March 13, 2018

NAHL East Division Playoff Watch (How Tomahawks Can Still Make Playoffs)

There's one thing certainty as the Tomahawks continue their last stretch of games in the 2017-18 season. Only for the second time in their history, the Johnstown Tomahawks will finish with a record below five hundred. The only other time this happened was back in 2014-15 when the Tomahawks finished with a record of 25-27-4-4.

2014-15 was also the only year that the Tomahawks didn't make the playoffs.

Johnstown's playoff hopes are still alive after battling from behind in two games last weekend against New Jersey and getting wins in overtime. Johnstown picked up four out of six points on the weekend. Sure, they also let the Titans take four points, but as the season dies down, the Tomahawks only have to get past the Northeast Generals to grab the last playoff spot.

Currently, the Generals sit in fourth place with a total of 51 points. Johnstown, in fifth place, has a total of 42 points. Though, Northeast has played three less games than Johnstown.

If you thought last weekend's three-game series vs New Jersey was the most important weekend of the season, with the Tomahawks picking up the two wins against the Titans, this weekend now is the most important of the year.

Johnstown will host the Generals for three games.

If Johnstown can find a way to pick up three wins without giving Northeast any points, Johnstown would only be three points behind the Generals.

The most points the Tomahawks can earn the rest of the season is 16. That's if they don't lose another game in their last eight. This would give them a total of 58 points. Seeing as the Generals already have 51 points, there's only a seven point leeway.

I won't talk about what happens in a tie-breaker situation right now. We'll go over that if it should happen.

So, you see? The Tomahawks can make the playoffs still but they'll also need some other teams in the division to help them out and beat Northeast in regulation a few times.

After this weekend of games vs Northeast, Johnstown goes back to New Jersey to play them for another three-game weekend. The Tomahawks will then have another off week before returning home to close out the season when they battle the Philadelphia Rebels.

As for Northeast, next weekend they'll host WB/Scranton for three games. They'll then head to Philadelphia for three games. Then they'll wrap up the season playing two games vs New Jersey where things could get a little shady.

I say shady, because if the Tomahawks still have a chance to make the playoffs come the last weekend of the season, New Jersey would easily not play any of their top players and let the Generals win so Johnstown doesn't make the playoffs.

Let's hope things are settled before that so we don't have to see that situation play out.

If Northeast comes into Johnstown this weekend and takes all six points that would give them 57, basically putting the nail in the Tomahawks' coffin.

This season the Tomahawks are 2-7-0 vs the Generals.


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February 26, 2018

Tomahawks Still Have A Chance for Playoffs. How?

The Johnstown Tomahawks, once again, swept the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights over the weekend, 4-1 and 3-2, to keep their playoff hopes alive.

So how can the Tomahawks make the playoffs having been in fifth place basically for the whole season and still sitting back ten points behind fourth place Northeast Generals? Well, it's two fold. Win. Hope Northeast or New Jersey doesn't.

Johnstown has a total of eleven games left in the 2017-18 regular season. These eleven games are going to be the biggest regular season games that the Tomahawks have possibly ever played. It's a tough task, but if they buckle down and play like they did this past weekend, they have a chance to take care of business, at least on their side of things.

Looking at the points in the East Division, this is how things break down.

The Tomahawks have an off week this weekend. They will then play three games at New Jersey. The following weekend, at home, for three against Northeast. Then back to New Jersey for three more. The season comes to an end at home with two games vs Philadelphia.

If the Tomahawks don't put together a Hollywood ending to this year's season, then this will be the first year in team history that they won't make the playoffs.

The Tomahawks best record vs an in-division team comes against the Knights this season, as you can tell from the image below. Too bad we don't have any more games against them.

One bright spot is that the Tomahawks are one of the better teams in the division in their last ten games. Here are the team's current streaks and records in their last ten games.

The most points the Tomahawks can add is 22, that's if they win their last eleven games. In total that would give them 60 points. 

Remember, four out of the five teams in the division make the playoffs. So, since the Generals are the closest to the Tomahawks, our breakdown will look at how many games Northeast has to lose for Johnstown to take over the last playoff spot.

Quickly, let's look at the Generals remaining schedule.

Northeast - Johnstown (3), WB/Scranton (6), New Jersey (2), Philadelphia (3)

With the Generals ahead of Johnstown by ten points, it's very important that Johnstown sweep the Generals when they face them in a couple of weeks. With it being three games, with two points each, that would give Johnstown six points, bringing them only four points away from tying the Generals.

But, the Generals have played three less games than the Tomahawks.

Let's work our way from the max amount of points the Tomahawks can get (60), down, to see what each team's reocrd would have to be for the Tomahawks to still make the playoffs, and Northeast not.

As you can see, if Johnstown would somehow go 11-0-0 the rest of the season, Northeast would only have to go 6-8-0 for Johnstown to tie them in points and I'm not too sure what the NAHL tie breaker is.

Reminder: This is only looking at the easiest solution. If New Jersey falls apart and Johnstown plays great, they could knock New Jersey out, but we'll take a look at that possible angle as the last few weeks move along.

I'll try and update this chart after every game to give you an up-to-date look at the Tomahawks' chances. You'll find those updates on The Tomablog's social media pages.

So, do you think the Tomahawks will overtake Northeast and make the playoffs? Let me know with a comment here on the blog or on our social media pages. Links to those are below.

It's going to be an interesting end to the season for sure.


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February 9, 2018

Johnstown Visits Fairbanks for Two Games

After having last week off and sweeping the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights the previous weekend, the Tomahawks are back in action this weekend as they travel to Alaska to take on the Fairbanks Ice Dogs.

Johnstown will play Fairbanks in two games before then traveling to Kenai River to play two more games in Alaska next weekend.

Below is some information to get you ready for this week's pair of games. We've also included a video from the Johnstown Tomahawks. Enjoy and Let's Go Hawks!


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