Monday, March 17, 2008

The tie breaker

Should the Sabres continue their current push for the playoffs, things will be close and could very well come down to the league's tie breakers. They are as follows...
  1. The fewer number of games played (i.e., superior points percentage).
  2. The greater number of games won.
  3. 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. If more than two clubs are tied, the higher percentage of available points earned in games among those clubs, and not including any "odd" games, shall be used to determine the standing.
  4. The greater differential between goals for and against for the entire regular season.
Every team in the league should finish with the same number of games played, so that shouldn't be an issue. As a result the pivotal rule is the second one. The flat out number of wins, and given the NHL's three point games, this does not help the Sabres.

The Buffalo Sabres currently less wins then the Bruins, Flyers, Capitals, Hurricanes, and Panthers. With the exception of Florida the Sabres don't have any games in hand to make this difference up. In short the Sabres can't afford to tie.

Buffalo is mostly split on the third tie breaking criteria, and actually do very well under criteria number four.

However the current job for Buffalo is to just keep winning. They don't play again, however, until Wednesday. Also, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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