Mar 5, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov (79) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring the winning goal during the shootout against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. The Canadiens won 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

What Record Do Montreal Canadiens Need To Make NHL Playoffs?

Mar 12, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) (not pictured) scores a goal on Montreal Canadiens goalie Peter Budaj (30) during the third period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens suffered a decisive defeat at the hands of division rival Boston Bruins last night. They have a record of 1-4-0 in their last five, and will need t bounce back soon if they wish to hold on to their top three slot in the Atlantic Divison.

Montreal currently sits third in the Atlantic Division with 77 points. They are one back of Toronto for second and six ahead of the Detroit Red Wings who are outside the playoff positioning.

Mar 12, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust (8) fights with Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller (86) during the second period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Below, shows the current NHL standings but with an extra column at the far right that shows how many points each team is on pace to finish the season with. There is hardly anything scientific about this, I just assume everyone remains at their current point percentage for the rest of the season, and then sort the standings based on the predicted finish.

Of course this is not going to happen exactly, but for the most part it will give an idea of where the cutoff will be for playoff teams and teams that fall just short.

As we can see here, 92 points would be just enough to make the playoffs if teams continue at their current pace. Again, a surge by Washington or New Jersey could skew this a bit but not by much, and not at all if it is met with a drop in play by Tampa Bay or Columbus.

Basically, what this chart tells us is that if the Montreal Canadiens find a way to get 92 points they are playing with fire but could make the playoffs. If Montreal finds a way to get 93 points, they should grab a wild card position. If Montreal plays well and finishes with the 94 points they are on pace for, they will be battling for one of three Atlantic Division seeds.

 

Atlantic Team Games Played   Wins   Losses Overtime Losses   Points Predicted Finish
Boston    65    43    17    5    91   115
Toronto    67    35    24    8    78    95
Tampa Bay    65    34    24    7    75    95

 

Metropolitan Team Games Played   Wins   Losses Overtime Losses   Points Predicted Finish
Pittsburgh    65    44    17     4    92    116
Philadelphia    65    33    25     7    73     92
NY Rangers    66    35    27     4    74     92

 

Wildcard Team  Games   Played    Wins   Losses Overtime Losses   Points Predicted Finish
Montreal    67    35    25     7    77    94
Columbus    65    34    26     5    73    92

 

Non Playoff Team Games Played Wins Losses Overtime Losses Points Predicted Finish
Detroit 65 29 23 13 71 90
Washington 67 30 27 10 70 86
New Jersey 66 29 24 13 71 88
Ottawa 65 28 25 12 68 86
Carolina 65 28 28   9 65 82
Islanders 67 25 33   9 59 72
Florida 66 24 34   7 55 68
Buffalo 66 19 39   8 46 57

 

So, what will it take for the Habs to make the NHL Playoffs?

Well, they already have 77 points in the bank, and would need to get to 93 just to be safe. That gives the Canadiens 15 games to get 16 points and be sure of playing postseason hockey this year.

A record of 8-7-0 or 7-6-2 over the final 16 games is what it will take for the Habs to be in the postseason for the second consecutive season. Anything below .500 from here on and the Canadiens could find themselves on the outside looking in when the postseason begins.

Tags: Montreal Canadiens

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