Hockey Headlines

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Win Your Division

After watching the Penguins and Capitals battle on Wednesday night, and then following that game up with the Minnesota-Winnipeg tilt this afternoon, it has dawned on me that divisional games are slightly more important than other games. You're probably calling me Captain Obvious right now, but the new playoff format makes a divisional game that much more important over the long haul of the season. If your team makes the playoffs, but has performed poorly against the rest of its division, does your team truly belong in the playoffs?

I'm going to run down the divisional win-loss records of each team, and also post the overall record and divisional standing of each team. Remember that if a fifth-place in a division is better than the corresponding fourth-place team in the other division within the same conference, the fifth-place team will crossover. In saying that, here are your divisional records.

Divisional Win-Loss Records To Date
Team Division Overall Rank
Anaheim Ducks
4-0-0
16-6-3
1st-Pacific
Boston Bruins
8-2-0
15-6-2
1st-Atlantic
Buffalo Sabres
2-5-1
5-18-1
8th-Atlantic
Calgary Flames
1-4-2
8-11-4
6th-Pacific
Carolina Hurricanes
5-3-0
8-10-5
5th-Metropolitan
Chicago Blackhawks
5-4-1
15-4-4
1st-Central
Colorado Avalanche
5-2-0
16-5-0
4th-Central
Columbus Blue Jackets
3-4-1
8-12-3
7th-Metropolitan
Dallas Stars
1-3-2
11-8-2
5th-Central
Detroit Red Wings
2-2-1
10-6-7
4th-Atlantic
Edmonton Oilers
1-3-1
7-15-2
7th-Pacific
Florida Panthers
0-5-1
6-13-5
7th-Atlantic
Los Angeles Kings
4-2-0
15-6-2
4th-Pacific
Minnesota Wild
5-2-0
15-5-4
2nd-Central
Montreal Canadiens
0-2-1
12-9-2
5th-Atlantic
Nashville Predators
5-5-0
11-9-2
6th-Central
New Jersey Devils
4-3-1
9-8-5
3rd-Metropolitan
New York Islanders
2-7-1
8-12-3
8th-Metropolitan
New York Rangers
5-3-0
11-11-0
4th-Metropolitan
Ottawa Senators
5-0-1
8-10-4
6th-Atlantic
Philadelphia Flyers
4-4-1
9-10-2
6th-Metropolitan
Phoenix Coyotes
5-3-1
14-4-4
3rd-Pacific
Pittsburgh Penguins
8-4-0
15-8-0
1st-Metropolitan
San Jose Sharks
7-1-2
14-3-5
2nd-Pacific
St. Louis Blues
6-0-1
15-3-3
3rd-Central
Tampa Bay Lightning
6-3-0
14-8-1
2nd-Atlantic
Toronto Maple Leafs
3-2-0
13-8-1
3rd-Atlantic
Vancouver Canucks
3-4-2
12-8-4
5th-Pacific
Washington Capitals
4-3-0
12-10-1
2nd-Metropolitan
Winnipeg Jets
3-9-2
10-11-5
7th-Central
Looking at the table, it appears that teams at or below .500 within their own division are outside of a playoff spot. There are some notable exceptions - Ottawa's 5-0-1 mark within the Atlantic Division, for example - but the vast majority of the teams that are outside of a playoff spot are struggling within their own division.

Winnipeg has eight points in their fourteen games against their own division, meaning we can pretty much write-off their playoff hopes now. The New York Islanders have five points in their ten games against their divisional foes making their playoff dreams an uphill struggle. The Sabres have five points in eight games against the Atlantic Division, but they're struggling in all facets of the game. And the Edmonton Oilers have three points in five games thus far, but can start climbing the standings in the Pacific Division if they start winning divisional games along with a few non-divisional games.

It's a pretty simple concept, actually. If you want to make the playoffs, win within your division. Every single team in each of the four divisions that is fourth-place or higher is currently above .500 in their own division. You also need a few wins outside of your division, but if you're preventing teams in your own division from getting points while you pick up points, it's fairly easy to make the playoffs.

The concept is simple: win your division and make the playoffs.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

2 comments:

Rik Steijnen said...

left the Leafs out the table!

Teebz said...

Not sure how, but they're added now, Rik! Good catch!