The 2012 Hitchhiker’s guide to the playoffs

The Penguins are 28-17-4. They have 60 points and are currently in fifth place. There are 10 weeks left in the Penguins season. So we broke it down week-by-week to estimate the points needed to obtain a playoff berth.
We used a few baselines.
1. Last year, the 8th-seeded Rangers qualified for the playoffs with 93 points.
2. The Penguins currently have 60 points, so using last year's benchmark, they need 33 more points.
3. Easy math: 33 points divided by 10 weeks = 3.3 points per week needed.
4. We broke down the combined records of teams the Penguins play over the next 10 weeks and did a completely unscientific estimate of points we think the Penguins can accumulate. We've built this flowchart to illustrate:

Pittsburgh Penguin flowchart

In our estimation, we feel the Penguins can accumulate at least 35 points over the next 10 weeks.

After the Read More, we break down how we've come to this.




Big time home and home out of the gate. Brutal way to start. Pens can beat Toronto once, find a way to sneak out a point against Boston or New Jersey on the road.




Pens quietly have owned Montreal this season and have had some success against Tampa. Take 4 points out of a possible 6.


The Ducks kind of suck, but Boudreau will have them all jammed up. Pens haven't fared well against Philly. Sneak out a point between those two teams, and then beat Buffalo.


Interesting home stand for the Penguins. Huge.

The Rangers game will be enormous. Even if you lose, 4 points hang between Columbus and Tampa.



Mini road trip halfway through. Pens need to take two wins here. Colorado sucks, and Dallas is beatable.



One of the bigger weeks of the season. Four straight home games. Have to find a way to bank 4 points.


Maybe the most important week of the season. Road division games change lives. Have to find a way to win one of these games.


A chance to bank some points after a tough road schedule. The Jets can be beaten. Walking into the lion's den in Ottawa. 




This could be the week someone enters the hospital. Back-to-back against the Islanders. Philly at home to end the week.



The end is a Mexican standoff. The three teams the Penguins will have to beat to get out of the East. Win one game out of these.


That leaves us with this:

Those are just our estimates. Total hypothesis. This doesn't even count how many points the Penguins could possibly give up if they go to OT/Shootout. The ending to this season may be the craziest of any we've seen.