Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/25/13 at 11:46 AM ET
Craig Custance of ESPN answered some emails..
Do you think it is a stretch to judge teams making the playoffs based on the first three games? And when do you think in the season we will see who will make the playoffs based on the shortened schedule?
This seems like a good time to point out that the team that won the Stanley Cup in 1995 during that 48-game season didn't start particularly well. The '95 Devils didn't win their first game until the fifth game of the season. I'm sure that point has been brought up inside the dressing room of struggling teams.
So when are we allowed to panic? We'll defer to Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland who, during a normal season, prefers to wait until American Thanksgiving to evaluate his team. He has a pretty good track record of getting into the playoffs. Last year at Thanksgiving, most teams had played about 20 games. That's 24 percent of their season. So if my math is right, the equivalent this season is 12 games. If the Capitals are still struggling when they play the Panthers on February 9, it may be time for concern and perhaps a shakeup. The same goes for the Kings, Flyers and all the other struggling teams.
more Q & A but itis paid subscription...
added 12:42pm, from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
The need to rush to judgment after so few games are played never makes a lot of sense – and the need to rush to judgment in a season without a proper training camp or exhibitions makes even less sense. The cream generally rises to the top; it is just take a little longer some years than others. In the meantime, may as well enjoy some of the quirky and disjointed action. It probably isn’t going to last.
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