points in their final two games. The Ducks would finish with 101 points and the Sharks at at least 101 points.

How the Ducks finish as Second in the Pacific:

  • The Ducks gain 2 or 3 points in their final two games, the Kings gain at maximum the same number of points as the Ducks, and the Sharks lose both of their final two games or gain a point in one of them. This would leave the Ducks at 99 or 100 points, the Kings at maximum 98 or 99 points, and the Sharks at 98 or 99 points.
  • The Ducks win both of their final two games and the Sharks at maximum win one of their final two games. The Ducks would finish with 101 points and the Sharks at maximum finish with 100 points.

As you can tell there is a lot still at play in the final two games of the season, but my biggest takeaway is the Ducks are highly unlikely to finish in the Second Wild Card position and are most likely to finish in the First Wild Card or Third in the Pacific. The most interesting thing is Second in the Pacific is also within the Ducks reach as is a Freeway Faceoff First Round (the Kings hold the tie breaker with the Sharks).