The holiday season is upon us folks and the hockey season is about a quarter in the books to date. Some interesting things are becoming clearer with each passing game day.
First of all, the top eleven teams in the Eastern conference are all playing above the .500 mark. That means that three winning teams wouldn’t make the post-season today. The Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers and woebegone Buffalo Sabres would all be reserving tee times if the playoffs were held now. There are five teams that have lost five or fewer games. The Washington Capitals, with a PDO of 1046 and having scored a monster 76 goals, are the surprise frontrunner in the East.
Second of all, out West, just 7 of the playoff qualifiers are playing winning hockey. That’s right! The Dallas Stars, at 8-10-3, would be in the opening round of the playoffs. How many Western Conference teams have lost five or fewer games? Just the St. Louis Blues have lost five times (not exactly surprising as the Blues stingy defense has only allowed 37 goals thus far this season). The Canucks are also worthy, having lost just 6 times but having played 23 games already and riding a 6 game winning streak.
At the other end of the spectrum are the lowly Detroit Red Wings and the pathetic Winnipeg Jets. Both teams have managed just three victories.
So as the season enters the second quarter, with each passing day, more and more GMs are asking the unanswered questions, “Where in the world is Sabres GM Kevin hiding? Is the lackluster Sabres performance a by-product of marital distraction or just normal mismanagement?”
Happy Holidays to all!!