Lights. Camera. Action!
Some of the teams in the NHL would have you believe they star of their own summer action adventure flick. In some cases they’ve even been mowing down the opposition with a Rambo like pace. Despite what history says about teams who are in playoff position in December, being in the playoffs in, some teams are going to fall down the ladder, and some will fall out entirely.
Anaheim: They currently sit just five points behind the division leading Dallas Stars. Seventh place in the west isn’t always a bad place to be, right now it shows how much they are over achieving, and how weak the conference is as a whole. The Ducks are 21st in both goals for and goals against, and their penalty kill is a dismal 24th. About the only strength of the team is their ninth ranked power play. With all those weaknesses, its not surprising with the most games played in the NHL, as many as six more than other teams that they currently lead a few other teams.
Montreal: Yes, I am a Bruins fan, yes I think Price is at best the fourth best goalie in the division, but take at look at who they Habs have played and a few other stats, and you will be as unsurprised as I am to see them significantly lower in the standings than they are today when April rolls over the NHL. Almost half of their wins are within their division. A 9-3-0 record in your division doesn’t do bad things for your points total, but when the division only has two teams worth naming this season, it can do bad things for your view of how talented you are. While they are scoring some wins, scoring is hardly their strength. At 18th in the league and seven spots behind the other team worth talking about this year in their division. While Price is playing the best hockey of his career, its doubtful he can keep up quite this good for the 65-75 starts he’s likely to get at the current pace he’s on. His previous high is 52 games.
Tampa Bay: With Stamkos cooling off, and a goaltending tandem that is the worst in the NHL its awe-inspiring to see them in playoff position right now. They are the highest ranked team in the NHL with a negative plus/minus. To put it another way, they are currently tied with the 26th place Edmonton Oilers for most goals allowed. The Boston Bruins currently have the best goals against with 65 goals allowed, Stamkos, St Louis and the rest have allowed 108 goals. They are clearly rebuilding the right way, and the type of offense they have now, will probably be attractive to free agents this summer.