The Sabres' slim shot
I'm a Buffalo Sabres fan [sigh]. What are some basic scenarios for them making the playoffs besides us winning the rest of our games and the Flyers losing [last night]? The other night Kevin Sylvester went through every possible way they could win but he said everything extremely fast and seeing I'm statistically challenged and I wasn't exactly paying attention, most of it went over my head. Well, I think it went over everyone's head (I understand that most of our chances rely on other teams winning/losing which is extremely nerve racking). Sylvester said it took him two hours to work out the scenarios. Please do not spend more than three minutes on this, really.Buffalo's in trouble. But it's possible.
I see your in Toronto. You must be a Leaf fan? [Shakes head]Thanks!— Danielle
(Sportsclubstats.com gives them a 3.9-per-cent chance of turning the trick. By way of comparison, Chicago still has a 7.7-per-cent chance, when most buried the Blackhawks long ago.)
The Sabres have to win their final two games of the season, tonight in Montreal and in Boston on Saturday. They have to get four points and jump up to 92; 91 leaves them tied with Philadelphia, who holds the tiebreaker with more wins unless Buffalo wins twice.
If the Sabres win both games, they're still not guaranteed to get in. They need two of Boston, Philadelphia and Washington to fall apart.
The Capitals, with more wins, would hold any tiebreak with Buffalo should they win one of their final two games.
They can beat Philadelphia in a tiebreak if the Flyers gain no more than one more point.
The only other team they can catch in a tie is Boston, and it's incredibly close. A win by the Sabres in Saturday's head-to-head game would leave the season series tied at 4-2-2 for both teams (they both win!) which means it would go to goal differential, where Buffalo would win out.
Buffalo can't catch Carolina or Ottawa. They can only catch Boston if the Bruins don't win a game, and can stay ahead of Washington and Philadelphia only if the Caps and Flyers gain no more than one point over their last two games.
They must beat two of those teams.
It's time to pack it in, folks.
To get the Sabres in:
Buffalo faces MON, BOS / must win both
two of these must happen
Boston faces OTT, BUF / must lose both
Philadelphia faces NJ, PIT / can get no more than one point
Washington faces TB, FLA / can get no more than one point
UPDATE Buffalo blogger Ebscer has more, including the scenario of a three-way tie.