Now that we are past the
incredibly exciting All-Star break the second half of the NHL season makes the playoff picture become more clear. Most teams have played close to 50 games, slightly less than 147 games the Bruins have played, and that is a big enough sample size to have an idea which teams are legit contenders.
After last night’s predictable loss to the Capitals the Bruins have now played a league high 54 games. And we’ve stated before, the games in hand that every other team has on the Bruins, as well as the person doing the actual scheduling, are a huge concern. Currently the Bruins sit in 3rd place in the Atlantic Division and in a playoff spot. But once teams have caught up in the games played column you can expect to see the Bruins leaving the playoff picture like a freshman doing the walk of shame the first weekend at college.
It does not take a hockey genius to determine that the Bruins are in a bad spot. To find out how bad it might actually be I decided to do a little math project. I wanted to find out, based on all Eastern Conference teams current point production, how that would equal out over 82 games.
Even though I can’t recall ever doing any math, ever, when I was in school, the nerd in me divided each teams current point total by the number of games they have played (Bruins: 58 pts / 54 games = 1.07). This gave me the average number of points per game they earn. I then multiplied that number by the 82 games in an NHL season (Bruins: 1.07 x 82 = 88). Those are some pretty incredible math skills if I do say so myself.
Lastly, I put the teams in order to find out what the playoffs would look like if all the Eastern Conference teams continued at their current point-per-game pace the rest of the year.
Here are the results:
- Washington 118 points
- Columbus 117 points
- Pittsburgh 112 points
- Montreal 107 points
- Ottawa 99 points
- Toronto 93 points
- NY Rangers 103 points
- Philadelphia 90 points
Out of the Playoffs
- Boston 88 points*
- NY Islanders 88 points
- Florida 86 points
- Carolina 85 points
- New Jersey 82 points
- Buffalo 82 points
- Tampa Bay 80 points
- Detroit 80 points
Not surprisingly the Bruins do not make the playoffs with 88 points. This year they’d miss by just 2 points instead of their patented one-point collapse.
One thing that surprised me during this project was that 90 points could get a team in the postseason as the last wild card. Last year the Bruins had 93 points and still choked themselves out of a playoff spot.
Since the Atlantic Division is truly so bad the glass half full theory is that it may take 93 points to finish in the top 3 in the division. That’s not huge jump from 90. It’d lead to a much more manageable first round opponent than the last wild card spot, which would likely draw the Washington Capitals.
This point-per-game concept does not take into account that a team could go on a run, or even completely collapse. The Islanders are on a run right now so they’re boosting their number compared to earlier in the season. They could even pass the Bruins and the Flyers for the last wild card spot if they stay hot.
The bottom line is the Bruins are on pace for 88 points. This is absolutely garbage. It’s actually really sad when you consider the accomplished core they have. Personally, I would rather the Bruins completely suck and have a chance at a lottery draft pick than finish where they’re headed.
Bruins fans might want to get the boat ready for an early spring on the water because outside of the NCAA’s Hockey East there is a very good chance there will not be any playoff hockey coming to the TD Garden this year. The math just doesn’t add up. At least in the classes I’ll never remember taking.
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