Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Standings Watch: Three-Quarter Pole

Last night the Sabres, Blues, and Sharks were the last teams to complete their 60th games of the season. Previously I posted the 20-game and 40-game standings; here are the complete standings with each team having played exactly 60 games. Eastern Conference:

And Western Conference:

Notes? On the East side, we see illustrated what we already knew: that the gap for Toronto, Boston, or Atlanta to make up to get into a playoff position is considerable, and will require not only a terrific record over the final 20 (uh, 22), but a major collapse by one of Tampa, New Jersey, or Montreal. Possible for sure, but no mean trick.

Also of note is just how awful the Leafs were in the 3rd quarter. Pittsburgh's 8 points is the worst quarterly performance this season, but the Leafs' 10 is tied with the Jackets 1st quarter as the 2nd worst performance (out of 30x3=90 to choose from -- ouch).

In the West, does anyone like L.A. to hold on to a playoff spot? They've actually won their 1st 3 games of the 4th quarter, but they were all by 1 goal over non-playoff teams (CBJ, MINx2). It's really hard not to pick the Ducks to overtake them; the question may be whether some other team drops below 8th instead (the Canucks and Oilers being the prime candidates, I'd think).

The consistency award goes to Dallas, for identical 27-point performances in all 3 of the quarters to date. For consistent mediocrity, the Islanders and Minnesota are there for you. (Minnesota also wins the Confounding Poisson Award: in all three quarters, they've had a goal differential that puts them IN the Top 8 in the West, and a point total that puts them OUT of the Top 8).

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