Every now and then, we’ll take a look at each conference’s standings to see if there are any trends or quirks that explain why some teams are failing and others are overachieving. Obviously, these results will reveal bigger truths once we advance later into this season … but it’s still fun and interesting to take a peek at bigger picture numbers.
Note: All standings stats are based on figures taken BEFORE tonight’s games.
OK, let’s take a look at some of the things that jump out from the Eastern Conference standings.
Most games played: 9 – Pittsburgh and Buffalo (although New Jersey is playing their ninth against the Rangers tonight).
Least games played: 6 – Boston, Florida and NY Rangers (although the Rangers will play their seventh tonight).
So much for road weariness
Usually, when in doubt in any sporting event, you’ll take the home team. That hasn’t really been the case so far, though. Check out some of the best road teams in the East so far.
- Boston: 3-0-0
- Pittsburgh: 3-0-1
- Tampa Bay, Montreal and NY Rangers: 3-1-0
Only three out of the 15 conference teams are below .500 on the road so far: Ottawa (1-3-1), Florida (1-2) and Washington (1-2).
Home is not so sweet
Of course, the equal reaction to that action is that teams’ home records are surprisingly awful so far. Here are some of the teams who can argue that they’re dealing with a home ice disadvantage.
- New Jersey: 0-4-1
- Buffalo: 0-4-1
- Boston, Ottawa and Atlanta: 1-2
Only Washington (4-1), NY Islanders (2-0-1), Tampa Bay (2-0-1), Toronto (2-1-1) and Florida (2-1) are above .500 at home in the East.
The “Southleast” no longer …
Every team in the Southeast Division is at .500 or better, with the Florida Panthers being the worst team at 3-3-0.
Carolina’s schedule really has been odd
Joe Corvo’s griping was indeed justified. The Hurricanes are 3-3 on the road and only played one game at “home” so far … and that was in Helsinki, Finland.
OK, again, these are small samples taken from only six to nine games out of an 82 game season. Still, you have to wonder if rocky home starts will make it difficult for the Devils and Sabres to repeat as division champions. It’ll be interesting to watch.