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Theory Conclusion


By Fred Wallace

Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".


Every year when the National Hockey League concludes the regular season, we go back to US Thanksgiving Weekend to test a theory.

The theory suggests that 80 % of the NHL teams in a playoff position on Thanksgiving Weekend in the US will remain in a playoff spot by the end of the year.

Let's assume the National Hockey League regular season has concluded, albeit on the understanding that the full possible results were impacted by the coronavirus.

And let's assume that the marker for this experiment is the end of US Thanksgiving Weekend; Sunday November 28th in the case of 2019.

In the Eastern Conference, 6 of the 8 teams in a playoff position in November remained there; Washington, Pittsburgh, Boston, the Leafs, Carolina and Philadelphia.

The Islanders and Florida have fallen of out of a playoff position, but remained close in the Wild Card chase.

Replacing the Islanders and Florida were Tampa Bay who got red hot after late November and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Meanwhile in the Western Conference, 7 of the 8 teams that had playoff spots at US Thanksgiving were either in or tied when play was halted last month.

St Louis, Dallas, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Colorado and Vegas maintained their spots while Vancouver who were in back in November were tied with Nashville when the regular season was interrupted

The dropout in the West was Arizona, replaced by the Calgary Flames.

So assuming Vancouver did not qualify as a playoff team for our purposes, that means 12 of the 16 teams in a playoff position on November 28th stayed in a playoff position for a total of 75 %.

But with 3 of the 4 teams that got replaced very much in contention when the season was halted March 12th, maybe the percentage would have been higher.


I'm Fred Wallace

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