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LAWings

Conference standings are now irrelevant

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A lot of folks are still using conference standings as a way to gauge performance, unfortunately with the redesign of the divisions and playoff wild card criteria conference standings are now completely meaningless. Remember it is first 3 teams per division that make it plus 2 wild cards.

Although the Wings are 5th in the conference, we are actually in 7th place because of the wild card. The Rangers are 5 points behind us with a game in hand... The only website that is doing a real good job of showing the wild card standings is NHL.com, : http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?season=20132014&type=WC

Just wanted to bring this to everyones attention if you were not already aware of this.

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I wouldn't call it irrelevant at all, considering it's still basically the top 8 in each conference making the playoffs anyway with a different layout. The only exception is if the 3rd place division playoff seed has less points than the top 6 in their opposing division which likely won't ever happen. If it does, that 6th team that has more points than the 3rd in the opposite division will miss the playoffs. It likely won't ever happen that way. Otherwise it's still the top 8 representing so conference standings still have relevancy.

This is just a rough example.

Atlantic

Boston - 52

Tampa Bay - 49

Montreal - 47

Metropolitan

Pittsburgh - 55

Washington - 52

Philadelphia - 38

Wildcard

Detroit - 43

Toronto - 41

Non-Playoff Teams

Ottawa - 40

New York - 38

New Jersey - 37

In this instance Philadelphia still makes the playoffs even though Ottawa has more points because of the top 3 divisional seeds getting a slot. Again, for this to pan out at the end of the season like this would be very rare but this is the only exception to the new layout.

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So, in the example you just laid out, the top 8 do NOT make the playoffs. So conference standings ARE irrelevant. Seeds are based on divisional standings and #1/#2 wildcards.

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Pretty much.

Invariably, there will be one division (this year or some other time) where the 6th or 7th place team is better than the 3rd place team in the other division.

In the above example, Philly doesn't belong in the playoffs, but would get in.

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We've seen similar issues in the old setup, where the top teams from each division get a playoff spot, and the remaining five spots go to the top teams in the conference. A 3 seed didn't technically have to be in the top 8 in points to make the playoffs, so long as they were better than anyone else in their division.

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We've seen similar issues in the old setup, where the top teams from each division get a playoff spot, and the remaining five spots go to the top teams in the conference. A 3 seed didn't technically have to be in the top 8 in points to make the playoffs, so long as they were better than anyone else in their division.

But how many times did the 3 seed have a worse record than the 9 seed?

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