File this one under the category of “unlikely, but amazing.” The NHL officially announced its tiebreaker should the Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers remain deadlocked in the standings following Sunday night’s final regular season game between the Panthers and Boston Bruins. Game 83.
That’s right, if somehow, someway the Panthers and Flyers find a way to remain tied at the end of the regular season, the two teams will face off in a “winner gets in” Playoff-style showdown. How awesome would that be!? Now, before you get too excited for this potentially historic moments, realize that there’s still a lot that has to transpire for this to occur.
But, before we get into all that, check out the conditions surrounding this potential 83rd game:
For those unable to get on Twitter, he’s the transcribed announcement from the NHL, courtesy of NHL.com’s Dan Rosen:
If at the conclusion of the regular season two teams competing for the final playoff berth in a conference are tied in points, ROW (regulation plus overtime wins), points in their season series (excluding the first home game for the team that has the extra game) and goal differential for the season, the following procedure will apply:
- A tie breaking game will be played.
- An equally weighted draw will be conducted by the League - promptly upon conclusion of the last game of the regular season on Sunday - to determine home-ice advantage for the game.
- Should the score of that game be tied at the end of regulation, overtime will be conducted under the rules that are in effect for the Stanley Cup Playoffs (i.e., five-on-five skaters, sudden-death, 20-minute periods until a winner is determined).
- For the purposes of the 2017-18 season, the tie breaking game would be played Tuesday, April 10.
Wow! Could you imagine!? Now… calm yourself for a moment. There’s still SO much that has to transpire for this game to take place. Currently the Flyers are up on the Panthers by four points, with just one game remaining in their regular season. The Panthers have two games remaining. So, should the Panthers win out, while the Flyers lose their final game, the two teams will be tied at 96 points apiece. But here’s the rub: because of the way the NHL determines tiebreakers, the Flyers would have to lose their final game by exactly two goals and the Panthers would have to win each of their final two games in a shootout… crazy, right!?!
So, is this likely to happen? No, in fact it seems like almost like an impossibility. Should you still be rooting for it? Absolutely! Could you imagine the type of hockey we’d get to witness with a one-game, “win and you’re in” type Playoff game?! It would be historic!