With a 7-point lead with 25 games to go in the regular season, the Minnesota Wild are strong bets to have home ice advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs.
At this point, the Wild have an 84 percent chance to win the Central Division, according to PlayoffStatus.com. There’s less than a one percent chance the Wild flame out and miss the playoffs.
Here’s what they are looking at if they win specific percentages of their remaining games:
The Wild could completely fall apart and lose 16 of their final 25 games and still finish with 100 points. That’s probably not going to happen.
Minnesota has won 66.6 percent of its games this season. Winning at that rate equates to 16-17 additional wins and a point total somewhere between 112-122.
But that doesn’t exactly play to how hot the Wild have been the last two and a half months. Entering play on Dec. 4, the Wild were 11-8-4. They’ve gone 27-5-2 since, winning 79.4 percent of their games and earning points in 85.3 percent of them. If they maintain that pace over the last 25 games they’ll finish with another 19-20 wins and a point total of 120+.
Simply winning at the rate they have since Dec. 4 would force the Chicago Blackhawks to win 22 of its final 25 games to reach 119 points.
Overtime/shootout losses could sway things for both teams, but the Wild will be nearly impossible to catch if they keep winning like they are.