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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

The NHL Playoff Picture


By Fred Wallace


Hi this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire " brought to you by your local Auto Logic- the Logical Choice.

I heard a theory last year, first divulged by Owen Sound Attack coach Ryan McGill, that in the NHL, the teams that are in playoff positions by US Thanksgiving Weekend will finish in playoff positions 80 percent of the time or better.

Something like that.

So with this nugget, I monitored last year and the percentage was fairly accurate.

Truthfully, the percentage would have been even higher last year had Anaheim not rallied from a dreadful start and had Carey Price stayed healthy for Montreal.

Regardless, the theory stayed with me for 12 months and going into the 2016 American Holiday weekend we noted the top 8 spots in the East & West.

In the East, the pecking order was Montreal, the Rangers, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay without their star, Washington, COLUMBUS, the Devils and Ottawa.

In the Western Conference, the group of 8 was formed by Chicago, Edmonton, St Louis,San Jose, LA, Minnesota, Anaheim and Nashville.

Of course, Leaf fans quickly noted Toronto is NOT in the theoretical post season at the moment.

But from a Canadian standpoint, there's 3 more teams in place than a year ago, an aspect that might have saved George Stroumboulopoulos' TV bacon.

I'm Fred Wallace

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