Are you wondering what 50 games might have looked like if that’s when the seasons since the last Lockout ended? What can we expect this season? Assuming all other tie-breakers were in effect, it would look something like this (finalists are in BOLD ITALICS and teams which were not in the playoffs before are BOLD UNDERLINED)…
Eastern Conference – CAR, OTT, PHI, BUF, NYR, NJD, TBL and TOR
Western Conference – DET, DAL, NSH, CGY, VAN, LAK, COL and EDM
Eastern Conference – BUF, NJD, WPG, MTL, OTT, PIT, CAR and NYR (TBL out on tie-breakers)
Western Conference – NSH, SJS, CGY, DET, ANA, DAL, VAN and MIN
Eastern Conference – OTT, MTL, FLA, PIT, NJD, BOS, NYI and NYR (BUF out on tie-breakers)
Western Conference – DET, SJS, MIN, ANA, DAL, CGY, VAN and COL (PHX out on tie breakers)
Eastern Conference – BOS, NJD, WSH, NYR, MTL, PHI, BUF and FLA (PIT would have been the 9th seed)
Western Conference – SJS, DET, CGY, CHI, MIN, DAL, CBJ and ANA (EDM and PHX are out on tie breakers)
Eastern Conference – WSH, NJD, BUF, PIT, PHI, NYR, OTT and BOS
Western Conference – SJS, CHI, COL, VAN, PHX, NSH, LAK, and DET (CGY is out on tie breakers)
Eastern Conference – PHI, WSH, BOS, PIT, TBL, MTL, NYR and CAR
Western Conference – VAN, DET, DAL, NSH, PHX, MIN, SJS and ANA (CHI and COL are out on tie breakers)
Eastern Conference – NYR, BOS, FLA, PHI, PIT, OTT, NJD and WSH
Western Conference – STL, DET, VAN, NSH, CHI, SJS, LAK and MIN
So in the Eastern Conference, it is interesting to note the 2008-09 Stanley Cup winning Pittsburgh Penguins would not have made it into the playoffs at all. The majority of all opening round matchups would have changed in both Conferences, possibly altering several Cup outcomes. And in the East, it looks like the average point spread for playoff teams was between 54 and 72 points; the West required 56 and 72.
What Does This Short Season Look Like?
While on eight different occasions 50 goals have been scored in 50 games or less, 35 goals will be quite an achievement, just like 25 wins by one goalie will be a mark of excellence.
In the Eastern Conference, there looks to be a 4-in-7 chance one team will be out of the Playoffs strictly on a tiebreaker. We also think teams will be a safe bet to make the Playoffs with somewhere in the neighborhood of 31 wins.
And in the Western Conference, there is a 4-in-7 chance of one or two teams will miss the Playoffs on tie breakers. Thirty-one to 32 wins should just about ballpark what is required. But where wins go in both conferences, keep in mind that the season is quite dynamic.