Mar 052007
 

It’s time for another predicted standings update.

Eastern Conference Predicted Standings

Pos Team GP Pts Schedule
Strength
Future GP Future
SchedStr
Pred Pts Total Pts
1 Buffalo 65 93 0.479 17 0.460 25 118
2 New Jersey 66 87 0.464 16 0.443 22 109
3 Ottawa 66 81 0.488 16 0.447 21 102
4 Pittsburgh 65 79 0.460 17 0.507 18 97
5 Atlanta 67 78 0.473 15 0.467 17 95
6 NY Islanders 65 75 0.471 17 0.460 20 95
7 Tampa Bay 67 78 0.470 15 0.502 16 94
8 Carolina 68 73 0.473 14 0.455 15 88
9 NY Rangers 65 69 0.476 17 0.449 19 88
10 Toronto 66 71 0.490 16 0.489 17 88
11 Montreal 68 72 0.490 14 0.473 15 87
12 Boston 65 69 0.488 17 0.492 17 86
13 Florida 66 67 0.479 16 0.458 16 83
14 Washington 66 60 0.481 16 0.469 14 74
15 Philadelphia 65 45 0.479 17 0.510 11 56

A bit of a gap has opened up between 7th place Tampa and 8th place Carolina but the race for 8th spot is still extremely tight with Carolina, NY Rangers and Toronto all predicted to finish with 88 points, Montreal 87 and Boston 86. Even Florida is trying to pull itself back into the race. Strength of each teams remaining schedule is becoming critically important as it seems to be holding the Leafs and Bruins back a bit as both teams have games in hand on the rest of the pack while the Rangers benefit from the easiest schedule of the group of teams. Of the top 7 teams Tampa and Pittsburgh have extremely tough schedules and they must avoid any lengthy slumps because of that or else they could fall back into a playoff fight. The Penguins play Ottawa 3 times, Buffalo twice and New Jersey twice. They also play the Rangers 3 times, Boston twice, and once against Montreal, Toronto, Atlanta, the Islanders and Washington. They will have a lot to say on the playoff race. Tampa meanwhile starts a tough west coast swing with stops in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver this week. Three losses out there (and the west has dominated interconference games) and their playoff position is back up for grabs.

Western Conference Predicted Standings

Pos Team GP Pts Schedule
Strength
Future GP Future
SchedStr
Pred Pts TotalPts
1 Detroit 66 91 0.505 16 0.535 20 111
2 Nashville 67 93 0.501 15 0.571 18 111
3 Anaheim 67 89 0.513 15 0.496 20 109
4 Dallas 65 81 0.521 17 0.481 22 103
5 Vancouver 65 81 0.527 17 0.519 21 102
6 San Jose 66 80 0.516 16 0.497 20 100
7 Calgary 65 79 0.523 17 0.527 20 99
8 Minnesota 66 79 0.528 16 0.534 18 97
9 Colorado 66 69 0.531 16 0.535 16 85
10 Edmonton 66 66 0.535 16 0.524 16 82
11 St. Louis 65 66 0.526 17 0.539 16 82
12 Columbus 66 59 0.525 16 0.547 13 72
13 Phoenix 65 57 0.528 17 0.544 14 71
14 Chicago 66 57 0.529 16 0.532 13 70
15 Los Angeles 65 54 0.539 17 0.509 14 68

The western conference playoff race is all but over with only playoff positioning left up for grabs and their are battles in all three divisions for the division title. Detroit and Nashville are in a tight battle for top spot in the central division and Vancouver, Calgary and Minnesota are in a dog fight for top spot in the northwest conference. Currently Anaheim has a bit of a lead for top spot in the Pacific division but San Joe and Dallas aren’t too far behind and both those teams improved their teams (at least theoretically) at the trade deadline while Anaheim didn’t so that could still turn out to be quite a race too. Calgary, Minnesota, Detroit, Nashville and Anaheim have exceptionally good home records so gaining home ice advantage in the playoffs could be a huge benefit for them.

(I leave it as an exercice for the reader to adjust the standings according to the playoff seeding rules if desired)

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