Handicapping the Playoff Races

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The playoff race in the EC is all but over. The Florida Panthers could still track down the Boston Bruins for the last wild card spot so there is that.

But in the WC, things are much more interesting.

As of this writing, 6 teams are still in the running for the final 4 spots in the playoffs.

Let’s take a look at their chances.

Vancouver would appear to be in the catbird seat with 65 points in 55GP and they have games in hand over San Jose (3), Winnipeg (2) and Calgary (1). They also hold the tie breaker of regulation wins (29) over Calgary (28), San Jose (27), Minnesota (26), Winnipeg (24), Los Angeles (24) and Dallas (24).

But…the Canucks are down two of their top 4 defensemen in Edler and Bieksa and may find it difficult to win without them.

Those Stazis discount “momentum” but, believe me, confidence plays a huge part in the performance of sports teams and the Minnesota Wild are on a huge roll.

Buoyed by the goaltending of Devan Dubnyk (who could have seen that coming) the Wild are 8-0-2 in their last 10 games and may overtake the Winnipeg Jets in the Central Division.

Winnipeg has a 5 point lead but Minnesota has 3 games in hand and could close that gap pretty quickly.

The 4 Pacific teams vying for a post season berth, San Jose, Vancouver, Calgary and Los Angeles are within 4 points of each other and all are playing around .500 hockey in their last 10 GP.

If forced to make a wager right now, I would go with this for the top 8 teams in the WC:

1) NSH

2) STL

3) ANA

4) CHI

5) CAL

6) MIN

7) VCR

8) WPG

Wow. The 1st round of the playoffs should be epic.

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One thought on “Handicapping the Playoff Races

  1. Shame on you, DCB, taking advantage of poor Woodguy’s naivety. Most hockey teams are only a couple of issues from a disaster season, (say a grade three ACL tear to Giordano and a Mike Smith season from Hiller) but MacTavish’s plan for his defence is a guarantee that they will again have a rep at the ping pong ball telecast in 2016 and will yet again be behind the Flames in the standings.
    I have long agreed with the concept that “if it makes a difference in a hockey game, it can be measured.” Lately, I have begun to question it because I don’t know how you can measure an athlete’s ability to absolutely know, without any question, that when their opportunity comes, they will shine. How else do you explain Eberle at the World Jr. or the momentum Canadian athletes built at the 2010 Olympics? Besides the Flames incredible work ethic, I see this amazing confidence that no matter what happens, they will have opportunities and they will cash on them. Unfortunately, this kind of confidence does not last forever, but while it does, it’s one hell of a ride. Or am I yet again talking from the orifice that I sit on?

    Like

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