Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/20/12 at 01:51 PM ET
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Entering this weekend, four of the top five teams in the NHL standings are members of the Original Six. Detroit, a 3-2 shootout winner at Phoenix on Thursday, is first with 63 points, one ahead of a group of three teams that includes the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks, and two points in front of the Boston Bruins—who have played only 44 games, fewer than any team in the NHL. Only the St. Louis Blues, the other team in the three-way tie with 62 points, breaks up the Original Six party.
How unusual is it to have the Original Six so heavily represented among the NHL’s elite? Very.
None of the Original Six was among the top five in the overall standings last season, and the third-place Chicago Blackhawks were the only top-five entrant in 2009-10. Two Original Six teams (Detroit and Chicago) were in the top five in 2008-09, with Chicago sixth, but not since 2003-04 were as many as three of the Original Six among the top five—and not since 2001-02 have Original Six teams finished 1-2-3.
And how long has it been since four Original Six teams ended the season in the top five? Try 1973-74, when Boston was first in a 16-team League, followed by Philadelphia, Chicago, Montreal and the Rangers.
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