Wild at the All-Star Break

Add one more thing to the list of things that mildly irritate me. Namely, when people compare the records of two teams that have played a different number of games. For most of the year the Wild have played about 2 or 3 games less than the Canucks, but everyone consistently places the Wild on the brink of the all important eighth position in the conference, well behind Vancouver, regardless of the fact that Minnesota has lost less games. So I generally keep track of losses (i.e. – missed points). That way if a team that is ahead in this regard wins the rest of their games, they finish ahead.

Right now the Northwest Division looks like this:

Calgary   = -32 pts (14 losses, 4 OT/SO losses)
Edmonton  = -41 pts (19 losses, 3 OT/SO losses)
Minnesota = -43 pts (20 losses, 3 OT/SO losses)
Vancouver = -45 pts (19 losses, 7 OT/SO losses)
Colorado  = -47 pts (23 losses, 1 OT/SO loss)

And the Western Conference like this:

San Jose    = -17 pts
Detroit     = -24 pts
Calgary     = -32 pts
Chicago     = -32 pts
Edmonton    = -41 pts
Minnesota   = -43 pts
Phoenix     = -43 pts
Dallas      = -43 pts
---------------------
Vancouver   = -45 pts
Columbus    = -45 pts
Anaheim     = -47 pts
Colorado    = -47 pts
Los Angeles = -47 pts
Nashville   = -49 pts
St. Louis   = -50 pts

That’s not a lot of space between 5th and last in the conference.

Looking back at the post-lockout standings at the midseason break, we get the following data.

2007-2008

(playoff teams in bold)


Detroit     = -24
San Jose    = -37
Minnesota   = -41
Calgary     = -42
Vancouver   = -43
Phoenix     = -44
Colorado    = -44
Dallas      = -45
-----------------
Nashville   = -45
St. Louis   = -45
Anaheim     = -46
Columbus    = -46
Chicago     = -50
Edmonton    = -53
Los Angeles = -60

2006-2007

(playoff teams in bold)

Nashville   = -27
San Jose    = -32
Anaheim     = -32
Detroit     = -33
Dallas      = -37
Calgary     = -38
Vancouver   = -40
Colorado    = -43
-----------------
Minnesota   = -44
Edmonton    = -46
Phoenix     = -50
St. Louis   = -50
Columbus    = -55
Chicago     = -55
Los Angeles = -62

2005-2006

(playoff teams in bold) – an Olympic year, so the break was later allowing for less shifting in the standings.

Detroit     = -31
Dallas      = -37
Calgary     = -41
Nashville   = -42
Vancouver   = -47
Colorado    = -48
Edmonton    = -48
Anaheim     = -49
-----------------
San Jose    = -50
Los Angeles = -51
Minnesota   = -55
Phoenix     = -60
Columbus    = -68
Chicago     = -70
St. Louis   = -71

Wow, 21 of 24 playoff teams in the last three years were at least tied for the eigth spot in the conference at the break.  The other 3 teams were a combined 3 points out of that 8 spot.  So it would seem to indicate that you had better have it figured out by the break, because we haven’t seen any team pour it on after to get in to the playoffs.

However, as tempting as it is to read too much into that and declare this year’s playoff teams set (after all, nobody is within one point of the eight seed, making those insurmountable leads, right?), I’m going to hold off on that for now.

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