There are a number of ways of trying to predict where each team will end up in the standings come seasons end. You can simply pro-rate their current records to 82 games or you can do more complex stuff like looking at their difficulty of schedule or calculating probabilites of where they might place but here is a slightly different look that I haven’t seen elsewhere. What I have done is to look at how many games each team has remaining and then predicting that they will play those remaining number of games with the same record as their past number of games. So, if teams continue at the same pace, here is how the eastern conference will look come seasons end.
RP = Points in past n games where n=GR
PredPts = Pts + RP
*Division Winners will be seeded 1,2,3
When you re-seed your playoff matchups will end up being:
There are a couple interesting matchups there including Pittsburgh-NY Rangers which would be an NBC dream matchup.
One team worth watching is the Philadelphia Flyers who have seemingly turned their game around after their 10 game losing streak. As such I doubt they will finish with just 13 points in their final 16 games. More likely they get 18-20 points putting them in the 92-94 point range which would bump Buffalo out of the playoffs.
Playing a prime spoiler role will be the Toronto Maple Leafs who have most of their games left against playoff teams.
That is a very tough schedule for the Leafs if they have the playoffs in mind but by playing so many teams they are chasing it does give them an opportunity to make up ground if they continue to play well.
The other team to watch is the Ottawa Senators who have been struggling significantly over the past month or so. The Senators have a tough schedule as well with 3 more west coast games (San Jose, LA and Phoenix) plus 3 games against Boston, Buffalo and Montreal and two against Toronto with single games against Carolina and St. Louis mixed in.
All in all it should be a fun playoff race where if you lose 4 or 5 games in a row you can fall from comfortable in the playoffs to on the outside looking in or vice versa with a 4 or 5 game winning streak.