NHL! WHO'S IN & WHO'S OUT?
Updated: Dec 23, 2018
PREDICTING THE NHL PLAYOFF TEAMS
Which NHL teams have either dug their own graves or created a path to the playoffs? The Christmas break is a good time to play the game of predictions for which teams will get the chance to compete for the oldest trophy in Pro Sports: the Stanley Cup.
I use two criteria to predict who will make the playoff:
Goal-differential (DIFF) (the difference between goals for and goals against)
Road record (AWAY) of each team in the standings.
Based on my experience, teams making the playoffs have a “plus goal differential” (DIFF) AND a winning record on the road.
The St-Louis blues were an anomaly to this rule last season, as the only team out of the playoffs with a positive in both categories. It happens. They had 94 points which usually gets you in.
So, as of today, (Dec. 22rd) here’s my analysis based on this system:
EAST: Montreal is in the playoffs with a -3 DIFF. Buffalo is in with a +3. The Islanders are out of the playoffs with a +1. All three teams have a winning record on the road.
The last two positions will be decided among Montreal, Buffalo and the Islanders. All things being equal my tie breaker is goals against. It will be a tough race, but Montreal will miss out as they give up more goals than the other two.
Out: NYR, DET, OTT, CAR, PHI, FLA, NJD, MTL
In: WAS, TBY, TOR, PIT, CLB, BOS, BUF, ISL
WEST: My theory is being challenged so far in the West.
Anaheim with a -11 DIFF and Edmonton, a -6 DIFF are in the playoffs, so far. Minnesota is down in the standings with a +5 DIFF but owns a losing road record. Dallas sits with a -2 DIFF and a terrible road record.
The last two playoff positions will be contested by Anaheim, Edmonton, Vancouver, Dallas, and Minnesota. Again, Goals against is my tie breaker. I predict that Minnesota will make it and Anaheim will not, based on the DIFF. The last playoff position is a tough decision between Dallas, Edmonton and Vancouver. For me, it’s a tossup between Dallas and Edmonton. I’ll pick Edmonton because of their better AWAY record.
Out: CHI, STL, ARI, LAK, ANA, DAL, VAN.
In: WIN, NAS, CLG, CO, SJS, LAS, EDM, MIN
I will review my predictions at the 60-game marker. We’ll see if I dug my own grave or built a good prophetic path.
“MAKE THIS DAY THE BEST IT CAN BE!”