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NHL Magic Numbers - Running Charts

Final update: Regular Season ended, Sun. Apr. 10, 2011

It was a lot of fun! Thank you Everyone!

Like it or lump it, these charts indicate the true standings, based on how the teams are actually doing!

Someone recently commented asking if there was such a thing as a "Magic Number" in the NHL. Well, I've been keeping the stats toward the end of the season, in the last several seasons, of where teams sit, what is the best they can do with what points are available to them, how many points will it take to make the playoffs, and to win division/conference/presidents trophy.

These stats change every day, and the teams are not in the same order of the current NHL standings, rather, they are in the order of their Potential Points (maximum points they can get). One might even go so far to say that these are the true standings, equal to standings based on average points per game, but shown in a way that is easier to comprehend.

Since I'm posting this far earlier than I would've normally started keeping these stats, at first they might not be updated daily, but rather as often as possible. The closer to the end of the season, the more often this chart will be updated. When teams start getting close to obtaining a certain position, then I'll try to keep them updated every day or so.

How it works: At the beginning of the season, every team has the potential of 164 Points, which would be obtained by winning all 82 of the regular season games. When a team loses, whether in regulation, overtime, or shootout, that Potential Points number drops. In these charts, no team can climb up the charts; a win keeps the team at the same potential points. A team can only fall as they lose their potential points. Although these charts might not show the current NHL standings, they are virtually the exact equivalent of the charts that compute Points Per Game, but in a much easier-to-understand format, without having to use decimals to 4 or 5 places, and without having to calculate the very inaccurate projected records for all of the teams. A team can be in the running according to the NHL standings, but still be sitting below (low) the number of potential points needed to obtain a playoff spot at the time of the latest update.

As teams drop below the number of points that a leading team actually has, the dropped team will be eliminated from that particular place in the standings, and the Best They Can Do number will change accordingly. A team will receive an elimination symbol (E) as they are eliminated from the chance of winning the Presidents Trophy, the Conference, their Division, and from obtaining a Playoff spot. Example, a team is eliminated from obtaining a playoff spot with 14 games remaining, and where the team has 49 points at the time of elimination. Under the To Make Playoffs heading, on the team's line, it will show as E49-14.

If there is a T with a number, example T6, then that is the team's Tragic Number (elimination number which is a combination of the leader's 2 point wins or the tragic teams 0 point losses); a countdown of that team until they are eliminated.

If there is an M with a number, example M6, then that is the team's Magic Number (a clinching number which is a combination of the team's 2 point wins and the lower team's 0 point losses); a countdown of that team until they clinch whichever place it pertains to.

If there is a wtb with a number, that means the spot can be clinched with tie breakers. Means that, at the time of posting, there are at least two teams that are tied with the same Potential Points, and are tied for the spot indicated.

So, for your enjoyment, we continue from here, to the charts, after "the jump":


