The tightly contested Atlantic Division race all comes down to the final week of the regular season.

The Checkers have already clinched a playoff spot and guaranteed a place in the top half of the division standings, but there are scenarios that could see them finish in second, third or fourth place.

Here’s how the rest of the regular season slate looks for the three teams battling it out.

  • #2 Providence (89 points): Friday vs Springfield, Saturday at Bridgeport, Sunday vs Hartford
  • #3 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (85 points): Friday at Hartford, Saturday at Lehigh Valley
  • #4 Charlotte (83 points): Wednesday at Hershey, Saturday at Hershey, Sunday at Lehigh Valley
Now let’s break down how things could shake out this week.


It’s the longest shot of the three scenarios, but the Checkers still have a chance at jumping into second place - and thus earning a bye past the first round of the playoffs. To do so, the Checkers would need to collect all six points, plus they would need the Bruins to fail to collect a single point. That’s not all, though. That would result in the two teams finishing tied at 89 points, with the tiebreaker coming down to regulation wins. The Checkers currently have 28 while the Bruins have 30, so at least two of Charlotte’s three wins would need to come in regulation. If regulation wins are also even, the tiebreaker becomes regulation and overtime wins, which Charlotte already holds an advantage in.

There’s also the added wrinkle of the Penguins’ recent surge, which has them in the mix for the second seed as well. If everything outlined above happens for Charlotte but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton also wins its final two games, the Pens would claim the second spot by virtue of the regulation-wins tiebreaker.


The Checkers and Penguins have been two of the hottest teams in the AHL down the stretch, and now they’re neck-and-neck in the Atlantic race. The Penguins have a two-point edge going into the week, but the Checkers have a game in hand over them, so if both sides were to win out they would finish tied at 89 points - though, as mentioned earlier, the Pens would have the upper-hand via the regulation wins tiebreaker.

In order to finish ahead of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and claim third place, the Checkers would need to collect at least three more points than the Penguins do this week - so if the Pens pick up zero points, the Checkers would need three, if the Pens record one point, the Checkers would need four, etc. That also means that Charlotte’s fate isn’t entirely in its own hands, as a pair of wins by the Penguins would push them ahead regardless of what the Checkers do.

If the Checkers claim third place they would host the sixth seed for the opening best-of-three series, with each contest taking place at Bojangles Coliseum. At the moment that would be the Phantoms, who trail the fourth-place Wolf Pack by five points with three games remaining and need a single point - either gained by them or missed out on by the Thunderbirds - to punch their postseason ticket.


If neither of those previously discussed scenarios happen, the Checkers would finish in fourth place and host the fifth-place team for all possible games of the best-of-three opening round. That would currently be Hartford, who the Checkers played six times over the last two months of the regular season.