As we head into the final week of the regular season, there has been an abundance of questions as to how the Icemen can earn a spot in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The good news is the Icemen do indeed have a pathway to get in.
During the past several days the Icemen have assembled their team of numbers crunchers and have given them the task of trying to figure out this path. This team of "experts" is comprised of yours truly, equipment manager Jeremy Holloway, and scenario mastermind and broadcaster Arley Johnson. In addition, Joe Babik from the league office has also weighed in on this. Basically just a bunch of guys staring at numbers and at times looking like the character Alan in the movie “The Hangover” when he’s counting cards at the blackjack table, with numbers and formulas floating around his head. (By the way, it is never a good idea to count cards!)
Remember, the top four teams in each conference make it into the playoff field, and clinching a spot is based on points percentage this season. What really helps the Icemen is they are playing the two teams they are in direct contention with for that final playoff spot. Jacksonville hosts Orlando on Tuesday and Friday, and travels to South Carolina on Saturday.
So without further ado, here is the Icemen's path to getting into the playoffs:
Essentially, the Icemen need to win their three remaining games in regulation. The Icemen could get away with a win in overtime or a shootout, if Wheeling defeats South Carolina on Tuesday. Depending how the rest of the week plays out, Jacksonville could be put in a position on Friday and Saturday where they must win in regulation, so that Orlando and South Carolina do not earn any additional points to factor in their points percentage number. If the Icemen win all three games, here are the other scenarios they would need to take place in order to get in.
The easier path is if Wheeling defeats South Carolina in regulation on Tuesday. In that case, the Icemen would only need South Carolina to defeat Orlando on Thursday.
If South Carolina defeats Wheeling on Tuesday, then the Icemen would need Orlando to defeat South Carolina on Thursday in regulation, followed by an Orlando loss to Florida on Saturday.
Basically any combination of South Carolina earning three points this week and the Icemen losing three points this week eliminates the Icemen from playoff contention. Any combination of Orlando earning four points and the Icemen losing four points this week would also eliminate the Icemen.
That’s pretty much it. It seems like a lot to take in. To put it simply, Jacksonville needs to win their three remaining games, and wait and see if the other games fall in their favor. In case you are wondering, tiebreakers for playoffs this year is the total number of regulation wins. NOTE (Edited Segment: Intially written was there was not a tiebreaking possibility for the Icemen due to their odd number of games played, but we have since learned that points percentages will be rounded up, therefore it is still possible for a tiebreaking situation). The Icemen does not hold a tiebreaker advantage over Orlando or South Carolina.
And that is the path to the playoffs! It is not ideal, but it’s certainly not a monumental task, or having to win the lottery. It is a very possible path to clinch a playoff spot, but for the Icemen, their playoffs essentially start this week….