Monday, September 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Playoffs: Statistically Speaking

With just 33 games remaining, let's break out the calculator and take a look at the playoff probabilities.

Playoffs: Statistically Speaking

On the heels of a well-played, 2-0 win over the New York Rangers on Thursday night – which brought the Flyers just two points out of 6th place in the Eastern Conference – let’s take a look at the playoff picture.

According to PlayoffStatus.com, the Flyers have a 69% chance of making the playoffs this season: (Whether or not they should be in this position is another discussion for another time).

Note: All unplayed games (for the rest of the season) are assumed won/lost with a probability based upon relative team strengths.

The Flyers, currently last in the Atlantic division, have less than a 1% chance of winning the division.

But here’s the breakdown for the rest of the spots:

8% chance to grab 4th place
18% chance for 5th place
17% chance for 6th place
14% chance for 7th place
12% chance for 8th place

That leaves a 31% shot to not make the playoffs. Sounds high, doesn't it? That number tells you how much that 3-13-1 spell hurt the Flyers this season.

In all honesty, beyond 4th place – which gives you home-ice advantage in the first round – it doesn’t much matter where you finish. It matters more how you’re playing when you get there.

Interestingly, the Rangers and Islanders - who are ahead of the Flyers now - have a much better shot to miss the playoffs entirely. The Islanders (who sneakily have the 2nd most amount of points since Dec. 23) have a 56% chance of missing and the Rangers have a 53% shot.

The Flyers have 33 games remaining on their schedule. PlayoffStatus gives probabilities for spots based on what percentage of the remaining games they win:

If they win 18 of 33, they have a 40% chance of picking up 6th place.

IF – and this is a big IF – the Flyers win 71% of their games down the stretch (as they have since Dec. 23), the Flyers would have a 51% chance at 4th place and 44% shot at 5th place. That's something to shoot for.

Still, as it stands now, the Flyers have just a 25% chance of making it to the 2nd round of the playoffs.

That could change pretty quickly if they keep rolling at this rate.

Slap shots
Danny Briere
did not take part in practice on Friday at the Flyers Skate Zone. He also did not skate on Wednesday ... Peter Laviolette named Ray Emery as his starter tomorrow, though Michael Leighton - in an interview prior to Laviolette's - said that he was "excited" to play against Carolina.

About this blog
Frequent Flyers is your home for news and analysis of all things orange and black. Reach Frank at seravaf@phillynews.com.

Frank Seravalli Daily News Sports Columnist
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