Following Tuesday night’s action, the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, and Edmonton Oilers have reached the Pacific Division collision course everyone has been waiting for. Currently, Anaheim sits atop the Pacific with 101 points and two games remaining. San Jose and Edmonton are tied at 97 points and will play each other on Thursday at the SAP Center before playing their last games.

There are several different scenarios that can happen over the next combined six games among these teams. Let’s break it down:

*DISCLAIMER: The following scenarios include the least AND most possible total points for each team (including an OT loss) for each scenario to remain true.**

How San Jose Claims the Crown:

The Three-Way Tie

At the end of it all, there is a chance that all three teams in the Pacific Division will be tied at 101 points. This requires a lot of different things to go right, but it can happen. The likely winner in this case would be the San Jose Sharks. Under the NHL tiebreaker rules, San Jose should have the edge over both Anaheim and Edmonton by number of “Regulation-Overtime Wins (ROW).”

The tie breaker over the next two “seeds” would be as follows: Edmonton would finish second with the ROW tie breaker over Anaheim, which would, by process of elimination, place them at third.

HOWEVER, If Edmonton wins their final series over Vancouver, but only in a shootout in both games, they would fail to capture the number of ROW to get the appropriate tie breaker over Anaheim. Thus, Anaheim would finish second and Edmonton third.

HOW IT WOULD LOOK (A): HOW IT WOULD LOOK (B):
1st: San Jose Sharks (101 pts, 43-45 ROW) 1st: San Jose Sharks (101 pts, 43-45 ROW)
2nd: Edmonton Oilers (101 pts, 41-42 ROW) 2nd: Anaheim Ducks (101 pts, 41 ROW)
3rd: Anaheim Ducks (101 pts, 41 ROW) 3rd: Edmonton Oilers (101 pts, 40 ROW)

 

Notes:

  • No matter what, San Jose would have to pray that Anaheim fails to even get one point over the next two games if they want to win the Pacific Division. The moment Anaheim goes to overtime in any of their games; San Jose’s best chance would be second place.
  • The outcome of Edmonton’s final two games after playing San Jose do not impact San Jose’s seed, assuming San Jose defeats Calgary as well.

 

How Edmonton Claims the Crown:

Oiling the Duck over a Shark

This one is simple, if the Edmonton Oilers win out on all three of their final games, and the Ducks fail to get at least three points in their final games, Edmonton will claim the Pacific Division title.

The Oilers would find themselves at 103 points. And, If the Ducks win one game, but lose the other, they also get 103 points.  In this case, Edmonton will pull the 43-42 ROW tie breaker over Anaheim (assuming none of Edmonton’s wins go to a shootout).

And because San Jose loses to Edmonton on Thursday in this case, their best possible point total could be 100 points and would finish third in the Pacific Division.

HOW IT WOULD LOOK:
1.       Edmonton Oilers (103 pts, 43 ROW)
2.       Anaheim Ducks (101-103 pts 41-42 ROW)
3.       San Jose Sharks (97-100 pts) 


Notes:

  • Based off some research on tie-breaking scenarios, even if the Oilers finished with a 42-42 ROW tie with the Ducks, they would still get the tiebreaking nod headed to a “head-to-head” points differential.
    • The NHL uses this method to determine a third tiebreaker (if it ever came down it):
      “The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs. If two clubs are tied, and have not played an equal number of home games against each other, points earned in the first game played in the city that had the extra game shall not be included.”

How Anaheim Claims the Crown:

Get Points in Both Games: 

Anaheim has all the odds headed in favor towards them. It’s as simple as this: win one game, and either win the other or lose in Overtime.  That would put the Ducks point total to 104-point total, something neither San Jose nor Edmonton can get in any scenario.

That must be the case for Anaheim, they cannot lose a single game in regulation, provided Edmonton wins their games, if they want the title. A tie with either San Jose or Edmonton would put them at a disadvantage for nearly all tie breakers.

HOW IT WOULD LOOK (A): HOW IT WOULD LOOK (B):
1.       Anaheim Ducks (101 – 105 pts) 1. Anaheim Ducks (101 – 105 pts)
2.       Edmonton Oilers (99-103 pts) 2. San Jose Sharks (99-101 pts)
3.       San Jose Sharks (97-98 pts) 3. Edmonton Oilers (97-101 pts)

 

Notes:

  • It doesn’t get simpler than this. If Anaheim loses one game in regulation, they leave the door wide open for Edmonton. If they lose both games in regulation, they leave the door wide open for San Jose.
  • Anaheim CAN, however, still claim the Pacific Division without winning but the following would have to be true:
    • No matter the outcome of San Jose vs Edmonton on Thursday, both teams would have to lose their final combined three games in regulation.
    • Edmonton CAN lose one game in overtime, but the other must be a regulation loss.
      • Otherwise tiebreakers come back into place (which could or could not head in Edmonton’s favor, grated they beat San Jose on Thursday).

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Author Details
My name is Rob Leano. I’m a huge sports fan from the San Francisco Bay Area & Silicon Valley. I consider myself a San Jose Sharks Super-Fan. But I also pledge my allegiance to the San Francisco Giants and 49ers. Needless to say, I’ve experienced my fair share of Playoff Torture. In 2015, I moved to the desert southwest in Tucson, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at the University of Arizona. I have adopted the new fan-ship of the Arizona Wildcats since then. Here at Armchair, I co-run the Pac-12 Department, write about the Arizona Wildcats AND the San Jose Sharks…. But don’t let any of what I said distract you from the fact that Arizona beat ASU 56-35 without attempting a pass in the second half.
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My name is Rob Leano. I’m a huge sports fan from the San Francisco Bay Area & Silicon Valley. I consider myself a San Jose Sharks Super-Fan. But I also pledge my allegiance to the San Francisco Giants and 49ers. Needless to say, I’ve experienced my fair share of Playoff Torture. In 2015, I moved to the desert southwest in Tucson, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at the University of Arizona. I have adopted the new fan-ship of the Arizona Wildcats since then. Here at Armchair, I co-run the Pac-12 Department, write about the Arizona Wildcats AND the San Jose Sharks…. But don’t let any of what I said distract you from the fact that Arizona beat ASU 56-35 without attempting a pass in the second half.

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