Dynasty Hockey League

Mid-season Report

As we’ve reached the midway point of the season, let’s look at some basic numbers behind each team after their 41st game.

For the Western Conference:

Team Points Goals For Goals Against Differential
St. Louis 56 133 97 36
Colorado 55 135 99 36
Detroit 51 125 103 24
Chicago 50 115 87 28
Nashville 50 103 80 23
Columbus 49 108 84 24
Dallas 47 118 111 7
San Jose 46 118 105 13
Vegas 44 119 108 11
Vancouver 42 114 97 17
Minnesota 41 108 104 4
Los Angeles 30 85 130 -45
Calgary 28 86 149 -63
Edmonton 27 82 111 -29
Anaheim 23 84 133 -49

If the season ended at 41 games, Vegas, Vancouver and Minnesota would be on the outside of the playoffs but with only a 10 point spread from 3rd to 11th in the Conference, things are bound to change over the remaining portion of the schedule. The goal differential for Dallas is less than 3 of the 4 teams behind them leading one to believe they will likely slide unless that improves. Also, given the horrendous start that Minnesota weathered, to be this close to a playoff slot in conjunction with great play recently, it would be tough to count them out. Essentially the final regular season finishing order is going to boil down who wins the trade deadline – perhaps a bubble team looks to recover picks for pending UFAs on expiring contracts – however, a lot of changes could also screw up a team’s chemistry.

At the bottom of the conference, all four of Los Angeles, Calgary, Edmonton and Anaheim appear to have locked up lottery slots. The only note being that Edmonton secured cap by trading for goaltenders that were in decline and were overpriced with respect to salary. Still they are better than what the other re-building teams have and will likely hinder Edmonton’s decent to the bottom.

The Eastern Conference is by no means any less of a dog’s breakfast at season’s mid-point:

Team Points Goals For Goals Against Differential
New Jersey 56 108 84 24
Montreal 55 122 88 34
Pittsburgh 54 121 88 33
Toronto 52 130 103 27
Ottawa 51 96 76 20
Washington 50 146 102 44
Florida 49 123 100 23
Islanders 42 110 103 7
Winnipeg 36 98 112 -14
Buffalo 35 106 128 -22
Boston 33 83 121 -38
Rangers 31 91 116 -25
Philadelphia 28 92 124 -32
Tampa Bay 26 76 130 -54
Carolina 19 81 147 -66

Without going too far out on a limb, I would predict the current top 8 teams should be the playoff participants this season – kudos should be offered to Blake who predicted this in his pre-season review and has also managed to correctly place 8 of 15 teams as of the mid-way spot of the season. New Jersey has been on a tremendous run recently but their goal differential falls behind four other teams that have yet to enjoy streaks of their own but will likely put together some smaller runs.

The playoff jockeying has already started in the Eastern Conference with Ottawa, Florida and Montreal all making moves recently to strengthen their respective teams. Unless Toronto tightens their defensive game it will be hard seeing them repeat this season if defense truly does win championships. Given the strengthen of the field, perhaps it might be in the best interests of the Islanders to move a few bigger names and garner futures but given the fact that their biggest trade chip comes with a $5.8M cap hit, negotiating a trade to maximize the return will be complicated.

Although Winnipeg and Buffalo could threaten for the final playoff position, their time for contending is drawing nearer and, as they both own their picks, perhaps being in the lottery would serve each more beneficially. Boston, NY Rangers, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Carolina seem destined for the lottery as there are too many teams for them to overcome to find playoff success.

Our bold predictions for each Conference are:

Western Conference: Minnesota continues to gain moment and ends up being the 6th seed or higher.

Eastern Conference: Ottawa wins the East due to their defensive play.

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