FanPost

2012 NHL Playoffs: Dallas Stars Magic Number Countdown, 3 Weeks To Go

You'll have to excuse this post if it is somewhat abbreviated. It's been a hectic weekend, and my week is even worse. They've bumped up our hours to 70+ per week until the end of tax season. I'll try to keep these out on Sunday Nights/Monday mornings, but I wouldn't hold your breath. Just an FYI!

Now, on to the Magic Numbers! As I predicted last week, we did not receive a whole lot of help:

But I wouldn't expect that run of luck to continue. If the magic number is below 15 or 14 next week, I will be pleasantly surprised...I think if they earn another 4 out of 6 possible points this week, they will maintain that cushion, and be that much closer to the playoffs.

Well, it turns out I was correct on both counts. We only got two points-worth of help from our enemies. If we had managed to go 2-1 over the last week, we would have maintained our cushion nicely. Instead, the margin has gotten pretty slim.

Take a look at the standings after the jump.

As always, If you haven't read up on what the magic number is, or you would like a quick refresher, you can read my original post here.

Mn_stand_3_to_go_medium

This is all games played through Sunday. The Monday night games have no immediate effect on the magic number, so I didn't bother waiting for them to wrap up. (Besides, the way the last week has gone, you know San Jose will win anyways!)

The rest of the Pacific division has certainly caught up, with LA and Phoenix both pushing for that 8th seed. The Yotes currently sit in 9th place, which means we need to tie their point total to make the playoffs. That leaves our magic number looking like this:

Mn_num_3_to_go_medium

With 10 games remaining, a technical 9-1-0 record, or 18 points, guarantees a playoff spot. This is where the beauty/drama of the 4 point games come in to play. On tuesday night, we play the Coyotes, who currently sit by themselves in 9th place. If we beat them in regulation (oh please, oh please), Their possible point total decreases from 101 to 99. At the same time, our earned point total increases from 83 to 85. That affect both numbers in our magic equation. So, in one game, our magic number could go from 18 to 14. That would mean a 7-2 record in the remaining games following. That shows you that Tuesday night's game is essentially worth 2 wins all on it's own.

Odds are that one or both of the Calgary games will be the same way. It depends on how they handle their schedule before they get to us. The flames will play a couple of other teams that are competing directly with us and them for a playoff spot. I think the optimal solution for Dallas is to root for the Flames to win those games in regulation, and for us to beat the flames in regulation when it comes to our turn.

Either way, it will definitely be interesting to see what happens.

It goes without saying that the Stars can label the game against the Yotes and the game against the Flames as "Must Wins" this week. We need 4 out of 6 points. If they can do that, I would expect the magic number to dwindle down to about 10 or so. Our opponents all had a fairly light schedule last week. I get the feeling they won't be quite as lucky this time around, so I think we'll see a little more help this time.

If you have any questions, or anything else you would like me to add, please let me know. I will do my best to give some incremental updates as things move along this week. (I left out the Division numbers for lack of time. If we win all 3 games this week, I'll make some time to do it!)

Keep your fingers crossed, and cheer hard! 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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