The Playoff Push: Feb. 23, 2004

In The Playoff Push, we will take a look at the busiest game days’ most integral games in regards to teams clinching playoffs or clinching specific playoff berths, as we head down the stretch toward the end of the regular season in early March.



USPHL Premier

18 games today

A lot to unpack here.

In Florida, none of the slots are settled, even though the 4 teams are in. Bold City (No. 2) has 54 points and four games in hand on the Florida Eels (No. 1). Bold City (No. 2) host the Blades (No. 5) for three this weekend.

Great Lakes Division: Buffalo (No. 5) visits Columbus (No. 4). Cincinnati (No. 6) visits Nashville (No. 2). Buffalo’s magic number vs. Cincinnati is 1. A Buffalo point or a Cyclones loss sends Cincinnati to Toledo (No. 3). Buffalo will start the playoffs in Ohio one way or another.

In the Midwest East, Fort Wayne is finished with its regular season and the Spacemen are first with 66 points. MJDP is second with 64 points and with two games in hand vs. the Chicago Crush. Fort Wayne holds the head-to-head tiebreaker, so MJDP needs three points to topple the Spacemen.

Everyone is in action except the Ducks. Everyone finishes this weekend. All have two games remaining except Steele County with one and the Mullets with three.


Wisconsin (No. 1) at Hudson (No. 3)
Moose (No. 4) at Blue Ox (No. 5)
Steele County (No. 6) at Mullets (No. 7)
Isanti (No. 8) at Squatch (No. 2)

A regulation Moose win will send the fifth place Ox to the fourth place Moose for Round 1.

The Mullets magic number vs. Isanti is 3. A Mullets point today with an Isanti regulation loss would give them seventh and eighth respectively. Same result with a Mullets win and an Isanti loss.

The top three teams are separated by a point (63-62-61). They all have first round home ice so we’re looking for which of the bottom three matches with which of the top three.

A Wisconsin win in regulation will mean that Hudson can’t catch them. Coupled with a Squatch win, Hudson would be permanently third and would host Steele County.

A Hudson regulation win and a Squatch OT loss would leave three teams tied for first at 63 points.

Head-to-Head Points:

Havoc:Squatch, 6:4

Wisconsin:Squatch, 4:4

In New England, Gatineau (No. 4) visits Utica (No. 1) today for the second of a three-game set. Gatineau lost yesterday. Utica will be a tough out for anybody. The Islanders HC has locked up third. They will host South Shore unless South Shore defeat the Pics in regulation tomorrow and the Bruins defeat the Pics in regulation on Sunday.

Should those two results manifest, Gatineau would travel to South Shore as the home team. A single Pics point has Gatineau playing as the home team at Springfield. Should the Pics win out, Gatineau would be a visitor at Springfield unless they eke out a point in Utica.



8 games today

In Florida, Atlanta (No. 3) visits Tampa (No. 1) and Bold City (No. 6) visits the Blades (No. 4). Both games are the first of a three-game set to finish out the season.

The Eels (No. 2), idle today, need a regulation Atlanta loss to nail down second permanently and get last change in their first playoff game. Either way, the game is in their building.

The Blades need a win to take sole possession of fourth, in which case Bold City’s playoff hopes would come to an end.

In the Midwest Division, the Chicago Crush (No. 2) visit the Jets (No. 1) for the first of three. The Jets magic number to clinch first is 4. A regulation win today will do it. Both clubs already have a first round bye.

Decatur (No. 6) visits the Chicago Cougars (No. 5). Fort Wayne (No. 4) visits Motor City (No. 3). Someone will get two points and cement the Cougars into fifth. That means that Fort Wayne and Motor City are guaranteed home ice. A Gamblers regulation win will have them hosting Decatur, while the Cougars would visit the Spacemen.

In the Atlantic, a WBS Knights (No. 2) win over the host Jersey Hitmen (No. 4) will tie them for first with the idle P.A.L. Jr. Islanders. WBS finishes up this weekend with two at Elmira (No. 6). P.A.L. goes to the Rockets (No. 3) for their last two. The Rockets are fighting for home ice, but that’s tomorrow’s topic.