Predicted Standings – 3/16/2007

I am going to post updated predicted standings a little more often now that we are closing in on the seasons end. Here is how things look today.

Eastern Conference Predicted Standings

Pos Team GP Pts Schedule
1 Buffalo 70 96 0.481 12 0.436 18 114
2 New Jersey 71 94 0.462 11 0.446 15 109
3 Ottawa 71 89 0.483 11 0.439 15 104
4 Pittsburgh 70 88 0.464 12 0.481 14 102
5 Atlanta 72 84 0.466 10 0.488 11 95
6 Tampa Bay 71 82 0.468 11 0.495 12 94
7 NY Islanders 70 78 0.470 12 0.463 13 91
8 NY Rangers 70 76 0.476 12 0.433 14 90
9 Toronto 70 77 0.487 12 0.476 13 90
10 Carolina 72 78 0.468 10 0.452 11 89
11 Montreal 71 76 0.486 11 0.477 11 87
12 Boston 70 73 0.487 12 0.495 12 85
13 Florida 71 71 0.475 11 0.452 11 82
14 Washington 71 61 0.477 11 0.479 9 70
15 Philadelphia 71 51 0.480 11 0.506 7 58

The east is just crazy but a lot could happen this weekend. I am prepared to say Florida is done and barring a miracle Boston is done. Montreal’s playoff hopes could all but die this weekend as well with a tough game against Pittsburgh tonight and then Toronto tomorrow. Should they lose both, which is very possible, I think their playoff hopes are done. That would leave Carolina, Toronto, the Rangers and Islanders fighting for 2 spots. But it potentially could get more interesting too. The Rangers play the Thrashers tongiht and should they win, it isn’t unrealistic that the Thrashers playoff spot becomes up for grabs. The Lightning also have a tough game against the Sabres and a very tough schedule for the remainder of the season so their playoff spot is anything but secure as well.

Western Conference Predicted Standings

Pos Team GP Pts Schedule
Future GP Future
Pred Pts TotalPts
1 Detroit 71 99 0.511 11 0.524 14 113
2 Anaheim 71 96 0.515 11 0.486 15 111
3 Nashville 72 98 0.511 10 0.552 12 110
4 Dallas 70 89 0.517 12 0.500 15 104
5 Vancouver 71 90 0.526 11 0.523 14 104
6 San Jose 71 89 0.517 11 0.490 14 103
7 Minnesota 72 89 0.528 10 0.518 12 101
8 Calgary 71 84 0.523 11 0.559 12 96
9 Colorado 70 76 0.531 12 0.532 13 89
10 St. Louis 70 70 0.534 12 0.523 12 82
11 Edmonton 71 66 0.537 11 0.539 10 76
12 Columbus 70 63 0.530 12 0.553 10 73
13 Chicago 70 63 0.527 12 0.572 9 72
14 Los Angeles 71 60 0.538 11 0.525 9 69
15 Phoenix 70 59 0.531 12 0.553 9 68

In the west, Colorado is doing everything it can to keep its small playoff hopes alive and Calgary’s horrible road record is doing everything it can to give the Avalanche a glimmer of hope. Detroit with their back to back wins over Nashville have opened up a small lead for top spot in the west but Anaheim and Nashville are still in the hunt.

This article has 12 Comments

  1. You can’t have Atlanta, Tampa, and Carolina all finish outside the playoffs. Whoever wins that division is in 3rd place automatically, which would be unfortunate should there be 8 teams with a better winning percentage than whomever wins the Southeast. I haven’t done the math, but I think it’s actually near impossible for a team to win that division and NOT have enough points to make the playoffs, but I could be wrong.

  2. It is unlikely to happen but it could. The only remaining games Tampa, Carolina and Atlanta play against each other are:

    Tampa-Carolina: 2 games
    Tampa-Atlanta: 0 games
    Atlanta-Carolina: 1 game

    If you assume that Carolina beats Atlanta and splits with Tampa their point totals would be:

    Tampa: 84 (9 other games)
    Atlanta: 84 (9 other games)
    Carolina: 84 (7 other games)

    If Tampa and Atlanta go 3-6 in their other 9 games and Carolina 3-4 in their remaining 7 games they would all end up with 90 points. It is certainly possible that Toronto, Rangers and Montreal all pass 90 points. It is a highly unlikely situation but theoretically possible.

  3. You can’t have 2 teams from the same division finish in the top 3. Therefore your predictions are already wrong.

    And you have Toronto and NY Rangers tied for the 8th and final playoff spot with the Leafs finishing in 9th. Most likely wrong again because the odds are the Leafs will tie the Rangers in wins, as they are now, so then they would look to the “head-to-head” competition to who earned the most points between those 2, and that would be Toronto no matter what.

    There’s still 1 more game but toronto is already 2-0-1 against them, while NYR is 1-2-0.

    Toronto would take the 9th if this were the case, but then again you never know the Rangers could have more wins but I doubt it if they tie.

  4. lol its just common sense from a Leaf fan. Plus the Rangers probably wont even come close to the playoffs.

  5. BTW, if we are being perfectly serious the actual NHL standings would have the 3 teams with the best record ranked 1-2-3, regardless of division, just as I have above. This is because standings are based on records. But, when it comes to playoff seedings, you are correct, the division winners would be ranked 1-2-3. Most websites display playoff seedings and call them standings but technically there is a difference.

