Thread: News Article: November 1 and playoff seeding
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10-22-2013, 02:07 PM
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November 1 and playoff seeding

Elliotte Friedman wrote something very interesting about teams and playoff seeding.

In last week's 30 Thoughts, there was one statistic a few people asked about, that just three of 32 NHL teams at least four points out of a playoff spot on Nov. 1 recovered to make the playoffs from 2005-06 to 2011-12 (Sources say no hockey was played by that date in 2012-13).

It is amazing to see how the "loser point" has changed the NHL game. The last season before its introduction was 1998-99. Back then, you got two points for a win, one for a tie and nothing if you lost in overtime. There was no shootout.

That year, the two worst teams in the NHL as we threw out our Halloween costumes were the Colorado Avalanche (2-6-1) and San Jose Sharks (1-6-2). They were four and five points out of the playoffs, respectively. The Avalanche were a powerhouse and recovered to finish second in the Western Conference and reach the conference final. Their first-round opponent? The Sharks.

That simply does not happen anymore. Since the shootout entered the NHL, we've never had a season in which two teams came from that far back to make it. And only one of the three comeback kings was more than four points out. That was Calgary. The Flames were seven points out in 2006-07, then went 40-22-9 to make it. The other survivors were the Buffalo Sabres (2010-11) and Boston Bruins (2011-12). The Sabres went 40-22-8; the Bruins, 45-22-4.

Generally, working yourself into a panic about what your team does in the first 10 games is a bad idea. But what really stands out about this particular season is how many teams are in danger of falling so far behind.

For example, the highest number of teams to fall at least four points out of the playoffs by Nov. 1 in our sample size is seven. That was 2006-07, the year Calgary made it. The lowest was two. This year, there are, potentially, seven such teams in the Eastern Conference (remember the crossovers). The West has three.

The Rangers are currently 4 points behind the Islanders for 3rd in the division. They are 6 points behind the 2 potential wild cards which are currently Montreal and TB.

The Rangers have 5 games remaining before November 1


Henrik Lundqvist isn't 100%. He has a nagging injury. His status for the Philly game in unknown.

"I can't say 100% sure that (Lundqvist) is going to be good to go on Thursday, but I can't say 100% sure that he's not gonna be there," coach Alain Vigneault said. "He's getting better. He's got something that he's been dealing with here for a little bit of time, and since we had four days in between games, we figured it was the right time to try and nip this in the bud here."
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The math isn't very good for the Rangers if they don't get going these next 10 days. Three teams out of 32.

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