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Split the Standings: The First 41 vs. Games 42-Now

Splitting the first half of a season from the second and comparing the two is about as useless, at the end of the day, as useless statistics get. Point being, the only thing that matters at the end of the year is the bottom line of 16 teams qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and 14 others following along like the rest of us.

But useless doesn’t mean uninteresting as we peek at the difference in the standings from the 41-game mark for each team until now.

Have a look, after the jump:

Eastern Conference: First 41

1 – PHI 26-10-5 (57)
2 – PIT 26-12-3 (55)
3 – TB 24-12-5 (53)
4 – WSH 23-12-6 (52)
5 – BOS 22-12-7 (51)
6 – NYR 23-15-3 (49)
7 – MON 22-16-3 (47)
8 – CAR 20-15-6 (46)
———————————————-
9 – ATL 20-15-6 (46)
10 – BUF 18-18-5 (41)
11 – FLA 19-20-2 (40)
12 – TOR 17-20-4 (38)
13 – OTT 16-19-6 (38)
14 – NYI 13-21-7 (33)
15 – NJ 10-29-2 (22)

Eastern Conference: Games 42-Now

1 – NJ 24-6-2 (50)
2 – WSH 20-9-4 (44)
3 – PHI 18-9-4 (40)
4 – BUF 18-10-4 (40)
5 – MON 18-11-4 (40)
6 – BOS 18-10-3 (39)
7 – TOR 16-11-6 (38)
8 – PIT 16-11-5 (37)
———————————————-
9 – NYI 16-12-5 (37)
10 – TB 15-11-6 (36)
11 – NYR 17-15-1 (35)
12 – CAR 14-14-4 (32)
13 – FLA 10-14-8 (28)
14 – ATL 10-15-6 (26)
15 – OTT 11-18-3 (25)

Western Conference: First 41

1 – VAN 27-8-6 (60)
2 – DET 26-10-5 (57)
3 – DAL 24-13-4 (52)
4 – NSH 22-13-6 (50)
5 – LA 23-17-1 (47)
6 – SJ 21-15-5 (47)
7 – MIN 21-15-5 (47)
8 – COL 21-15-5 (47)
———————————————-
9 – PHX 19-13-9 (47)
10 – STL 20-15-6 (46)
11 – CHI 21-17-3 (45)
12 – ANA 20-17-4 (44)
13 – CBJ 20-18-3 (43)
14 – CAL 18-20-3 (39)
15 – EDM 13-21-7 (33)

Western Conference: Games 42-Now

1 – CAL 19-7-8 (46)
2 – SJ 21-8-3 (45)
3 – PHX 21-11-2 (44)
4 – VAN 20-9-3 (43)
5 – ANA 20-10-1 (41)
6 – CHI 18-8-5 (41)
7 – LA 18-9-5 (41)
8 – DET 17-11-4 (38)
———————————————-
9 – NSH 17-12-4 (38)
10 – CBJ 13-11-8 (34)
11 – DAL 14-12-5 (33)
12 – MIN 14-16-3 (31)
13 – STL 12-17-3 (27)
14 – EDM 10-19-3 (23)
15 – COL 7-21-3 (17)

Poor Devils and Flames… If only this were lower level minor league baseball, their second half performances alone would be enough to guarantee a playoff berth…

JJ
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Comments

Avatar

Interesting.

FYI, in EC First 41 you have TOR listed 9&12; and no ATL. 
My guess is ATL should be 9?

Thanks for the time and effort.

Posted by Buster from WC on 03/23/11 at 02:41 PM ET

Jon Jordan's avatar

Whoops! Thanks, Buster!

Yeah, Atlanta was supposed to be 9th there. (Fixed.)

That would have been some accomplishment by the Leafs, ranking both ninth and 12th simultaneously!

Thanks again.

JJ

Posted by Jon Jordan from Tampa, FL on 03/23/11 at 02:58 PM ET

Avatar

Now actually, this leads on to an interesting idea for revamping the regular season - have 4 playoff berths up for grabs for the top 4 teams in the conference in each 41 game half of the season.

That way, if a team had a horrible start to the season (e.g. New Jersey), they would still have a chance to recover and make the playoffs, keeping the fans interested and involved. If you make the playoffs at the 41 game mark, then you don’t stop playing, because your place in the standings (and therefore home ice advantage) is decided by the regular, 82-game rankings. And because there will always be teams who finish top 4 in both halves of the season, there will always be a place for the best consistent teams who’ve maybe not had a hot half, but are still up towards the top of the overall standings (e.g. BOS, LA).

Suppose the only flaw is that it would reward teams with hugely unbalanced schedules (e.g. VAN last year with their Olympic road trip, and resulting long homestands) - but then, it isn’t as if the schedule is fair and balanced as it is. And any idea that reduces the number of meaningless regular season games, and increases fan interest, has to be worth a look, right?

Posted by fcjbencard on 03/23/11 at 02:59 PM ET

Avatar

That would have been some accomplishment by the Leafs, ranking both ninth and 12th simultaneously! Thanks!!

Posted by jason cell on 04/14/11 at 06:45 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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