You’ve heard of this phrase: “If the playoffs ended today…..” It’s annoying for a lot of people throughout the season when this begins. Another phrase the people don’t like is: “The numbers don’t lie….” I’m about to make it worse. I started this last year for fun and it’s why I’m doing it again, but for some teams after the 10 game mark, the playoffs have already ended. Over the past four years, teams that have scored 8 points or less in their first 10 games have missed the playoffs. Last year the Arizona Coyotes, New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens fell victim to the dreaded slow start and numbers game. The Islanders did it in the 2016-2017 season when they racked up 8 points through the first 10, made a final dash for a wild card spot, and missed the playoffs by one point. Will history repeat itself this year? Let’s find out how each team has fared through the first 10 games.
Tampa 15 points
Toronto, Boston, Montreal all with 14
Buffalo, Columbus, and Washington with 12
Philly with 8
Rangers and Panthers (only 9 games as of this writing) with 7
Red Wings with 4
Pittsburgh, New Jersey have not played their 10th games yet, but they’re over 8.
If you had Montreal with 14 points in the first 10, you’re just lying to everyone. Even Vegas didn’t have odds for that because they thought it wasn’t possible. We knew the Red Wings and Rangers were not really going to contend much, but no one saw 4 from the Wings and 7 from the Rangers this early in the season. Keep in mind that this is the second year in a row that the Rangers have been “eliminated” this early in the season. Philadelphia has the ability to go winless in 10 games and then win the next 10 in a row so I shouldn’t count them out, but I am after the absolute no-show against the Islanders that we all saw. There’s more drama going on and their 8 points is evidence of that. My biggest head scratcher are the Florida Panthers. I had this team pegged for the first wild card spot and they could get out with a win, but they have the Winnipeg Jets for the next two games. The way Buffalo and Montreal are playing, Florida can ill afford to lose both games and must get a split against the Jets.
What does this mean for Islanders fans? It means that two wild card spots we thought would be taken are now up for grabs from here on out. The Flyers and (for now) Panthers have opened the door for other teams and have invited them to the big dance in April. The Isles just need to take care of their own business now and improve as the season progresses, which is easier said than done, but that’s for another blog. Also there’s this little gem:
Last year: 5-4-1 to start the season.
This year: 5-4-1#Isles will be just fine in the long run.
— Paul Kreischer (@P_Kreischer) October 29, 2018
As for the West:
Avs, Hawks, Wild all have 14
Jets and Oilers with 13
Flames, Vancouver, Arizona and Dallas with 10
Vegas and St. Louis with 9
and the Kings with 5…….Yikes
Now some are saying the Kings can come back because of the weak division that is the Pacific. Ok, it’s possible. Not likely, nor probable. So having fun, I’ll say that the Kings are also missing the playoffs this year.
Now this is not to say these are lottery teams. They can get out of their respective cellar dweller status and still make a season out of it, but actually making the playoffs seems like a no-shot. So if the playoffs were to start today: The Red Wings, Kings, Rangers, Flyers are out. If the Panthers lose to the Jets, they too are out. Let’s see of the numbers lie to us this year.