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The Noon Number: 45.8

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45.8 - The Ottawa Senators' chances of making the playoffs, according to SportsClubStats.com.

Last night's win over the Nashville Predators, combined with some relatively positive results in other games (most notably the Toronto Maple Leafs' loss to the Philadelphia Flyers) increased the Sens' chances 5.74 per cent since 24 hours ago.

Obviously, the SportsClubStats methodology isn't perfect: They run a bunch (6.2 million, I believe) of simulations for the remainder of the season, compile those, and generate percentages of the outcome based on them. This is a purely mathematical look at the odds; it doesn't factor in the upcoming schedule, hot streaks, cold streaks, or anything like that (mostly because it's virtually impossible to factor unknown variables into the equation). Still, it's an interesting view of the standings.

Although Ottawa sits in seventh place in the NHL standings, SportsClubStats' calculations predict a ninth-place finish for the Sens, mostly because of the games teams behind Ottawa (namely, the Leafs and the Washington Capitals) have "in hand." Of course, those games are worthless if those teams don't win them.