At long last, it is back…the ELIMINATOR. We take a look at how many points should be the projection to make the playoffs in each conference. Then, we adjust accordingly as the second season draws closer. This is quite simple. It is not just for hockey fans but the sports bettors too. This is because those futures from the beginning of the season may come down to the final few weeks. Expect the Western Conference Eliminator to start next Monday. There is a lot of clutter with that one and congestion.
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Anyway, the first edition is always a cursory exploration. More details come with subsequent editions. It is the feeling that 97 points should be enough to make the playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The teams we list as safe are the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning. Both have over 90 points at this juncture and no one sees them missing. Some will argue that Washington and Philadelphia are safe and the answer is very likely yes. They are only listed in a token manner and maybe put on the safe list in short order.
The EASTERN CONFERENCE ELIMINATOR (97 Points)
- Washington — 89 points — 3-9-2
- Philadelphia — 89 points — 3-9-2
- Pittsburgh — 84 points — 6-7-1
- Toronto — 79 points — 8-3-2
- Carolina — 79 points — 8-5-2
- New York Islanders — 79 points — 8-5-2
- Columbus — 81 points — 7-3-2
- New York Rangers — 76 points — 10-3-1
- Florida Panthers — 76 points — 10-3-1
After that every other team in the East is eliminated.
So, what the heck do the colors mean? That is inevitably the first question asked. Again, we illustrate this for simplicity. First, Washington and Philadelphia are the next safest teams then Pittsburgh gets a slightly darker shade to indicate they are a little safer than the others. Then navy blue represents the bubble teams that would be in based on points percentage. After that, there are the teams which are the most concerning.
Finally, what Columbus has done is amazing. They have one of the toughest schedules in the league over their final 12 contests. Can they hold off several teams with games in hand? Most of those teams will catch up this week and next. There are a total of 15 teams that play four times this week alone. With this more balanced schedule, expect some changes here next week.