It's hardly a shocker to look at the ECAC standings with six games left and see a glut of teams with the same number of points right in the middle. Fully half of the league is sitting on either 18 or 17 points.
There's a bit of separation at the top - Quinnipiac and SLU are looking good - and at the bottom - Brown and Princeton have been dreadful. The middle, that's pretty mixed up. 3rd place Yale is closer to 10th place Union (5 points) than they are to 2nd place St. Lawrence (6 points).
Here's basically what we know right now.
Quinnipiac has clinched a home ice playoff series, which is likely to be during the quarterfinals.
RPI and Union cannot finish in first, but can finish as high as second.
Brown is all but guaranteed to be on the road in the first round - they would have to win out to even have a shot at home ice in the first round, and even that would be highly unlikely as they would have to come out on top in a four-way tie with RPI, Union, and either Colgate or Cornell.
Princeton is guaranteed to be on the road in the first round - ninth is as high as they can finish.
That's about it. The rest is completely up in the air.
Let's look at the current standings and break ties.
Tie for 3rd: Yale has the advantage of having played all of its games against the three teams they're tied for in this position, with 7 points they have more in total head-to-head play against Clarkson, Harvard, and Dartmouth. Clarkson and Harvard have 5 each and Dartmouth has 3. That places Yale in 3rd and Dartmouth 6th.
Tie for 4th: Harvard is ahead 2-0 in its tiebreaker with Clarkson.
Tie for 7th: Cornell wins the tiebreaker with Colgate, 3-1.
Here's where we stand with head-to-head tiebreakers at the moment. We won't start getting into multi-way tiebreaks until the last week of the regular season.
Colgate, Cornell - Won, 4-0.
Dartmouth, SLU - Ahead 2-0.
Yale - Tied, 1-1. Unknown ECAC wins difference.
Cornell, Yale - Won, 4-0.
Dartmouth, Harvard, RPI, Union - Ahead, 2-0.
Clarkson - Tied, 2-2, would likely lead on ECAC wins.
Harvard - Won, 4-0.
Colgate, RPI - Ahead, 2-0.
Dartmouth - Tied, 2-2. Unknown tiebreaker.
Quinnipiac - Tied, 1-1. Unknown ECAC wins difference.
RPI - Won, 4-0.
Dartmouth - Won, 3-1.
Clarkson, Colgate, Quinnipiac - Ahead, 2-0.
Yale - Won, 3-1.
Dartmouth, Quinnipiac, RPI - Ahead, 2-0.
Union - Won, 4-0.
Cornell - Ahead, 2-0.
Yale - Tied, 2-2. Unknown tiebreaker.
Colgate - Tied, 1-1. Unknown ECAC wins difference.
Clarkson - Won, 4-0.
Colgate - Won, 3-1.
Brown, Harvard, Union, Yale - Ahead, 2-0.
SLU - Won, 4-0.
Clarkson - Won, 3-1.
Brown, Union - Ahead, 2-0.
Dartmouth - Tied, 1-1. Unknown ECAC wins difference.
Princeton, Union - Won, 4-0.
Colgate, Cornell - Ahead, 2-0.
Dartmouth - Tied, 2-2, would likely lead on ECAC wins.
Princeton, Won, 4-0.
Harvard - Won, 3-1.
Brown, Clarkson, Yale - Ahead, 2-0.
RPI - Ahead, 2-0.
Princeton - Tied, 1-1. Unknown ECAC wins difference.
Brown - Tied, 1-1. Unknown ECAC wins difference.
RPI, Union, Brown, Princeton
Tiebreaker solutions for this weekend
* These teams can win the tiebreakers with their opponents with a win or a tie: Dartmouth over Cornell; Harvard over Colgate; Quinnipiac over St. Lawrence; Brown over RPI; Union over Yale.
* An RPI win over Brown makes that tiebreak irrelevant.
* These teams can win the tiebreakers with their opponents with a win or tie: Cornell over Harvard; Clarkson over Quinnipiac; Yale over RPI; Union over Brown.
* The winner of the Colgate/Dartmouth game wins that tiebreaker, a tie guarantees the tiebreaker goes to at least the second break.