In a one-year span, the Anaheim Ducks improved their final winning percentage by a full .200 (.488 to .688) and jumped 11 seeds to from 13th to second in the Western Conference. Out east, the Montreal Canadiens likewise finished second after finishing dead last in the conference in 2011-12 while improving from a .476 to a .656 win percentage.
Joining those teams in the top three in terms of elevated stature in the standings were the Toronto Maple Leafs, who went from No. 13 to No. 5 in the Eastern Conference. On the entire 30-team leaderboard, the Leafs jumped 15 seeds, the Ducks 23 and the Habs a whopping 24.
In terms of point-getting rate, the juggernaut Chicago Blackhawks went from .612 to .802, enough for a solid five-seed improvement in the Western Conference playoff bracket. In other words, they went from lacking home-ice advantage in the first round to having it for the balance of the tournament.
Which team will have its turn improving or enhancing its fortunes the most in 2013-14? Whether it shows in the form of winning percentage or final seeding, the four prime candidates are as follows.