Next week I will go into detail on the AHL’s playoff bubble and make my predictions on which Western Conference teams will make the playoffs and which teams will far short.
(Author’s note: Was going to do this today, but as of now I see little chance of the Admirals making the playoffs and therefore the point is sort of moot).
But for now, as Ryan stated on Sunday despite last weekend’s disaster, Milwaukee (currently standing with 64 points through 60 games) still has 16 games left to try to pick up 32 possible points. If the Admirals get hot and manage a conceivable 23 points from here on out, that would give Milwaukee a total of 87–four points short of a playoff position from a year ago. However, each team plays four less games this year, so I would think 87 points would be enough to get into the postseason dance.
Certainly I will acknowledge that last paragraph is full of hypotheticals. Moving back to reality, the big problem going forward for the Admirals is the remaining schedule. Milwaukee has just six home games left in those final 16 contests (only Chicago and Rockford feature road/home schedule ratios worse than Milwaukee in their games left). How is this a problem? The Admirals own the AHL’s sixth best home record at 19-11-2-0. But away from the Bradley Center Milwaukee sinks to the league’s 28th best record at 11-15-0-2.
At least this weekend offers a little help. Milwaukee plays eighth place Lake Erie on Friday, then North Division leading Toronto on Saturday. A regulation win against Lake Erie would go a long way in the catch up process. Meanwhile, the Marlies are so far ahead of Milwaukee that giving up a point to Toronto would hardly be the end of the world as long as the Admirals manage at least a regulation tie. Milwaukee owns a 8-1-0-2 mark against Marlies over the past five years and an 8-5-1-1 mark against Lake Erie.
For more on the playoff race check out the AHL’s playoff primer.
So Roundtable . . . Forget about the playoffs for now. Are three or four points actually reasonable this weekend? Are you glad one of the two games isn’t against Rockford?