With four and a half weeks left in the 2015 season, the playoff scenarios are just starting to be decided. We know Toronto and Colorado are in. We know a couple of other teams (Edmonton, Rochester) are on the cusp and can clinch a playoff spot with a single win. We know that Toronto can finish no worse than third because they can’t have more than 7 losses and New England and Minnesota already have 8.
Here are a few playoff scenarios that are still technically possible, though the odds of some are exceedingly remote. I will update this posting after tonight’s games as things change.
Update: I’ve updated these scenarios in red after the games of April 4.
Edmonton misses playoffs Edmonton loses the rest of their games, Calgary wins all of theirs, and Vancouver wins all of theirs except the one against the Roughnecks. Then the west would be: Colorado 10-8
Edmonton is 1-1 against Calgary and in this scenario, they will lose two more. Calgary ends up third and in the playoffs and Edmonton is out.
With their win against Vancouver, Edmonton can finish with no more than 9 losses. Vancouver has 9 losses now but Edmonton holds the tie-breaker, and Calgary already has 10.
New England finishes second in the east
New England wins out, Rochester loses out, and Minnesota loses one other game (against Buffalo, Calgary, or Edmonton). Then NE ends up at 10-8, Rochester is 8-10, and Minnesota and Buffalo are no better than 9-9.
Minnesota finishes second in the east
Minnesota wins out, New England loses to Toronto, Buffalo loses one to Minnesota and one other, Rochester loses two to Minnesota and two others. Then Minnesota is 10-8, Rochester is no better than 10-8 but loses the tie-breaker, and Buffalo and New England have 9 losses.
Minnesota wins out, Rochester loses out, Buffalo loses one to Minnesota and two others, and New England loses twice. Then Minnesota is 9-9 and tied with Rochester, but they own the tie-breaker. Buffalo and NE have 10 losses.
Toronto finishes third in the east Toronto loses out, Buffalo wins out, and Rochester wins any 3 games. Toronto ends up at 11-7, Rochester is at least 11-7 and owns the tie-breaker, and the Bandits are 12-6.
The worst Toronto can finish is 11-7 while the best Buffalo can finish is 11-7. Toronto owns the tie-breaker, so Toronto can’t finish lower than second.
Rochester misses the playoffs
Rochester loses out. New England wins one against Rochester and four others. Minnesota wins two against Rochester and one other. Buffalo wins two against anyone. Then Rochester is 8-10, Buffalo is at worst 9-9, and Minnesota and New England are also at worst 8-10. In this scenario, New England and Minnesota will have the tie-breaker against Rochester so they’re out.
Not sure about this one. If Rochester loses out, New England loses to Buffalo but wins the rest of their games, Minnesota beats Buffalo, Edmonton, and Calgary, and Buffalo beats New England and Vancouver, we’ll have a 4-way tie for second with everyone but Toronto at 9-9. I have no idea how that tie-breaker would be solved.
Calgary finishes second in the west Calgary wins out. Edmonton loses out. Vancouver loses to Calgary and twice to Eastern opponents. Calgary and Edmonton will both be 8-10 but Calgary has the tie-breaker. Vancouver has 11 losses and Colorado wins the west with Calgary in second.
Calgary can finish no better than 8-10, Edmonton no worse than 9-9. In that scenario, Colorado has at least 10 wins so both Colorado and Edmonton are ahead of Calgary.