The end of '.500'?
Saying a team is 'at .500' is still common phraseology in NHL commentary these days, but given how drastically things have changed in the standings the past few years, what does it really mean?
It's a decent question to ask, especially given that, heading into tonight's games, 13 of the 15 Eastern Conference teams had at least as many wins as losses (thereby earning the designation of being 'at .500' or better.) The thing is, however, if everyone can hit that mark, it's certainly not as valuable as it used to be back when .500 teams were those bound for the playoffs.
Perhaps it's time to retire the phrase altogether? (More at Globe on Hockey, including a look at the standings minus all the bonus points that have been added in recent years.)