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2013 NHL Playoffs: What the Playoff Race Would Look Like Under New Realignment

Adam RickertAnalyst IINovember 10, 2016

2013 NHL Playoffs: What the Playoff Race Would Look Like Under New Realignment

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    With less than two weeks on the schedule, playoff races are heating up in the NHL. Will Detroit miss the playoffs for the first time since 1990? Will the Blue Jackets or Islanders make it? Will the preseason favorites, the New York Rangers, miss out entirely on a chance to compete for a Cup?

    Those questions will be answered in thrilling fashion over the next few weeks, but let's take a look at something different.

    With next year's realignment plan, playoff races will look much different and definitely have the potential to be even more entertaining. Here, we will take a look at what this year's races would look like under next year's plan.

    Obviously, things would have probably worked out differently with Detroit and Columbus having completely different schedules, but it's always entertaining to look into the future and see what could happen.

    Here's a quick review from the NHL's release on the realignment:

    The top three teams in each division will make-up the first 12 teams in the playoffs. The remaining four spots will be filled by the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference, based on regular-season points and regardless of division. It will be possible, then, for one division to send five teams to the postseason while the other sends three.

    The seeding of the wild-card teams within each divisional playoff will be determined on the basis of regular-season points. The division winner with the most points in the conference will be matched against the wild-card team with the lowest number of points; the division winner with the second-most points in the conference will play the wild-card team with the second fewest points.

    The teams finishing second and third in each division will play in the first round of the playoffs. The winners of each series will play for the divisional championship.

    The two divisional champions in each conference will then play in the conference finals to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

     

Division A

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    *1. Anaheim Ducks (59 points, 21 ROW, 6 games remaining)

    *2. Vancouver Canucks (54 points, 20 ROW, 6 games remaining)

    *3. Los Angeles Kings (52 points, 22 ROW, 6 games remaining)

    4. San Jose Sharks (51 points, 15 ROW, 6 games remaining)

    5. Phoenix Coyotes (43 points, 15 ROW, 6 games remaining)

    6. Edmonton Oilers (39 points, 14 ROW, 7 games remaining)

    7. Calgary Flames (36 points, 16 ROW, 6 games remaining)

     

    At this point, it would seem as if Phoenix, Edmonton, and Calgary would all be pretty much out of the race. The Sharks are right behind the Kings and Canucks for one of the top three spots, but could also make the playoffs if they are good enough to earn a Wild Card spot.

    *denotes automatic playoff spot as top three teams automatically make the playoffs

Division B

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    *1. Chicago Blackhawks (70 PTS, 27 ROW, 6 GR)

    *2. Minnesota Wild (49 PTS, 19 ROW, 6 GR)

    *3. St. Louis Blues (48 PTS, 20 ROW, 7 GR)

    4. Dallas Stars (45 PTS, 19 ROW, 6 GR)

    5. Winnipeg Jets (44 PTS, 20 ROW, 6 GR)

    6. Nashville Predators (38 PTS, 13 ROW, 4 GR)

    7. Colorado Avalanche (35 PTS, 13 ROW, 5 GR)

     

    Nashville and Colorado are out of the race, but Dallas and Winnipeg could be battling for the last Wild Card spot. It also seems likely that St. Louis would face Minnesota for the 2 vs 3 matchup, but they would be locked in a fierce battle for home ice.

    *denotes automatic playoff spot as top three teams automatically make the playoffs

Western Conference Wild Card Race

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    1. San Jose Sharks (51 PTS, 15 ROW, 6 GR)

    2. Dallas Stars (45 PTS, 19 ROW, 6 GR)

    3. Winnipeg Jets (44 PTS, 20 ROW, 6 GR)

    4. Phoenix Coyotes (43 PTS, 15 ROW, 6 GR)

    5. Edmonton Oilers (39 PTS, 14 ROW, 7 GR)

     

    San Jose appears to have a spot all but locked up, while Nashville, Calgary and Colorado are out of the race. Edmonton would be a long shot, but Dallas, Winnipeg and Phoenix would be engaged in a tight battle for the last spot.

Division C

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    *1. Montreal Canadiens (57 PTS, 23 ROW, 6 GR)

    *2. Boston Bruins (56 PTS, 22 ROW, 7 GR)

    *3. Toronto Maple Leafs (53 PTS, 24 ROW, 6 GR)

    4. Ottawa Senators (48 PTS, 17 ROW, 7 GR)

    5. Detroit Red Wings (47 PTS, 18 ROW, 6 GR)

    6. Buffalo Sabres (42 PTS, 13 ROW, 5 GR)

    7. Tampa Bay Lightning (37 PTS, 16 ROW, 6 GR)

    8. Florida Panthers (32 PTS, 10 ROW, 7 GR)


    The top three teams are pretty much set with Montreal, Boston and Toronto. Boston and Montreal, however, would be in a tight race for the top seed (as they are right now in real life). Buffalo, Tampa Bay and Florida appear to be out of the playoff picture.

    *denotes automatic playoff spot as top three teams automatically make the playoffs

Division D

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    *1. Pittsburgh Penguins (64 PTS, 29 ROW, 6 GR)

    *2. Washington Capitals (48 PTS, 20 ROW, 6 GR)

    *3. New York Islanders (47 PTS, 18 ROW, 6 GR)

    4. Columbus Blue Jackets (47 PTS, 15 ROW, 5 GR)

    5. New York Rangers (46 PTS, 17 ROW, 7 GR)

    6. New Jersey Devils (43 PTS, 14 ROW, 6 GR)

    7. Philadelphia Flyers (39 PTS, 17 ROW, 6 GR)

    8. Carolina Hurricanes (36 PTS, 17 ROW, 7 GR)

     

    Pittsburgh has the top spot locked up, but Washington, Columbus and both New York teams would be in an extremely tight battle for the second and third playoff spots. New Jersey is a long shot and Philadelphia and Carolina are just about out of it.

    *denotes automatic playoff spot as top three teams automatically make the playoffs

Eastern Conference Wild Card Race

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    1. Ottawa Senators (48 PTS, 17 ROW, 7 GR)

    2. Detroit Red Wings (47 PTS, 18 ROW, 6 GR)

    3. Columbus Blue Jackets (47 PTS, 15 ROW, 5 GR)

    4. New York Rangers (46 PTS, 17 ROW, 7 GR)

    5. New Jersey Devils (43 PTS, 14 ROW, 6 GR)

    6. Buffalo Sabres (42 PTS, 13 ROW, 5 GR)

     

    Whoever finishes first would play Pittsburgh, and whoever finishes second would play Montreal. The race is extremely tight between Ottawa, Detroit, Columbus and the Rangers, but the Devils and Sabres still have a shot.

The Playoff Picture

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    Western Conference

    Bracket A

    1. Anaheim Ducks vs. WC1. San Jose Sharks

    2. Vancouver Canucks vs. 3. Los Angeles Kings

    Bracket B

    1. Chicago Blackhawks vs. WC2. Dallas Stars

    2. St. Louis Blues vs. 3. Minnesota Wild

     

    Eastern Conference

    Bracket C

    1. Montreal Canadiens vs. WC1. Ottawa Senators

    2. Boston Bruins vs. 3. Toronto Maple Leafs

    Bracket D

    1. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. WC2. Detroit Red Wings

    2. Washington Capitals vs. 3. New York Islanders

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