Hockey East Playoff Scenarios

Posted by: Scott McLaughlin

I’ve gotten some questions on Twitter about different playoff scenarios heading into tonight, so I figured it would be a good idea to just run through some of them here. First, let’s take a look at what has already happened.

-Lowell has clinched home ice. Incredibly, it is still the only team that has done so.

-The top eight teams have all clinched playoff spots. Northeastern was already eliminated before this weekend, while Massachusetts got eliminated last night.

OK, now let’s take a look at who can clinch what tonight. Vermont and Maine are the only two playoff teams that have no chance of getting home ice. They will be the seventh and eighth seeds in some order. If they finish tied for seventh, Vermont holds the tiebreaker.

Regular-Season Title

-Lowell wins it outright with a win.

-Providence wins it outright with a win.

-Lowell and Providence both clinch a share if they tie.

-BC clinches a share with a win and a Lowell-Providence tie.

-UNH clinches a share with a win and a Lowell-Providence tie.

Home Ice

-Providence clinches with a tie, or a BC loss, or a UNH tie or loss, or a BU tie or loss.

-BC clinches with a tie, or a BU tie or loss.

-UNH clinches with a tie coupled with a BU tie or loss, or a BU tie or loss coupled with a Merrimack tie or loss.

-BU clinches with a win and either a BC loss or a UNH loss.

-Merrimack clinches with a win, a BU loss and a UNH loss.

Tiebreakers

I’m not going to run through all the possibilities at every spot because, quite frankly, there are still too many of them. Even for home ice, some of them will depend on who finishes first, because the third tiebreaker is record against the first-place team. I will, however, run through all the tiebreaks for the top seed.

-If Lowell and Providence finish tied for first, the seeding would be: 1. Lowell, 2. Providence.

-If Lowell, Providence and BC finish tied for first, the seeding would be: 1. BC, 2. Lowell, 3. Providence.

-If Lowell, Providence and UNH finish tied for first, the seeding would be: 1. Providence, 2. UNH, 3. Lowell.

-If Lowell, Providence, BC and UNH all finish tied for first, the seeding would be: 1. Providence, 2. UNH, 3. BC, 4. Lowell.

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