Hockey East Tournament Playoff Picture: Projecting The Tournament Seeds

via bceagles.com

One weekend left in the regular season before the #Octofinals

We know which team will be the top seed in the upcoming Hockey East Tournament -- the good guys, obviously -- but little else is decided going into the final weekend of the regular season. In addition to the top seeded Eagles, UMass Lowell and Northeastern have clinched home ice. Maine, New Hampshire and Providence all have a shot at finishing as the best non-BC team in the league, though they can also fall as far as seventh (or eighth, for PC) in the final standings. Should be an exciting final weekend of hockey in Hockey East.

First, let's take a look at the standings:

Rk Team GP Record Pts. Max PS Remaining Opponents
1 Boston College 19 16-1-2 34 36 1 vs. ND
2 UMass Lowell 18 10-5-3 23 27 2-5 at UVM, at UVM
3 Northeastern 18 10-6-2 22 26 2-5 at BU, vs. BU
4 Maine 18 9-6-3 21 25 2-7 vs. PC, vs. PC
5 New Hampshire 18 10-8-0 20 24 2-7 at MC, at MC
5 Providence 18 9-7-2 20 24 2-8 at Maine, at Maine
7 Vermont 18 9-9-0 18 22 3-8 vs. UML, vs. UML
7 Notre Dame 19 8-9-2 18 20 6-8 at BC
9 Massachusetts 20 4-13-3 11 11 9-10
10 Boston University 18 3-12-3 9 13 9-11 vs. NU, at NU
11 Merrimack 18 2-14-2 6 10 10-11 vs. UNH, vs. UNH

Here's how the Hockey East Tournament would look if the season ended today with the new Hockey East #Octofinals* kicking things off next weekend:

#Octofinals - Single Elimination (Campus sites; March 7-8, 2014)
#11 Merrimack at #6 Providence (PC leads 2-0-0)
#10 Boston University at #7 Vermont (Series tied 1-1-0)
#9 Massachusetts at #8 Notre Dame (Series tied 1-1-0)

Quarterfinal Round - Best-of-Three (Campus sites; March 14-16, 2014)
Lowest Remaining Seed at #1 Boston College
Second-Lowest Remaining Seed at #2 UMass Lowell
Highest Remaining Seed at #3 Northeastern
#5 New Hampshire at #4 Maine (Series tied 1-1-0)

A few thoughts:

-- If #10 Boston University somehow manages to beat #7 Vermont which, lol, and #6 PC knocks off #11 Merrimack, it'll be BC-BU rounds four, five and possibly six for the Hockey East quarterfinals. Throw out the record books when BC and BU get together and all that jazz, but am I alone in thinking kicking the Terriers to the curb two more times would be fun?

-- If chalk holds in the #Octofinals, BC would draw Notre Dame in the quarterfinals. That's a scary proposition for BC to play a team that has played well down the stretch. The Irish split a home series with Maine and have seven points in their last four games vs. PC and BU.

Best guess as to how the final weekend of the season plays out:

BC beats Notre Dame. Sticking with BC until they give me a reason otherwise but that game has the least impact to the final league standings. Lowell sweeps Vermont to take second place. Northeastern sweeps BU to take third. Maine and Providence split the weekend to finish with 23 and 22 points, respectively. New Hampshire sweeps Merrimack because Merrimack.

1. Boston College -- 36 points
2. UMass-Lowell -- 27
3. Northeastern -- 26
4. New Hampshire -- 24
5. Maine -- 23
6. Providence -- 22
7. Vermont -- 18* wins head-to-head tiebreaker with ND based on number of wins in conference play
8. Notre Dame -- 18
9. Massachusetts -- 11
10. Boston University -- 9
11. Merrimack -- 6

#Octofinals - Single Elimination (Campus sites; March 7-8, 2014)
#11 Merrimack at #6 Providence (PC leads 2-0-0)
#10 Boston University at #7 Vermont (Series tied 1-1-0)
#9 Massachusetts at #8 Notre Dame (Series tied 1-1-0)

Quarterfinal Round - Best-of-Three (Campus sites; March 14-16, 2014)
Lowest Remaining Seed at #1 Boston College
Second-Lowest Remaining Seed at #2 UMass Lowell
Highest Remaining Seed at #3 Northeastern
#5 Maine at #4 New Hampshire (Series tied 1-1-0)

Which teams are you looking to avoid in the Hockey East quarterfinals?

* The fact that we have to dedicate an entire weekend for four single-elimination hockey games is ridiculous. These four games should be played mid-week with the quarterfinals at the end of the week. To commemorate the ridiculousness of the new Hockey East Tournament format, the first round shall be henceforth known as the #Octofinals even though this year it's just a #Hexafinals. When UConn joins the league next season, eight of the league's 12 teams will be playing in the tournament's first weekend.

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