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AHL Playoffs 2016: How the Barracuda can make the dance

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The San Jose Barracuda are locked in a battle with the Charlotte Checkers for the final playoff spot.

San Jose Barracuda

With two games to go in the AHL season, the San Jose Barracuda narrowly trail the Charlotte Checkers for the final spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs. This season, thanks in large part to the introduction of West Coast AHL Hockey, playoff seeding is determined by points percentage rather than by pure point totals.

So with a pair of games against the Stockton Heat coming up on Saturday/Sunday, the Barracuda need at least one point if they're to have any hope of making the dance. I made a pair of tables, included below, that show the different point percentages both the Barracuda and Checkers will have at the end of the season depending on how many points they have; hopefully that'll make thing a little more clear.

Barracuda Points Points Percentage Checkers Points Points Percentage
71 0.5220588235 80 0.5263157895
72 0.5294117647 81 0.5328947368
73 0.5367647059 82 0.5394736842
74 0.5441176471 83 0.5460526316
75 0.5514705882 84 0.5526315789

Stockton sits right below the Barracuda in the standings with 66 points and a point percentage of .508 with three games to play. Winning out, and getting some help via the Checkers losing out, could get the Heat into the playoff. Meanwhile, the Checkers finish their season on Thursday/Friday with a pair of games against the playoff-bound Lake Eerie Monsters. This bodes well for the Barracuda, assuming the Monsters aren't sitting players ahead of the playoffs.

It also means we'll know exactly how many points the Barracuda need before the puck drops on their next game Saturday. If you haven't been following along with Jon Allred's recaps — now's a great time to start. You can find all of our Barracuda content by clicking the Barracuda Bytes link at the top left of this page.

If the Barracuda make the playoffs, their first round opponent will be, yep, you guessed it, the LA Kings affiliate the Ontario Reign. The Reign have already clinched the division title and the reigning AHL champs will have home ice in the best-of-five series — whether it be against the Barracuda, Heat or Checkers.