The Playoff Push: Feb. 16, 2024

In The Playoff Push, we will take a look at the busiest game days’ most integral games in regards to teams clinching playoffs or clinching specific playoff berths, as we head down the stretch toward the end of the regular season in early March.



9 games today

In the Atlantic, everyone except P.A.L. is knotted in a five-way race. A Hitmen (No. 6) win against South Shore (No. 2 New England) and a WBS (No. 5 Atlantic) loss to IHC (No. 1 New England), would lift the Hitmen out of sixth today. Then tomorrow we’ll describe how WBS can reclaim fifth.


New England is split into three teams above .500 and three below. Utica’s (No. 3 New England) magic number vs. both the Cyclones and Thunder is 6 without looking at tiebreakers. Utica drew Atlantic’s top three teams at Foxboro, so gaining six points in a sweep would be quite a feat.


With a run this weekend and/or some help, Utica (No. 3 New England) could clinch their berth. But not today. Out of the Atlantic, they face the Rangers (No. 3) today while Twin City (No. 6 New England) takes on Mercer (No. 2 atlantic) and the Cyclones (No. 5 New England) take on P.A.L. (No. 1 Atlantic). Bizarre, but if the Cyclones and Twin City both have an 0-3 weekend, Utica clinches irrespective of how they perform.


In the Mountain, the Idaho Falls (No. 4) win over Provo (No. 3) yesterday put more distance between the Spud Kings and the Bulls (No. 5). They are up five points with two games in hand. But Idaho Falls’ magic number vs. Pueblo is 16, so a lot of runway left.


The Spud Kings are five points behind Provo with a game in hand.


No one is changing position in the Mountain today. It wouldn’t be surprising if the final standings and today’s standings are identical. It will take a collapse or some heroic run to move things.