FanPost

Magic Numbers: The Effect of Games In Hand

As my grandmother used to say: "Well, crap!"

Yesterday's loss definitely didn't feel good.. There's not much to say, other than that. Personally, I tend to side with Razor, and think that the scheduling and a weak call against Ott cost the Stars a point. Such is the life of a central time zone pacific division team.

The good news, however, is that it's not time to panic yet. The magic numbers show that the Stars still maintain control of their own destiny, despite another 1-2 week. But, as I predicted a couple of weeks ago, the Western conference race has tightened up considerably. So much so, that games in hand actually have a drastic effect on the standings, depending on how you rank them.

If you want to see what I mean, just take a look after the jump.

As always, if you are reading about the magic numbers for the first time, and you're not sure what they are, you can read my original post here, that describes them in full detail.

This one may be a bit shorter today -- it's my birthday weekend, and I'm ready to get back to celebrating. So let's get started by looking at the Points Total rankings:

Points_medium

As you can see, the Wild are currently our main focus, with the Kings just ahead of them. Any time you see them play in the upcoming weeks, cheer hard for the other team to win! (The same can be said about the Avs too, but there's a bit more breathing room between us and them right now)

Here's the Magic Number calculations:

Magic_medium

If you'll notice, it shows that destiny is in their own hand, but they are currently NOT projected to make the playoffs. This is because they are tied for 8th place with the Wild, projected to each finish with 93 points. The reason for this little oddity is the number of games in hand we have right now. While we maintain control of our playoff hopes, as of right now, it would require winning all 2-3 game in hand in order to keep control. And, based on our record, we aren't going to do that. (Heck, when was the last time we won 3 in a row anyways?) Also, my 'if' statements in excel do not account for tie breakers or ranking -- they focus only on clear cut points advantages. I do that for a couple of reasons. 1. I would rather not rely on tiebreakers to sneak into the playoffs, so I try not to keep that focus, and 2. It's hard programming that many 'ifs' into an excel line, and I'm lazy. But a quick check of the ROW (regulation and overtime wins) standings show that we actually beat the Wild for 8th place.

Overall, it was a rather disappointing week. we can't keep going 1-2, especially against teams we are directly competing against for playoff spots, like the Kings and the Avs. We have a big week coming up, with 4 tough games. (And yet another chance to balk and the scheduling given to us. Seriously, it makes me so mad I could spit.) We have 2 back to backs this week. Two freaking back to backs in a single week. And three of them are against tough teams. Ideally, we need to win one against the Blues or Detroit, and then win both games in the back to back against Tampa Bay and the Wild. It would also be great if all the teams around us decided to go on losing streaks, too.

If you look at the playoff race itself, it's starting to look like a 4 team race for the final 2 spots. Nashville is projected to finish with 101 points, so they've locked up spot number 6. That leaves the Stars, Kings, Wild, and Avs to duke it out for 7th and 8th. Phoenix isn't necessarily out of it either, but they have more ground to cover before I'm going to count them in the race.

With the All Star break coming up, i'm going to wait to post next week's magic numbers until after the game against the Ducks. That will be 5 games between this chart and the next one, and a lot can happen. The Stars should/need to go 4-1 in that stretch to send them moving in the right direction. Until then, keep your fingers crossed, cheer against the enemies, and go Stars!

This is a user-created FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Defending Big D. FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable hockey and Dallas Stars fans.

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