The Marlies end the regular season this weekend with a playoff spot already clinched, but where they actually wind up in the standings depends on winning or losing their final two games.

The team will be play the Cleveland Monsters both today and tomorrow at the Coliseum at 4:00 p.m., and wouldn't you know it's the Monsters that the Marlies want to jump over in the standings, so these games randomly scheduled nine months ago now have major urgency to them for both teams.

Here are the current standings in the North Division as we go into the final weekend to close out with game #72.

The Monsters had a big overtime win last night against the Rochester Americans which put them third in the division, and the Belleville Senators became the final team to clinch a playoff spot last night when they knocked out the Laval Rocket.

As you can see, the spread in points is still very tight among the bottom ranked playoff teams. This weekend could see big shifts in the standings and the important part is which teams gets into third and fourth place.

Third place means you get a bye for the first round of the playoffs, which is the so-called "play-in round" that has now been popularised by the NBA using it and getting such good TV ratings and gate revenue that I'm certain the NHL will take it up at some point too by expanding the wild card spots from two to four per conference and then use the play-in round to narrow the field.

Play-in viewership up double-digits for second-straight night
After a hot start care of the Warriors and Lakers, the NBA Play-in Tournament had another strong night despite featuring lower-profile teams.

However, if you're a player on a team you probably want to avoid all that by moving up the standings and getting skipping straight to the next round.

With the Marlies and the Monsters playing each other for their final two games, they have become pivotal match ups. If the Marlies win both games this weekend it means they will tie the Monsters at 84 points, and the tie-breaker is Regulation Wins "RW", and you can see in the table the Marlies would win that tie-breaker and move up to third place.

If the Marlies don't win both games in regulation they will not get the bye and will have to play against the Senators in the first round best-of-three. The Marlies record against the Senators this season is 4-4-2, so yeah it would be nice to skip playing them right now, especially if they lose both games and then have the disadvantage of playing two games in Belleville instead of here and where bad luck in game #1 leaves little to no time to recover.

Whatever happens, it will be all decided by Sunday night.