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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Projected 2009-2010 Final Standings (Olympic Break/3-Quarters Poll Edition)

Take an NHL team's up-to-the-minute season performance, weight its remaining games by its remaining strength of schedule, and throw in a time-weighted extrapolation of that team's much-noted "Last 10 Games" performance and what do you get? Projections of the 2009-2010 NHL Final Standings.

At just about this time last year, I was able to correctly project that St. Louis would make the playoffs using this formula - even when they hadn't shown so much as a glimmer of hope throughout the bulk of the season at that point. I'll continue to hang my hat on that successful prediction for advertising's sake. This year, putting the Thrashers in at #8 in the East comes close, however they are only 2 points out of that spot as it is - speaking more to the erratic play of the Eastern Conference's middle tier teams than anything Atlanta itself has accomplished.

Eastern Conference
1) Washington Capitals (122 pts.; Southeast Division Champion; President's Trophy winner)
2) Ottawa Senators* (107 pts.; Northeast Division Champion)
3) Pittsburgh Penguins (102 pts.; Atlantic Division Champion)
4) New Jersey Devils (97 pts.)
5) Buffalo Sabres (95 pts.)
6) Philadelphia Flyers (94 pts.)
7) Boston Bruins (89 pts.)
8) Atlanta Thrashers (86 pts.)
9) Tampa Bay Lightning (85 pts.)
10) Carolina Hurricanes (84 pts.)
11) Montreal Canadiens (82 pts.)
12) New York Rangers (80 pts.)
13) Florida Panthers (73 pts.)
14) New York Islanders (68 pts.)
15) Toronto Maple Leafs (63 pts.)

Western Conference
1) San Jose Sharks (115 pts.; Pacific Division Champion)
2) Chicago Blackhawks (114 pts.; Central Division Champion)
3) Vancouver Canucks (100 pts; Northwest Division Champion)
4) Los Angeles Kings (110 pts.)
5) Phoenix Coyotes (104 pts.)
6) Colorado Avalanche (97 pts.)
7) Nashville Predators (92 pts.) -- tie-breaker over Dallas via wins
8) Dallas Stars (92 pts.)
9) Anaheim Ducks (89 pts.)
10) Calgary Flames (89 pts.)
11) Detroit Red Wings (89 pts.)
12) Minnesota Wild (88 pts.)
13) St. Louis Blues (86 pts.)
14) Columbus Blue Jackets (79 pts.)
15) Edmonton Oilers (56 pts.)

*Note: On September 29th, 2009, I emailed my fellow Bettman's Nightmare bloggers and took Ottawa to win the Northeast (purely based upon my exceptional hockey insight, rather than the formulaic predictions above).


  1. I find it hard to believe that Hotlanta would make the playoffs this year. The rest all seem feasible; crazy to think it takes 90 points to make the Western Conference playoffs.

  2. I think that the ducks will make it. they are historically a second half team, and they've already shown that this season as they haven't lost two in a row while playing Hiller since the first week of December. Whereas, the unstable Predators have lost the magic they had and cannot seem to find a goalie they rely on or an offense that consistently scores enough.

    I also think Hotlanta is a long shot. If you ask me they have nothing working in their favor right now. Opposed to the currently hot Tampa Bay, who happen to have playoff experience and way more talent.

  3. I don't think Anaheim is going to make it this year. Based upon the current standings, I think only the 8 spot is up for grabs (i.e., no one other than Calgary is a serious threat to fall away. I'd like to see Minnesota get the final spot in the West, but something tells me Detroit turns it on come crunch time.

    In the East, I think Tampa Bay will make it in. But does it really matter who Washington has to face anyway?

  4. let's not forget that the same Washington team was out dueled last year. When it comes to the playoffs defense and goaltending is the key, two things the caps do not have (especially goaltending!)

  5. True - sometimes. However, consider that the Rangers are not going to make the playoffs (eliminating Lundqvist from the picture, sorry Wendorf), and the fact that Brodeur will be exhausted by the time the playoffs roll around and the Devils will subsequently roll over to their first round opponent. Buffalo is the only other Eastern Conference team with netminding that is even remotely capable of slowing Washington's firepower this year. Buffalo, however, is so limited offensively that even slowing Ovechkin, et al, will not get the job done.

    People used to say that "defense wins championships" in the NFL, and now the Steelers are a passing team. Things change.


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