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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

Who Will Play, Who Will Stay


By Fred Wallace

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

This has evolved into a regular yearly segment for this feature.

It started a few years ago in Erie, Pennsylvania when then-Attack coach Ryan McGill related there was a statistic that revealed that 80-85 % of NHL teams in a playoff position on the Monday after U.S. Thanksgiving made the playoffs.

Intrigued, we've always made a point at this time of the year to do a double check.

In 2017-18, the percentages were lower than projected.

Six of 8, or 75 %, of the Eastern Conference teams in a playoff position at US Thanksgiving in 2017, made the 2018 NHL Playoffs.

Boston & Philadelphia fought their way in. The New York teams; the Rangers and Islanders played their way out.

In the Western Conference, there was more fluctuation; 5 of 8, or 68 %, remained in a playoff position from US Thanksgiving on, while 3 teams- Anaheim, Minnesota & Colorado- arrived for the post season, and 3 others- St Louis, Chicago & Calgary- tumbled out of contention.

So based on the numbers from last year, who do you project will stay or go in the East ?

Right now from a divisional standpoint, Tampa Bay, Buffalo & the Leafs are in for the Atlantic Division, while Washington, Columbus & the Islanders represent the Metropolitan Division. Boston & Montreal have Wild Card positions.

And in the West, from the Central Division Nashville, Minnesota & Colorado are in while Calgary, San Jose & Vegas have spots in the Pacific Division.

The Western Wild cards are Winnipeg & Dallas.

We'll do an update on the Monday following the regular season, Monday April 8th, to see who played and who stayed.

I'm Fred Wallace

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