I have been in favor of eliminating the current NHL point system, as it's gimmicky and rewards mediocrity. The folks over at Slap Shot (The NY Times hockey blog) came up with an interesting idea: they compare the NHL's "deeply flawed guaranteed-point scheme" (N) with the current 3-2-1-0 Euro system (E), and determine where each NHL team would be.
The West is virtually the same (VAN and NSH flip-flop and EDM, who stink in regulation but excel in the shootout, would be rightfully eliminated, shown in italics below). In the East, however, it would be bad news for the Rangers, who are sub-.500 in regulation and would end up down at 8th; the Devils would also drop from 4th to 6th, and be passed by Philthy. What about the Sabres? Still out of it, but alive.
N: Det 111, SJ 106, Min 95, Ana 98, Dal 93, Col 91, Cgy 90, Van 88 /// Nsh 87, Edm 86, Chi 84, Phx 80, Clm 80, StL 74, LA 69.
E: Det 157, SJ 145, Min 129, Ana 132, Dal 128, Cgy 124, Col 123, Nsh 119 /// Van 117, Chi 113, Clm 109, Phx 108, Edm 107, StL 101, LA 93.
N: Pit 99, Mtl 98, Car 90, NJ 93, Ott 92, NYR 91, Phi 91, Bos 91 /// Wsh 88, Bfl 86, Tor 82, Fla 81, NYI 76, Atl 72, TB 71.
E: Pit 137, Mtl 132, Car 125, Ott 128, Phi 125, NJ 124, Bos 122, NYR 120 /// Wsh 117, Bfl 115, Tor 110, Fla 108, TB 101, NYI 98, Atl 89.
In the comments section someone inquires what the standings would look like if they used the old W-L-T format (converting all OT/SO to a point for each team) . . . and in that case the Sabres would be in 8th. Woo hoo! Kris summed up their actual playoff scenario: "Buffalo needs to win out and either Boston or Philly must earn zero points in 3 games, or NYR must earn zero point in four games AND Washington needs to get no more than 2 points over 3 games." Simple! If that happens I will eat my CCM hockey helmet and buy everyone that reads this blog a lavish dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings (drinks not included).
I just heard that NBC's Game of The Week (which I tried to live blog yesterday, but lost interest and watched the entertaining and nicely crafted Assassination Of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford instead) has featured either the Rangers or the Penguins 7 times out of 10. So it's not my imagination, it's been excessive. Next week, they promise Chicago at Detroit, though by that time the Blackhawks might be out of it. Personally, I'm sick of CROSBY-CAM and I think it's time for LUCIC-CAM!
At least I can fall back on VERSUS who always mixes it up and shows different teams. For instance tonight they're showing . . . PENS AT RANGERS? Oh sweet Jebus.
Out West, I am officially afraid of Sharks. I pick them every year to represent the Campbell Conference in the finals, and every year they find some way to blow it. This is the year . . . they do the same thing. My theory is that as late spring temperatures heat up in the Valley, the ice gets slower and bogs down the once high flying team--either that or Nabokov and Marleau actually suck.
He may have reluctantly been forced into captaincy, but Jagr appears to be doing the opposite of what one would expect of a team captain. His reluctantance to participate in the skills competition has been well-publicized, as has his ineffectiveness (0 for 5 this season). However, this week he announced that he's talking about playing in Russia next year, a declaration which is ill-timed at best considering the Rangers are about to begin a playoff campaign. Anyway, I feel for the guy because if you take a shit in this city, everyone in the sports media is up your ass. I think he's the greatest but my dad says he doesn't skate very hard, except during the playoffs.
THE HELL I DON'T!
(I had to post this, because as lesser Zucker movies keep coming out, it makes me love this movie even more.)
My recent postings questioned the definition of a "choke-job". I think it can be defined as winning the President's Cup one year and missing the playoffs the next (which you can't blame on losing 2 free agents and/or injuries), like the 1995-96 Devils did after winning the Cup. Also, leading 3-1 at home going into the 3rd period versus the Sens, when you're 4 points out of a playoff spot . . . if you end up losing 6-3, that's a choke-job.
Michigan, Notre Dame, Boston College, North Dakota.
I don't know about you, but my brackets are toast since (I had UNH and Minny). The NY state teams are gone, and I guess UNH was not as good as I thought they were; they got a #1 seed despite a 3 OT loss in the Hockey East finals to BC, which should have told me something. After my Mass rant I can't really root for BC, who got to the finals thanks to two home games (in Worcester), so I'm just going to root for some good hockey. The semis (Mich/ND 6 PM, BC/UND 9 PM) are Thurs 4/10, and the final is on Sat 4/12 (7 PM).