Final Regular Season Chart Sunday Apr 10








Pot. Pts Western



Games Points Potential Best They To Make To Win To Win To Win
Place Conference Division Wins SOW Points Remain Remain Points Can Do Playoffs Division Conf Pres Trphy
1st Vancouver Canucks NW 54 4 117 0 0 117 CL 111-5 CL 103-10 CL 103-10 CL 111-5 CL 113 -4
2nd San Jose Sharks Pac 48 5 105 0 0 105 CL 105-0 CL 99-5 CL 103-3 E97-6 E97 -6
3rd Detroit Red Wings Cen 47 4 104 0 0 104 CL 102-1 CL 100-8 CL 102-3 E98-6 E98 -6
4th Anaheim Ducks Pac 47 4 99 0 0 99 CL 99-0 CL 97-1 E93-3 E87-8 E87 -8
5th Nashville Predators Cen 44 6 99 0 0 99 CL 99-0 CL 99-1 E95-3 E88-8 E88 -8
6th Phoenix Coyotes Pac 43 5 99 0 0 99 CL 99-0 CL 99-5 E96-3 E91-7 E91 -7
7th Los Angeles Kings Pac 46 10 98 0 0 98 CL 09-0 CL 98-2 E96-3 E90-8 E90 -8
8th Chicago Blackhawks Cen 44 6 97 0 0 97 CL 97-0 CL 97-0 E92-5 E88-9 E88 -9
9th Dallas Stars Pac 42 5 95 0 0 95 CL 95-0 E95-0 E87-6 E85-10 E85 -10
10th Calgary Flames NW 41 9 94 0 0 94 CL 93-1 E93-1 E81-10 E81-10 E-81 -10
11th St. Louis Blues Cen 38 4 87 0 0 87 CL 87-0 E80-5 E73-10 E71-13 E71 -13
12th Minnesota Wild NW 39 3 86 0 0 86 CL 84-1 E82-8 E77-12 E77-12 E77 -12
13th Columbus Blue Jackets Cen 34 5 81 0 0 81 CL 81-1 E80-5 E77-9 E74-13 E74 -13
14th Colorado Avalanche NW 30 6 68 0 0 68 CL 66-4 E62-11 E60-16 E60-16 E60 -16
15th Edmonton Oilers NW 25 2 62 0 0 62 CL 61-2 E55-12 E48-19 E48-19 E48 -19














Pot. Pts Eastern



Games Points Potential Best They To Make To Win To Win To Win
Place Conference Division Wins SOW Points Remain Remain Points Can Do Playoffs Division Conf Pres Trphy
1st Washington Capitals SE 48 5 107 0 0 107 CL 107-1 CL 96-8 CL 105-2 CL 107-1 E99 -5
2nd Philadelphia Flyers Atl 47 3 106 0 0 106 CL 106-0 CL 96-11 CL 106-0 E104-1 E 102 -5
3rd Boston Bruins NE 46 2 103 0 0 103 CL 103-1 CL 94-7 CL 99-4 E101-2 E92 -8
4th Pittsburgh Penguins Atl 49 10 106 0 0 106 CL 104-1 CL 96-7 E104-1 E102-2 E98 -5
5th Tampa Bay Lightning SE 46 6 103 0 0 103 CL 101-1 CL 95-10 E99-2 E99-2 E89 -9
6th Montreal Canadiens NE 44 3 96 0 0 96 CL 96-0 CL 93-2 E89-4 E87-6 E87 -8
7th Buffalo Sabres NE 43 5 96 0 0 96 CL 96-0 CL 94-2 E87-6 E85-8 E76 -12
8th New York Rangers Atl 44 8 93 0 0 93 CL 93-0 CL 93-0 E87-6 E87-6 E78 -11
9th Carolina Hurricanes SE 40 5 91 0 0 91 CL 91-0 E91-0 E78-9 E76-10 E72 -13
10th Toronto Maple Leafs NE 37 5 85 0 0 85 CL 85-1 E84-3 E78-8 E72-11 E68 -14
11th New Jersey Devils Atl 38 3 81 0 0 81 CL 81-0 E77-4 E70-11 E70-11 E64 -16
12th Atlanta Thrashers SE 34 5 80 0 0 80 CL 80-0 E78-4 E72-11 E72-11 E68 -14
13th Ottawa Senators NE 32 2 74 0 0 74 CL 74-0 E65-8 E59-12 E55-16 E53 -17
14th New York Islanders Atl 30 4 73 0 0 73 CL 73-0 E70-6 E62-14 E62-14 E60 -14
15th Florida Panthers SE 30 4 72 0 0 72 CL 70-1 E68-7 E65-12 E63-14 E61 -16















Playoffs Round 1 Quarter 8th Chi 7th LA 6th Phx 5th Nash



Western Conference Finals 1st Vanc 2nd SJ 3rd Det 4th Ana

















Playoffs Round 1 Quarter 8th NYR 7th Buf 6th Mon 5th TB



Eastern Conference Finals 1st Wash 2nd Phi 3rd Bos 4th Pit


This item was created by a member of this blog's community and is not necessarily endorsed by Fear The Fin.

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