For NHL Teams, The Start Isn’t Nearly As Vital As The Finish

by | Nov 6, 2019 | News, NHL | 5 comments



  1. While I get what the author is saying – and you can’t refute the facts – digging a hole for yourself in Oct-Nov isn’t the recommended way of getting to the top.

    Looking at the two conferences as of today, in the east there are only two teams currently sitting outside a playoff spot who were expected to be somewhere in the hunt for the cup at the end the season – TB and Pitt, and both are very close to the top 8 so there’s nothing insurmountable facing either. Some might also include Columbus as another, but they not only sit farther back, after losing Panarin, Duchene and Bobrovsky I think they’re about where they should be.

    Out west it’s the same with 3 of 4 teams expected to be in the top 8 (Colorado, Winnipeg, Dallas) – all close enough to easily move back into the top 8. But San Jose, I think, has really made it extremely difficult to get back into contention after playing at a .344 clip through their first 16 games. Last year, the 8th team (Colorado) played the season at .549 to accumulate the 90 points that got them in. In order to get to 90 points, SJ would have to play .561 the rest of the way AND climb over 6 teams to get to 8th. And that’s assuming 90 points will again be sufficient.

    • Shouldn’t count anyone out until they’ve been mathematically eliminated from playoff entry.

      Steep hill to climb, nonetheless.

  2. Coming fro behind in the 6th inning in game 7 is not “cutting through so much cotton candy. Winning game 7 in Boston to hoist the Stanley Cup that was turning the Bruins into cotton candy

  3. Oh, I agree with that. Just that it’s a tough climb when you have to count on 6 teams above you conveniently going into the tank. I also made a typo above – they’d have to play .598 the rest of the way to get to 90 – not .561.

    Now, maybe we can realistically look at Minnesota and Chicago and figure they’ll stumble along but the other 4 are Colorado, Winnipeg, Dallas and the current 8th place team, Anaheim. They might drop back, likely replaced by Colorado. But which among the other current 7 teams in the Top 8 does anyone see as suddenly going into a spiral – St. Louis, Edmonton, Vancouver, Nashville, Arizona, Vegas, Calgary. Collectively, is SJ seen as superior to any one of them and Colorado?

    • Short answer George, No.
      It can certainly happen, but the odds are stacked against them.
      However if they were to reel off 10 wins in a row, starting last night, they’d find themselves right in the thick of things again.

      These streaks aren’t like unicorns, as they happen 4+ times per year.

      Again, highly unlikely for them to get in, but thats why they play the games.

      I think they make it close.