The following scenario is all based on the Aeros playing out what I feel is a worst-case scenario for its last 16 games, and that is an even 8-8 record for 16 points.
If they finish any worse than that, they can still make the playoffs. But if they say, go 6-10 and miss out, I think its safe to say they probably did not deserve to make the playoffs based upon the fact that they absolutely cratered.
OK, so if the Aeros go 8-8 down the stretch, Milwaukee can go 8-11 and still finish ahead of the Aeros. The following are the records the rest of the teams in the division will need to surpass the Aeros, should the bomber boys go just 8-8:
Peoria - 11-7
Texas - 11-7
San Antonio - 11-9
OKC - 12-8
Chicago - 12-5
As you can see, even if the Aeros play it out in even fashion, which would be extremely disappointing, ALL the other teams would still have to play very good hockey to keep the Aeros out of the playoffs. Now, should the Aeros go 10-6, which is much more likely, the numbers slide even more in the Aeros' favor. For example, Milwaukee would have to go 10-9 in their last 19 games to finish ahead of the Aeros. Here is how the other teams would have to fare if the Aeros win 10 of their last 16 games:
Peoria - 13-5
Texas - 13-5
San Antonio - 13-7
OKC - 14-6
Chicago - 14-3
If the Aeros have a good weekend, starting tonight against THE worst team in the AHL, I really like their chances of avoiding a second straight Spring without extra hockey.