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The most important stat ever

 Here is a quick, generalizing analysis of some NHL numbers: Today, we look at the standings.

Specifically, whether being in the top eight in the Eastern Conference on Nov. 1 means anything.

I've collected the standings from Nov. 1 for the past three seasons, and here they are, alongside the final standings from the Eastern Conference for each year:

Nov. 1, 2009                                Final standings, 2009-10

 

1. Penguins -- 22 pts            1. Caps -- 121

2. Caps -- 19                 2. Devils -- 103

3. Sabres -- 17         3. Sabres -- 100

4. Rangers 17                    4. Penguins -- 101

5. Devils -- 16         5. Senators -- 94

6. Senators -- 14         6. Bruins -- 91

7. Canadiens -- 14        7. Flyers -- 88

8. Flyers -- 13         8. Canadiens -- 88

 

------        -------

9. Bruins -- 13                 9. Rangers -- 87

10. Islanders -- 13 10. Thrashers -- 83

 

Last season, with a more condensed schedule due to the Olympics, only one team moved up after the first month, with the Bruins displacing the Rangers.

 

Nov. 1, 2008                                 Final standings, 2008-09

 

1. Rangers -- 21 pts         1. Bruins -- 116

2. Canadiens -- 15 2. Caps -- 108

3. Hurricanes -- 12         3. Devils -- 106

4. Sabres -- 14         4. Penguins -- 99

5. Bruins -- 13                 5. Flyers -- 99

6. Devils -- 12 6. Hurricanes -- 97

7. Penguins -- 12         7. Rangers -- 95

8. Caps -- 11         8. Canadiens -- 93

-------         --------

9. Flyers -- 11                 9. Panthers -- 93

10. Leafs -- 11                 10. Sabres -- 91

 

A more normal season with fewer games over the first month. But, again, only one team moved up into the top eight after Nov. 1 -- the Flyers replaced the Sabres.


Nov. 1, 2007                                   Final standings, 2007-08
 

1. Senators -- 18 pts                1. Canadiens -- 104

2. Hurricanes -- 17        2. Penguins -- 102

3. Flyers -- 14        3. Caps -- 94

4. Canadiens -- 15        4. Devils -- 99

5. Penguins -- 13        5. Rangers -- 97

6. Leafs -- 13        6.  Flyers -- 95

7. Bruins -- 12        7. Senators -- 94

8. Lightning -- 11        8. Bruins -- 94

------        -------

9. Islanders -- 10        9. Hurricanes -- 92

Sabres -- 10        10. Sabres -- 90

Caps -- 10

Panthers -- 10


Three seasons ago, there were three teams that moved up, the Caps, Devils and Rangers, with the latter two at nine points on Nov. 1. The Hurricanes, Leafs and Lightning dropped out.

 

Still, that is a surprising lack of change after barely one-seventh of the season.

 

And here are the standings today:

 

1. Lightning -- 15 pts

2. Canadiens -- 15

3. Flyers -- 13

4. Caps -- 14

5. Penguins -- 13

6. Bruins -- 12

7. Thrashers -- 12

8. Rangers -- 11

------

9. Leafs -- 11

10. Hurricanes -- 10

Islanders -- 10

 

What does it all mean? No clue. Just something to think about. Especially if you're a Devils fan.

 

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