2023-2024 NHL Season

I will I will

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Articles on the playoff races in both conferences:

Sent from Mail for Windows

Sent from Mail for Windows

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Well, two games tonight and interesting already …

Ottawa up 5-0 after only one period, so if they don’t screw this up, I figure they basically can eliminate any long shot the Sabres would have now.

Lightning 1 Bruins 1 late in the first in Tampa, and well the Lightning better wake up because this looks like the more physical team is likely to win. And just as I type that, Frederic the fight-starting goon from Boston gets his face beaten up bloody.

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In my opinion the Predators are over-achieving right now. After 54 games they were basically a .500 team with a 27-25-2 record.

Now that they’ve ripped off an 18 game unbeaten streak, they are suddenly the best team in the NHL? These various hot and cold streaks happen every year and with virtually every team. It’s all part of the ebbs and flows of a long 82 game season.

In a smart move by GM Barry Trotz, he banned the Pred’s players from attending a U2 concert after a dismal game against Dallas in which the Preds lost 9-2. This hard lesson inevitably lit a fire under their butts and they are now riding that momentum. However, as soon as the Preds lose a couple of games, their balloon will be burst and they will fall back to earth.

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I have said as much, but right now they are the best team in the NHL. That has been my point. I haven’t heard a cogent argument against that. It doesn’t mean they will win the Cup, just that if the playoffs started today they would be the last team I would want to play.

Ah well, with the Golden Knights winning a key and tough game on the road but much to go on the road and to shore up in general, and the Predators struggling earlier in games and really pooping the bed at Arizona last night in an upset and some of the other top teams losing last night, we could quibble endlessly about which teams are on the rise and which are not.

Most of you well know long before I learned that it’s that time of year before the playoffs anyway, and now is the time when teams either show they are on the rise before the very last games, if they are not meaningful, or through the last game of the regular season.

Late in the season after the trade deadline, part of the playoff run beyond winning games or throwing in more backups at times for whatever reasons, is getting the team into playoff form before the playoffs too.

The better-prepared teams in that regard come out firing in that first round, including for upsets that take place.

Right now even of the teams in weakened form of late, like the Florida Panthers, are still perfectly capable of elevating in performance much like last year’s surprise run into the finals.

Eastern Conference Form

In the East, the most suspect team for their form in my opinion are the Flyers, and the Capitals and Red Wings struggling to make a run at them now as could also the Devils tonight with the Sabres in chiefly an angry spoiler role now.

I’m cheering for some Eastern Conference team to oust those damn Flyers simply so I don’t have to hear again from the delusional locals and homers in Philadelphia about that team until October, and they can simply just go chatter on and on about the Sixers and Phillies already for all I don’t care to care, though I don’t mind the Phillies in general and do enjoy going to a game.

Western Conference Form

In the West, all teams in the top 8 now are shaping up into better form, with several top teams last night plus even some winners getting timely wake-up calls before the playoffs on all the more that has to be shored up with enough games left to do so.

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Do not look now, mighty Habs are on a roll …

Nick Suzuki scores 30th goal to lead Montreal Canadiens to win over Philadelphia Flyers | TSN

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Still time for lots to change before the playoffs start…in the East every team down to 11th place still has a hope.
And in the west - unless there is some disaster - the teams could be set but not positions.

And months later, with two game in hand on pretty much the whole league they may have an exciting end to the season…

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hahaha not this time

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NO SOUP, NO POINT FOR YOU!

BWAH HA HA HA YOU WILD BOJACK LOSERS!
:laughing: :smiling_imp: :skull: :skull_and_crossbones: :japanese_ogre: :ghost: :space_invader: :joy_cat:

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I notice this morning he has a stunning 1 point lead on Kucherov, and 2 whole points on McDavid, who needs 4 more assits to join Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, and super Mario in the 100 assists club.

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Not sure if you are being sarcastic or not, but clearly Mackinnon has been the best player in the world this year. Kucherov second. The very talented McDavid will have to settle for 3rd in the Hart voting this year unless bias is shown. Unfortunately Mackinnon fell just a few games short of Gretzky’s home scoring steak.

Mackinnon has had far more critical points scored this year, as has Kucherov. If you check through the games it isn’t very common for their points to be relatively meaningless. Much more common for McDavid to pile on meaningless points, such as the other night I pointed out above when Mackinnon carried the Avs on his back for a comeback OT win while McDavid tallied 3 meaningless points late in a 5-0 game. And unless you think that Rantanen and Point are better than Draisaitl, which I don’t, McDavid also has a better supporting cast at forward and on the power play. That doesn’t even take into account Hyman’s 50 plus goals.

