With only one game on the AHL schedule this evening, it's a good time to take a look at the playoff race as it affects the Texas Stars. Oklahoma City and San Antonio face off tonight in a pivotal game for both teams. The two are currently tied for 6th place at 73 points.
Here's the break down of probable points at the end of the season based on current points percentage:
Here are some points to note:
- Milwaukee is a little too far ahead of the pack to be caught at this point. They have likely locked up first place thanks to a high points percentage.
- Note that while Houston is in 2nd place today, they fall to fourth in this ranking. That is due to their high number of games played and tiebreakers. Every team in the division has at least two games in hand on Houston except Chicago, and San Antonio is projected to have more wins at the end of the year.
- San Antonio jumps from 6th to 3rd in this ranking. They are aided by having only 62 games played. If they continue to win at their current rate or better, they will shoot up the standings.
- While Chicago has come on strong lately, they are still an outside shot for the playoffs. They have 13 games left to climb into 5th place and would have to pass Peoria and Oklahoma City to do so. They have four total games against those two teams to try to gain ground.
- Speaking of division games, Texas has 8 divisional games and 7 non-divisional games left. Their non-divisional games over the next week match them up against the best of the North Division in Hamilton, Toronto and Manitoba.
- The top five teams in the West Division are slated to make the playoffs as of right now. The fourth place team in the North Division, Lake Erie, is currently set to finish with 89 points. Every team in the West but Rockford is on pace to finish with more points that 89.
- Looking at the numbers, tiebreakers might be a factor this season. Tiebreakers for the playoffs are, in the following order: wins (excluding shootouts), points in season series between teams, goal differential, goals scored in season series between teams, and intra-conference points percentage.
- Finally, the current playoff matchup has Texas playing San Antonio. For Texas, this is a very favorable matchup as they would have home ice advantage and hold a 6-1-0-2 record on the season against the Rampage. Additionally, travel would not be a big issue for Stars fans, who travel already in droves for regular season games in San Antonio.