Monday, January 14, 2008

Where the Leafs sit

The silly chatter about the Leafs still being in the fight for a playoff berth has finally been exploded, although smart hockey people understood that reality two weeks to a month ago.

So we're talking about next season now. Period. No more there's-a-lot-of-hockey-still-to-be-played nonsense, okay?

And therefore we're talking about something being done. This week.
It's true. The eighth-place team in the Eastern Conference last season managed 92 points last season, and for Toronto to now get to that point, they'd need 52 points over the final 37 games.

That's a 26-11-0 record.

Let's say, being generous, that maybe 88 or 90 points gets you in. Even then, Toronto can only lose — at most — 13 more games this season. They've lost 11 in the last four weeks.

The only question is if those in charge see the light.



At 1:40 p.m., January 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking at the remaining record needed to get in is very practical.

A similar analysis of Edmonton is interesting. With the Oilers on a 4-game winning streak, many have commented that they will now be "in the mix" for the last few playoff spots. Well, they would need a 25-11 record in their remaining 36 games to finish with 96 points (the # required last year in the west).

I'm not saying they won't do it, but it sure seems like a hard hill to climb.

At 6:57 p.m., January 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with that way of thinking is that it's likely not going to take 96 points to crack the playoffs. I don't believe, given the amount of parity (or mediocrity) of teams (especially in the East), that 88 points is being "generous".

The 8th place team in the East only has 48 points in 44 games. That's on-pace for 89 points. They make the playoffs with that. In the west, the current 8th seed is on-pace for 93.

At 6:59 p.m., January 14, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

You're presuming the pace won't pick up toward the end of the season, which it always seems to do among the bubble teams.

It doesn't take every team to go on a hot streak down the stretch to turn that 89 into 92 — only the ones that eventually make it in.

Parity was high in 2005-06 and last season, too.

At 9:38 p.m., January 14, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe. I have no doubt the pack will continue to thin as the season goes on. Still, going by memory (so feel free to call me on my wrongness), I don't believe so many teams have still be in the thick of it by the all-star break as there will (or should) be this season.

There are really only two significant favorites in the NHL and only two real write-offs thus far. Things feel a lot more even now then they at any point in my memory.


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