Another very good year for McDavid, but Mackinnon deserves the Hart this year in my opinion.

Sorry for the late reply, but I thought it interesting that the Jets best game during their current losing skid was against your Knights. They outplayed them by a wide margin and outshot them 40-27. The difference, as is usually the case for the Jets, was Hellesuck whiffing on an easy backhand late in the 3rd in a 1-1 game. Thompson was excellent and he probably has to be as it looks like Hill may be in trouble for the playoffs. My previous prediction of Vegas being a playoff force is looking better again. In any event we’ll sort all of this out in the NHL playoff pool and see who turns out to be right.

One thing I was planning on mentioning at some point, and I will do it now, is how often the regular season is a poor predictor of playoff success in the NHL, more than any other league. I don’t know why that is the case, but it is. The President’s trophy winner has only won the Cup 8 out of 36 times, hence the term “President’s Trophy Curse”. It is unlike any other sport and of course the advantage of finishing ahead of your opponent is only one extra home game, relatively minor compared to say the advantage of winning your division in the CFL. Perhaps there should be a bye for the top few teams- there has been in the past and there is in the CFL and NFL. If you lose one of the first two at home in a series your advantage disappears. I am sure that contributes to the relative parity.

I have seen teams on 10 game win streaks instantly disintegrate in the playoffs and teams that haven’t won in 8 games pretty much run the table. There are examples of teams winning or losing unexpectedly pretty well every year. Last year the Bruins, with an all time best regular season, couldn’t even manage a series win. Yet Florida, which barely made the playoffs and given up for dead long ago, almost ran the table. The LA Kings won a Cup after finishing 8th in the Conference and the Anaheim Ducks almost did as well as the aforementioned 8th place Panthers last year.

In the West in particular this year, I said several weeks ago that the 8 playoff teams appear to be set and it is still looking that way. Only seeding is to be determined. I also think there is little difference from 1-8 in the West this year. No pushover team. The Jets recent swoon and the Predators recent torrid pace will both mean nothing when the playoffs start. Better to tank before the playoffs and to get hot in the playoffs than just before the playoffs. I think it will be impossible to predict what happens in the West this year and any of the 8 teams winning the conference won’t be a surprise to me, even though the Central teams are clearly stronger top to bottom on paper. In fact I wouldn’t be displeased if the Jets fall to a wildcard and play say Vancouver instead of any of the Central teams in the first round.

I hope that anyone interested in the NHL joins the two of us in the upcoming playoff pool, where I think the usual unpredictability will wreak havoc for many of us. As always, it will be a real challenge.

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Yes indeed, Nathan Mackinnon takes the Hart Memorial Trophy🏆

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I am for sure looking forward to it. Along with the Masters too. Cheers

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The races are tight enough nobody can afford to slack off or rest a bunch of guys this season. there are a bunch of divisional games coming up that should sort things out but not enough room for any team to sit back and relax at all.

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Agreed and as I said, seeding at least is still an issue, if that matters.

My other point that historically it doesn’t matter stands as well. In the West at least it looks like the top 8 are set although there is still wiggle room should someone get red hot or dive bomb.

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Not as much as we used to think. I saw an article on “home ice advantage” and its not what it used to be.

On paper it looks like the West is going to be more competitive for the first couple rounds for sure. Toronto, with less points than all but one of the top 6 teams in the west can clinch a playoff spot tonight, (with about 6 conditional if’s)

It would be interesting to see the win loss totals for teams in their division and conference, and against the other conference by division. I imagine power rankings take some of that into account. Because taking the weak teams into account would give a better picture of relative strength at this point than points totals.

Yeah - I don’t think they will be on the bottom of the standings next year. Neither will CBJ (who ar up 2-0 on the Av’s right now. The good young player baseis there - now just fill some holes…

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Eastern Conference Picture Early 03 April 2024

Well on cue, the plot thickens already in the East with Florida and Washington losing tonight and Pittsburgh and the Islanders winning.

In the Metropolitan division, I think the Hurricanes at #2 would be very, very happy to face the lagging Flyers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Now it’s up to Washington, Pittsburgh, and the Islanders to take that slot from the Flyers. Note that these teams also have respectively 74, 75, and 75 games played, as compared to the 76 of the Flyers.

These four teams in the Metropolitan division are all also fighting off the Red Wings (also 75 games) for that Eastern WC2 spot.

Pittsburgh owns the RW tiebreaker now too.

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