Posted 2:24 PM ET | Comments 0
I was just taking a peek at the current standings, and something really caught my eye. Record in Last 10. The majority of every team's last 10 games have been versus division opponents, so you would think 2 or 3 teams would have winning records, and the opposite have losing records. Don't get me started on how stupid that type of schedule is when only 3 of 8 playoff spots are determined by division winners; I think battling 4 or 5 conference foes, as to compared to 1 or 2 division opponents, leads to a greater chance of non-division teams fighting for the last playoff spots. Who wouldn't want to see a Caps-Flyers game this time of year? But anyway, on to the Last 10....let's take a look at the East:
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Pittsburgh 7-2-1 (15 out of 20 possible points)
New Jersey 5-4-1 (11 out of 20 possible points)
NY Rangers 5-3-2 (12 out of 20 possible points)
Philadelphia 5-3-2 (12 out of 20 possible points)
NY Islanders 2-6-2 (6 out of 20 possible points)
Montreal 7-2-1 (15 out of 20 possible points)
Ottawa 4-5-1 (9 out of 20 possible points)
Boston 4-2-4 (12 out of 20 possible points)
Buffalo 6-3-1 (13 out of 20 possible points)
Toronto 5-4-1 (11 out of 20 possible points)
Carolina 6-3-1 (13 out of 20 possible points)
Washington 9-1-0 (18 out of 20 possible points)
Florida 6-3-1 (13 out of 20 possible points)
Atlanta 3-7-0 (6 out of 20 possible points)
Tampa Bay 3-6-1 (7 out of 20 possible points)
So, even though things have come down to the last game of the season, with the exception of Washington, things really haven't changed all that much. If you're sitting in 9th or 10th, trailing by a few points, it's near impossible to leapfrog anyone, even if you're playing decent hockey and a few games above .500. If you're chasing, you basically have to win out the last 10, because almost everyone is going to get 10 points or better, thanks to the bonus point system. How all games don't have the same potential point total is beyond me. So this is what we get. Perceived "parity" and playoff "races", and playoff spots determined by a bonus point awarded for losing in OT or winning a skills competition.
Call me bitter because the Sabres missed this year, but the logic isn't flawed, the reasons are clear, and while many fans have engaged is good discussion for solving this problem, the league seems to be oblivious to our frustrations. My patience is wearing thin Mr. Bettman.
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