    4. standings, Sports. a list of teams or contestants arranged according to their past records: According to the standings, the White Sox are leading the division by three games.

    seeding: To arrange (the drawing for positions in a tournament) so that the more skilled contestants meet in the later rounds.

  6. ok yes that’s right but that is not the definition of the NHL STANDINGS. The nhl ranks theirs different.

  7. Ok, in this instance David is 100% correct.

    The seedings are not the standings, and vice versa.

    If you had caught on, the entire point of my original comment was that it is entirely possible that all of the top 8 teams in the East, from a point total perspective, could come from two divisions (the NorthEast and Atlantic). In such an instance the division winner of the SouthEast would replace the 8th placed team, and automatically be seeded 3rd for the sake of the playoffs.

    If for instance Tampa Bay wins the SouthEast with 90 points, but Toronto and the Rangers tie for 7th with 92 (and equal number of wins): Tampa would then displace the Rangers based on the Leafs/Rangers head to head series. It’s convoluted and bizarre but it could happen.

    Either way, the NHL needs to do something to address the disparity, and frankly having FEWER divisional games would address that problem. Obviously by letting teams play so often within their division you aren’t getting an accurate measure of overall quality of play vs. non-divisional opponents. Perhaps if matches were weighted differently that would have the desired effect. I would find it intriguing if the available point values from each matchup were weighted based on divisional, conference, or non-conference play. Just a passing thought on ways of addressing such issues.

  8. Either way, the NHL needs to do something to address the disparity, and frankly having FEWER divisional games would address that problem.

    Actually, no. The idea that all 8 playoff teams could come from 2 divisions is based on the fact that one division is really bad. But, the better teams in that division (i.e. Atlanta) at least get an opportunity to gather some points against the weaker teams in that division (i.e. Washington). But, if there were fewer divisional games and more interdivisional games, then those teams in the weaker division will end up playing a tougher schedule because they would play more games against tougher teams in the other division and fewer games against the weaker teams in their own division. Conversely, the teams in the other divisions would have an easier schedule because they would play the tougher teams in their own division fewer times and the weaker teams in the weak division more often. This would increase the changes of the top 8 teams being from 2 divisions.

  9. You likely assume it is the South East that is particularly bad, I would counter that in this case the problem is the Atlantic.

    New Jersey and Pittsburgh both have divisional win records comparable to Detroit and Nashville. New Jersey’s .714 and Pittsburgh’s .655 rival Detroit’s .720 and Nashville’s .690 win percentages in the skewed Central.

    On the other hand in the South East: Atlanta only has a .571 save percentage, Tampa Bay has a .640 and Carolina has a .615. Considering the past two Cup champions have come from this troika I find it a bit far fetched to continue to claim the South East is so atrocious. The competition within the South East is more intense than that in the Atlantic, at least amongst the top 3 teams. Philadelphia has a .192 divisional win percentage. That alone is largely the reason so many teams are in the top end from two divisions. THAT is a larger problem for clogging up the upper standings. Similarly in the Western Conference Detroit and Nashville are riding the top end largely on the basis of wins over St. Louis, Chicago, and Columbus, who have .393, .407, and .280 win percentages in the Central respectively.

    The Islanders and Rangers both have sub .500 winning percentages within the division, and in the North East no team fares worse than Toronto’s .379 divisional win percentage. Buffalo only has a .571 win percentage, and Ottawa is only a .586 this season. Obviously when those top two teams are coming out with lower win percentages divisionally they aren’t pulling ahead based on weak sisters in their home stomping ground. Basically when you have 2 teams beat the tar out of the other teams in the division, you’re going to get skewing.

    Frankly I suppose you could go either way with this argument. Fewer games in the division would reduce the advantage New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, and Carolina all have and improve the chances of Toronto, Buffalo, and Ottawa to spread from the pack. Just like the good old days!… ok I’m just being absurd at this point. Either way I find 8 games in the division a tad too many.

  10. When restructuring the schedule, the NHL should be more concerned about marketing. Real attendance figures are abysmal in many cities, including some of the “Original Six” (Chicago & Boston).

    Right now, competing against 14 other teams for playoff spots spreads interest too thinly. At the same time, playing 8 games against division opponents gets boring — for example when you’re playing Chicago, St. Louis, and Columbus.

    Why not shake this up? Try 6 games each against 9 other teams. Thats less teams to focus on as rivals, and less games against the same small divisonal set. It can be done by breaking the league into 3 x 10-team divisions.

    And surprisingly, an effective playoff structure can be built for a 3-divison system.

  11. SensFan – I fail to see how an “effective” playoff structure could be built from a 3 division system.

    I also think playing 6 games against 9 other teams would only leave 28 games to spread out amongst 20 other teams. It would be almost as awkward as the current system in terms of equal weighting of games. Every team in the NHL should play every other team at least twice. Once home and once away. That is a total of 58 games. That leaves 24 games to play interdivisionally and interconference. If you leave the current 6×5 division system in place that means 4 extra games against divisional opponents (6 total) would leave you with 8 more games. Those could be distributed for Canadian/Original 6 matchups or prior rivalries teams wish to enhance.

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