How tight is the Eastern Conference?
Hi James,After a quick look, it was easy enough to see that 10 points was the narrowest margin at least since we've had a 30-team league, but to be sure, I asked the NHL's statistician, Benny Ercolani.
Hope things are good. Just a quick thought and maybe the type of thing you might know, or at least dig around on — what is the smallest points difference between a first and eighth placed side at the final standings?
I'm thinking the 10 points in the East this year must be up there?
"The 10-point difference separating the Canadiens (104) and Bruins (94) is the smallest for any 1-8 matchup since the current conference-based playoff was introduced for the 1993-94 season."
I haven't checked for earlier years, but that's pretty impressive. Shootout and overtime points are to blame to a certain extent, but it also speaks to just how close all of the eight playoff teams in the East are this season.