While looking for the reasons why the Minnesota Wild are out of the playoffs, aside from the team’s lack of success on the ice, the Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo did some digging into why it’s harder for teams to make the playoffs out of the Western Conference rather than the Eastern Conference and came up with some pretty staggering figures.
West is 155-85-28 vs East. This means the West has taken 338 points in
meetings between East and West, the East just 263. So, the West
essentially ‘took’ 75 points (338-263) in those common games out of the
East standings and put them into the West standings.
I know you’re probably asking, “Does this guy think we’re that dumb” right now, but actually seeing what the points disparity is is rather alarming. Russo also points out the effect the overtime “charity point” has on the proceedings as well.
If you add up all points gained West teams the total is 1332. If you add up all point totals for East teams the number is 1266. Difference is 66 more points in the West.
Yes, there’s a two point difference but would you really expect everything to go over smoothly when dealing with all the free points that get handed out? For what it’s worth, Minnesota has 80 points this year which would put them in the thick of the fight for the playoffs in the East but is only good for 13th and out of the playoffs in the West.
Everything was going great for the Avs in their season-opener against Minnesota on Thursday night.
Great until the third period, anyway.
In a stunning and dramatic comeback, the Wild erased a 4-1 deficit in just over five minutes — 5:07 to be exact — scoring four times to steal a 5-4 win at the Pepsi Center.
The comeback started early in the final frame, when Wild captain Zach Parise scored his second of the night at the 5:07 mark. Just over two minutes later, Nino Niederreiter snapped one past Semyon Varlamov to make it 4-3 and then, two minutes after that, Thomas Vanek scored to make it 4-4.
But the Wild weren’t done there.
Parise completed his hat-trick — the third of his career — with a power play marker at the 10:14 mark, an unassisted tally. When the dust finally settled on the 5:07 flurry, the Wild had combined to rack up nine points from eight different skaters.
Prior to the comeback, Colorado dominated proceedings with a goalscoring flurry of its own.
The Avs scored three times in the final seven minutes of the first period — including a pair of power play goals from Jarome Iginla and Erik Johnson — to race out to a (seemingly) commanding 3-0 lead.
Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.
Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.
And what a look it was.
In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.
It was, in a word, fun.
Lots of fun.
A quick sampling of reviews:
Of course, not everybody was a fan:
Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.
But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.