Hershey has 11 games left. That is 22 possible points.
The Bears currently sit in 8th place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 31-25-3-6, good for 71 points.
Based on the standings of the past few years my estimation is the Bears need somewhere in the 82-84 point range to finish 8th in the conference.
(Last year the 8th place team had 83 points, the previous 2 years to that was 88 and 86 - but those 2 years had 4 more games so removing 4 points would equal 84 and 82.)
So Hershey would need approximately 11-14 points to finish in 8th, where they currently sit, or more than that to move up.
This is possible.
So far in 2012-13 the Bears are earning 1.09 points per game. With 11 games left that equals approximately 12 points and 83 for the season, which would probably get them into the playoffs as the 8th seed.
That would just get them in.
Since the beginning of March the Bears are 6-4-0-1 (13 points or 1.18 per game). Using that number the Bears would finish with 13 points in their last 11 for 84 points, which would again likely get them in as the 8 seed.
That obviously doesn't take into account difficulty of schedule or anything like that, but the Bears seem to have a decent chance to make the postseason.
The best news for Hershey on the playoff front is that Wilkes-Barre (7th place in the East) and Connecticut (6th place) aren't pulling away. In fact, the Bears and Baby Pens both have 71 points and the Whale only has 72. AND the Whale has played one more game then the Bears.
At this point I would say the best hope for the Bears is a 6th place finish. They could make a run towards 5th (currently Portland with 75 points), but I don't see it happening.
But if they are to make the playoffs, they will have to earn it on the ice and it won't be easy.
It begins with what is essentially a game they can't lose on Friday night in Albany. The Devils currently sit in 12th place in the East. This is a game that playoff teams MUST win (or at least come away from with a point).
After that sees a visit from former Bears Chris Bourque, Graham Mink, and Christian Hanson and their Providence Bruins teammates on Saturday night at Giant Center.
Then it's almost a full week off before 2 games against Syracuse and a huge road game in Wilkes-Barre.
Every game is huge now and the Bears can't expect to make the playoffs if they are going to blow 3 goal leads. Getting points is critical so while losses in overtime or a shootout are losses, they also bring the Bears a point closer to the playoffs.
No matter where they finish in the standings, each spot in the playoffs gives you the same opportunity as the other 7 teams. Whether you finish 1st or 8th you have to win 15 games for the Calder Cup.