Odds of Making Playoffs? Real Fricken Good!
Teams that are in a playoff position by December 25th almost always make the playoffs.
The reason I chose to bore myself with this blog was to find out when the last time a 3rd place team pulled the dreaded el-foldo. The Kings are currently in 3rd place in the conference. So, when was the last time a 3rd place team didn’t make the playoffs?
The only team that choked liked Michael Hutchence was Toronto which held a 3 point lead over the 8th place team. Washington was out at the time and wound up in the playoffs.
Phoenix was 1 point OUT of a playoff spot on Christmas day and wound up winning the division. Minnesota was winning their division on St Nick’s day and wound up missing the playoff by 14 points!!!
Atlanta had a 3 point lead before Santa landed on their roof – they missed the playoffs by 13 points and Buffalo, who was 8 points out wound up 7th.
Colorado was in 5th place by the break and was so horrible afterwards, they wound up with the 2nd worst record in the NHL, and grabbed Gabriel Landeskog.
Once again, Atlanta was in and the Rangers were on the outside looking in. “The Quitter” couldn’t help his club.
Calgary and Dallas were 7th and 8th but you didn’t think that was going to stand in the way of the Sisters or Detroit, did you?
No changes in the east
Phoenix and Minnesota were 7th and 8th on this date and believe it or not, the Blues were DEAD LAST with a 13-18-3 record. They went on a pretty amazing 28-13-7 run and wound up 6th. Columbus was 15th at the break but also had a decent run and finished 7th, where they were promptly destroyed by Detroit.
Ottawa certainly tried folding like a cheap pup tent. They were in 1st by a wide margin with a 24-8-4 record but finished the season 19-23-4 and damn near missed the playoffs. Carolina was leading their division and wound up missing the playoffs by 2 points. Buffalo also lost their playoff spot to the Rangers.
Nashville was dead last with a 16-16-2 record and wound up in the 8th spot taking the spot Vancouver gave away.
The Montreal Canadiens were in 3rd place NINE POINTS ahead of the 8th place team with a 21-9-5 record. They not only didn’t finish 9th, they finished TENTH thanks to a dismal 21-25-1 record following the break.
So basically, I answered my own question.
Is it possible?
Of course. Injuries always play an important role on how a team does. Tampa Bay was 12-5 when Stamkos went down. They’ve gone 11-6-3 without him. Pittsburgh has lost a bunch of starters yet they still keep winning. Detroit is also dealing with many injuries yet they’re still in the playoff hunt.
The Kings have been without their #1 goaltender but the coaching and defense have been outstanding.
9th place is only 9 points behind the Kings.
FYI, Erik Ersberg is 2-10 this season with a 3.64 gaa and a .885 save percentage for the Iserlohn Roosters. Who is his defender? You guessed it… Colten Teubert!