Hawks and Panthers Get Early Start on Trade Deadline

We don’t know what else the NHL trade deadline will hold for us, but this much we do know.

  • The Blackhawks clearly see a shot at winning the Stanley Cup and are going to do what they can to get there. They’ve already made moves to bolster their forwards, grabbing Andrew Ladd, Thomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise.
  • The Panthers, likewise, seem to be ready to make some noise, adding Jiri Hudler, Jakub Kindl and Teddy Purcell.
  • The Penguins are taking the Justin Schultz gamble, which for a single draft pick might be worthwhile, but he could also be a defensive disaster for a team that doesn’t need one of those too.

What else will we see?

I think the Rangers will make a move. Eric Staal is the obvious choice, but the Rangers will not sit this one out, they need another piece if they are going to make a Cup run.

The same could be said for Tampa, Boston, Detroit, and the Islanders, but whether they make a significant move or not is yet to be determined.

In the West, Nashville needs another piece up front, the Stars need some help on defense, and any of the Kings, Ducks, Sharks, etc. will be looking to shore up their lineups.

The bigger question is will there be anyone available that will actually make these teams better? Oh moves will be made, it’s just not clear that any of them will really push these teams over the top, without being a blockbuster type move for a star player, involving current roster players. I feel like there may be one or two of those in the pipeline, but could also see a trade deadline where nothing like that happens.

In the mean time, there are plenty of rumors. Most of which, are complete crap. The joys of trade deadline day!

 

Link – Predators trade D Seth Jones to Blue Jackets for C Ryan Johansen 

Obviously, not a huge surprise, but given how much the Jackets talked down about Johansen all season, this is better than I thought they would do as far as a return. On the other hand, having spent so many years bemoaning the lack of a top line center in Columbus, I can’t help but wonder how long it’ll be before they have one again.

Predators trade D Seth Jones to Blue Jackets for C Ryan Johansen | FOX Sports

Annual Look at the Playoff Race Without the Loser Point

nhl shootout photo

Photo by slidingsideways

Every year, as the NHL winds down the regular season and the races for playoff seeding come to a close, I like to take a look at how much the “loser point” reeks havoc with the standings. Usually I do it before the final week of the season, but traveling out of the country for work has left me without access to games, or decent wifi, so this is it.

To keep it simple, I take a look at what OT and the shootout have done to the standings, comparing it to what it would look like if the NHL magically went back to ties after regulation and OT.

In the East the current standings look like this:

Atlantic Division

Montreal             48-22-10 (42 ROW)

Tampa Bay          48-24-8 (46 ROW)

Boston                  41-25-13 (37 ROW)

Detroit                  41-25-13 (37 ROW)

Ottawa                  40-26-13 (34 ROW)

Florida                 36-29-15 (28 ROW)

Metropolitan Division

NY Rangers        50-21-7 (46 ROW)

Washington        44-25-11 (39 ROW)

NY Islanders       46-27-6 (39 ROW)

Pittsburgh           42-26-11 (38 ROW)

Columbus            39-35-4 (31 ROW)

Actually, adjusted for counting OTL and shootout wins as ties, the playoff spots wouldn’t change much. The big change would be Tampa being clearly ahead of Montreal, Florida and Columbus would have been out of the playoff picture much earlier, and Ottawa would not be still be alive. So you could make the argument that the loser point is creating a playoff race that wouldn’t be there in the East. You could also argue that the extra points are artificially inflating the point totals of teams that don’t deserve to make the playoffs too.

In the West, however, where there is truly a race ridiculous race for playoff spots, the shootout rules are clearly having an impact.

Central Division

St. Louis            49-23-7 (40 ROW)

Nashville           47-22-10 (41 ROW)

Chicago              48-25-6 (39 ROW)

Minnesota        44-26-8 (40 ROW)

Winnipeg         40-26-12 (33 ROW)

Dallas                38-31-10 (34 ROW)

Colorado          36-31-12 (27 ROW)

Pacific Division

Anaheim         50-23-7 (42 ROW)

Vancouver      45-29-5 (40 ROW)

Calgary            43-29-7 (39 ROW)

Los Angeles    39-25-14 (37 ROW)

San Jose          39-31-9 (35 ROW)

The Central is being decided by shootout wins. Nashville has the most ROW, but find themselves second to St. Louis, and with Chicago right on their heels mostly due to those teams having 9 SO wins. At the edge of the playoffs, Winnipeg is clearly benefiting from both their 7 SO wins, and their 12 SO/OT losses. Their 33 ROW should have them out of the running (in fact, it’s one less than Dallas has and two less than San Jose, yet Dallas sits 6 points behind the Jets and the Sharks are 5.), but those extra points have them right there. Ironically, they are battling Los Angeles for the final wildcard spot, a team who’s real record is exactly .500. They’ve won 39 games and lost 39. But, they managed to get 14 of those losses to OT, so they sit with 92 points. Colorado is the team that should have been out of the playoff picture much earlier.

Oddly enough though, as of right now, the shootout rules appear to be a non-factor. The top 8 teams in ROW in each conference are, in fact, in the top 8 positions. The exact positioning is being altered slightly, but no one is missing the playoffs, as of right now. However, Ottawa and Winnipeg are still alive, so that could very well change.