Playoff Projections

The HDH Playoff Projections return for the sixth season.

The methods used to calculate these data were originally presented in a Spring 2010 blog post, which does a pretty decent job of explaining how I did this. There is more information, a key for all the abbreviations, and an FAQ below the table.

Recency of update is indicated in the spreadsheet. Use the tab at the bottom to access Eastern Conference data.

# — Current playoff seeding according to AHL playoff rules
TM — Team name
GP — Games played
CP — Current points
PP — Projected points for 76 game season based on current point rate
#1-8 — Points required to achieve the same number of points as the team currently projected to finish in that position.  

"X" — mathematically eliminated
"E" — 'realistically' eliminated
"L" — 'realistically' guaranteed
"M" — mathematically guaranteed
The difference between realistically and mathematically is explained in the FAQ below.
R% — Percentage of remaining points required to at least tie the #8 ranked team's points pace
+R% — Difference between the team's required win points percentage, R%, and the teams current points percentage. Negative numbers indicate the team is doing better than required and does not need improvement. Positive numbers indicate that the points percentage is not enough to get them into the playoffs and they must improve.
MP — Max points, based on current points and games remaining
E# — Team's elimination or "magic" number.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between realistically and mathematically?
This is in reference to the X, E, L and M values in the #1-8 columns. The difference is in probabilistic likelihood. A team is only mathematically eliminated from playoff contention when their maximum number of points (current points + games remaining times two) is less than the current points of the top eight teams in the conference. Similarly, you are only a mathematical lock for a position when your current points are higher than other team's maximum points.

However, realistically, we know that the #15 team isn't going to win all the rest of their games from February on and the #1 team won't lose all of theirs. So to calculate realistic eliminations, we use the #15 team's maximum points but the #1 team's projected points instead of current.

Why is the ordering of these teams different than on's standings? standings provide a one-day snapshot of the playoff race. However, you have to account for the fact that not every team has played the same number of games, so we do some math to stretch out everyone's record to 76 games. To do this, we use the points percentage of the team and multiply by 76 games. This is why some teams who are in the playoffs on drop out in my rankings; they have simply played more games than the teams below then, allowing them to accumulate more points.

Also note, however, that these standing do not account for the 1-2-3 seeding of the division winners.


  1. Fantastic work Stephen. Dreary outlook for the Stars - that required win % is depressing - but you never know


  2. Really interesting how close the race is for the #8 spot, with seven teams projected within two points of the 86-point cutoff... and four right at 86. Should be an exciting finish (not so much for Texas fans) to the playoff race.

  3. It is not possible for Charlotte, Houston, or Oklahoma to take 2nd or 3rd, since Texas has taken the division.

  4. The Texas Stars are actually "mathematically eliminated" from positions 4-8, as well. If they didn't win another game, they couldn't fall below 3rd.


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