In honor of a very snowy Wednesday here in beautiful Buffalo, NY, I thought I'd dust off one of Dave's "What If Wednesday" posts for a bit of hypothetical fun.
In today's Daily Links post, we linked to an article from NHL.com saying that since January 1, the Sabres have the fourth-best points percentage in the Eastern Conference at .643, trailing only New Jersey (.714), Philadelphia (.682) and Washington (.662). But what if the team had avoided their abysmal start and had played at that clip since opening night?
Before we dive into those calculations, here's a quick summary of what "points percentage" is for those who aren't in the know -- points percentage is simply the number of points a team has earned divided by the number of possible points they could have earned had they won every game. For example, the Sabres currently have earned 81 points this year in 73 games played. If we divide 81 by 146 (the total number of possible points) you get .555, the team's current points percentage. By the way, .555 is good for 18th in the NHL.
So, using basic 7th grade math (don't worry, we won't get too complicated here) if we multiply their points percentage since Jan. 1 (.643) by the total number of possible points so far (146) then we get a grand total of.....94 points!
If the Sabres had 94 points they'd be leading the division for the second year in a row, and would be in third place in the Eastern Conference, only four points behind Philly for the number one seed. The blue and gold would theoretically finish the season with about 105 points and to celebrate, Terry Pegula would personally mail each fan a game-used deodorant stick.
So what does that mean for this year? Well, if the team keeps playing at that .643 points percentage over the last 9 games then they'll earn 12 points, putting them at 93 for the season, which should be enough to make the playoffs as the eighth seed. Though I don't think we'd complain if they played just a little better.