Playoff Race Could Be Down to Three Teams After Tonight

(Credit: Texas Stars)
The lone game on the AHL calendar affecting Texas tonight is Rockford's visit to Milwaukee. The Admirals sit at 83 points and own third place in the division as of this afternoon. If they can win tonight, they'll effectively turn a five-team race for two playoff spots into a three-team race for just one.

The current "line" for playoff contention is 85 points after the full season (rounded up from 84.36). With a win tonight, the Admirals' point total would cross that line and virtually lock in their playoff berth. Again, anything is possible, but Milwaukee will have, at that point, gone on an absurd 10-0-1-1 run to seal their spot in the postseason. What a run for Karl Taylor and Greg Rallo.

On the other side, the loss by Rockford would keep them at 78 points with just two games left, setting their best possible outcome at 82 points. Texas would pass that mark with a single win this week (by virtue of ROW tiebreaker). Iowa could do it with an OT or regulation win and Manitoba with any point at all.

Of course, none of this applies if Rockford wins, but it just goes to show how razor thin everything is right now.

Texas needs five of six points this week to meet that 85 point line. Even with a full six points, Texas does not control its own destiny. Manitoba and Iowa do not play each other in the coming week, so they can both claim a full six points as well.

There is even an outside chance that Texas finishes Saturday not knowing if they've made the playoffs. Sunday's games could be the decider for several clubs' playoff fates, even those not playing. Chicago plays Manitoba, and Milwaukee faces Rockford.

Suffice to say, it's going to be a wild week.