Playoff field separated by lowest numbers of points in 50 years

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Interesting tidbit from the NHL’s daily PR email:

Just 16 points separated the 16 teams that qualified for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. That’s the narrowest gap in the 16-team postseason era. The last time there was a smaller gap (in any playoff format) was in 1964-65, when just four teams qualified for the postseason.

Points Separating Entire Playoff Field, Since 1994-95
2014-15: 16
2013-14: 26
2012-13: 22
2011-12: 19
2010-11: 24
2009-10: 33
2008-09: 26
2007-08: 24
2006-07: 21
2005-06: 32
2003-04: 18
2002-03: 30
2001-02: 29
2000-01: 30
1999-00: 29
1998-99: 36
1997-98: 31
1996-97: 30
1995-96: 53
1994-95: 28

The 16-point gap this season was between the Presidents’ Trophy-winning New York Rangers (113) and the Calgary Flames (97).

Oh, and that huge 53-point gap in 95-96 was the season the Red Wings finished atop the league with 131 points (62-13-7) and the Winnipeg Jets, right before moving to Arizona, got in with 78 points (36-40-6). But it was the Colorado Avalanche, not the Wings, who would go on to win the Stanley Cup, sweeping the Florida Panthers and their rats in the final.

Related: There’s ‘no first-round upset’ anymore (so don’t be mean when our predictions are completely wrong)