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How the Sharks can earn home-ice in round one

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San Jose will need a lot of help but they still have an opportunity to finish in second place in the Pacific and lock up home-ice in the first round of the playoffs.

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Some of you are completely fine with the Sharks opening the playoffs on the road, due to their 28-10-3 record wearing white this season. That is understandable; San Jose has proved time after time that they can go into anybody's building and leave with a W.

Then again, it is always nice having home ice advantage for at least one round in the playoffs. No matter how good you are on the road, it's always preferable to be in your own arena during a Game 7; I don't think anyone can argue that.

Although their odds are slim, here's how the Sharks can finish in second place and start the first round of the playoffs with home-ice advantage:

  • San Jose must WIN out against Winnipeg and Arizona (finish with 100 points)
  • The loser of Anaheim - Los Angeles tonight must lose in REGULATION, keeping their point total at 99
  • The loser of Anaheim - Los Angeles must LOSE out in their final games. Los Angeles has one game remaining (Saturday vs. WPG) while Anaheim has two left on the road (Saturday @ COL, Sunday @ WSH) after they meet head-to-head tonight.
  • If LA or Anaheim finish with 100 points and tie with the Sharks, they will win the tiebreaker which would lock San Jose into third place.
Here is the NHL Tiebreaking procedure, explaining why LA and Anaheim hold the tiebreaker over the Sharks:
If two or more clubs are tied in points during the regular season, the standing of the clubs is determined in the following order:

1. The fewer number of games played (i.e., superior points percentage).

2. The greater number of games won, excluding games won in the Shootout. This figure is reflected in the ROW column.

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.

If the Kings lose tonight but finish with 100 points, they hold the tiebreaker because they have 45 ROW (wins in regulation and overtime) to the Sharks' 41. If the Ducks lose tonight but finish with 100 points, they hold the tiebreaker due to the head-to-head point total (6 to 2) against the Sharks this season.

San Jose will need a lot of help to get home-ice, but again, it's not the worst thing in the world to open up the playoffs on the road.