Friday, March 27, 2015

The Texas Stars' Path to Winning the Division

There's a glimmer of hope that Texas can win the West, so let's break down how.
(Credit: Michael Connell/Texas Stars)
Changing fortunes in the AHL's West Division have put the Stars in control on their own destiny in many ways as it pertains to the West Division crown. The Stars have won their division each of the past two years and, at least a month ago, appeared they would not be able to defend that title.

Now, things have changed a bit.

Absurd amounts of injuries for the Oilers and Barons have put them in a precarious state. OKC had led the conference for most of the year but has now dropped to fourth place, seeing San Antonio pass them for the division lead. They are on a five game winless skid and are 7-10-2 since last playing the Stars in early February. For this scenario to work out, you need to assume that this trend continues for the Barons. They, of course, notably just signed a 40-year old to a PTO to fill some injury holes, so it's not happy times in Bricktown at the moment. Texas has no more games against OKC, so the Stars can't help their own cause directly here. All they can do is hope the Barons' luck continues.

(Side note: The Barons will make the playoffs. We're just talking about seeding here.)

Now to toppling the current clubhouse leader: San Antonio. The Rampage are having a bang up season. They lead the league in goals for, which is just something really awesome to behold, and are tops in the conference by points as of this morning. They show no sign of going down easy on their own accord. They're on a six game winning streak and are 9-1 in their last ten.

This is where Texas has to help itself. If everything plays out as it has been until game 73, the Stars will have 88 points and the Rampage will have 95. Those of you with the schedule committed to memory already know where this is going. For everyone else, I only carried the average out to 73 games because games 74, 75 and 76 are all against San Antonio. If San Antonio doesn't quite make it to 95 or Texas gets higher than 88 by game 73 (or any other scenario that sees them 5 or fewer points apart), then oh boy. Those last three games are a mini playoff series, and the stakes are the division title.

Texas will need to win on points because the Rampage own the first tie break: regulation and overtime wins. San Antonio has more shootout wins than Texas but also more wins overall, making it a moot point.

It's slim chance, but there's a chance.

2 comments:

  1. My prediction is SA wins the division but Texas eliminates them from the playoffs. It just seems like that is the type of luck San Antonio has always had in hockey.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're right that would be their luck. I think it'd be more fun if that happened in round 2 though, so we get a full 7 game series.

    ReplyDelete

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