*UPDATED APR 23* Math Attack: Winnipeg Jets playoff scenarios

Marianne Helm

What do the numbers say about the Winnipeg Jets playoff chances?

The season is winding down and the Jets are still in the playoff picture. Of course, they are far from locks and the road ahead won't be easy. The Jets currently sit in 9th place behind a couple of other l bubble teams and they do need a little bit of help to pass them. That said, the Jets aren't in a hopeless. They need to win games, preferably all of them. If they do, they will probably get in.

I mean of course it is possible that the Islanders, Rangers, Capitals and Senators will win every game and share points in ever head to head match-up, but this scenario is highly unlikely. Anyways, what do the numbers say.

Here is a list of the bubble teams and their remaining opponents:
Jets Capitals Senators Islanders Rangers
Lightning Leafs at Bruins* Panthers at Flyers
Hurricanes at Senators Hurricanes at Leafs Panthers
Islanders at Canadiens Capitals at Jets at Sabers
at Sabers Jets Leafs at Hurricanes Devils
at Capitals Senators Penguins at Flyers at Panthers
Canadiens Bruins at Capitals at Sabers at Hurricanes
Flyers
Devils

Much has been made about strength of schedule and games in hand, but that isn't what we are going to look at today. Today we are going to look at real wins and losses. How many losses do the Jets need from each of these teams?

Here is a look at possible points for the bubble teams including a scenario where the Jets win out:
Team Points GMs Left Possible Points Jets Win Out
Jets 51 1 53 53
Capitals 52 3 58 56
Senators 52 3 58 58
Islanders 53 3 59 59
Rangers 52 2 56 56
Notes:
  • If the Jets win out they will hold the first tiebreaker over the other four bubble teams. Well, unless the Jets win a bunch of these games in the shootout.
  • The Capitals and Senators face each other one more time, so 1 or 2 points will be lost between them.
If the Jets win out (finish with 55 pts) they need:
  • The Islanders to go 1-2-0 (2 pts) or worse in their remaining 3 games
  • The Capitals to go 1-1-0 (2 pts) or worse in the 2 games that aren't against the Jets (1-2 overall)
  • The Rangers to go 1-1-1 (3 pts) or worse in their remaining 3 games
  • The Senators to go 1-1-1 (3 pts) or worse in their remaining 3 games
These scenarios are no longer on the table.

If the Jets beat the Habs and finish with 53 pts they need:
  • The Islanders to go 0-3-0 (0 pts) or worse in their 3 remaining games
  • The Capitals to go 0-2-0 (0 pts) or worse in the 3 games that aren't against the Jets (0-3 overall)
  • The Rangers to go 0-1-1 (1 pt) or worse in their remaining 2 games
  • The Senators to go 0-2-1 (1 pts) or worse in their remaining 3 games
If the Jets lose two (not to Caps or Isles) games (finish with 51 pts) they need:
  • These scenarios are no longer on the table
Ed. Note: Just to clarify: The Jets only need to pass one team, so they don't need all four teams to slump. Just one.

None of these scenarios are impossible and if we are realistic about it, it is very very likely that one of these teams - all of which are in and around .500 on the season - will finish the season with a .500 ish run. It wouldn`t be mind-blowing if two or three of these teams slowed down a little. If the Jets keep winning, the playoffs should be there for the taking. The Jets need to win some games and the Caps / Isles games are extremely important, but just about everything is still on the table.

Of course nothing says the Jets won`t be the team to slump. Let's hope not. My personal hope is that the Jets playoffs are in the playoffs or that the playoffs are at least in play for the home finale, because that game will be a lot more fun if they are.

*Note: Apr 22*

The odds aren't good at this point. The Jets need to win out to have a legitimate chance, otherwise they are banking on another team losing out.

*Note: Apr 24*

The only option now is for the Jets to beat the Habs and they still nead:

  • The Rangers to go 0-1-1 (1 pt) or worse in their remaining 2 games
  • The Senators to go 0-2-1 (1 pts) or worse in their remaining 3 games
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