January 8, 2009
Whats this...the leader of the Atlantic Division has less points than a team they are seeded higher than in the conference? Let me clarify this for those of you who don't follow hockey like I do.
The NHL is broken down into 2 Conferences, Eastern and Western. Within each of these 2 Conferences are 3 divisions. For the purpose of this conversation we only care about the east. The top 8 teams in the conference get into the playoffs, and they are seeded by points. There is one exception to that rule. The teams that win their division are guaranteed one of the top 3 playoff spots. No matter how many points the team seeded 4th gets, if they don't win their division the best they can do is 4th. It may not be fair, I know I know, but that's the way it is.
So for the 1st time since I have been following the sport(8 years or so). The leader of the Southeast division is NOT the 3rd seed in the conference. In fact the Philadelphia Flyers are the 3rd seed, because they lead the Atlantic Division. The best part about that is the Montreal Canadiens are currently 4th, and they have more points than the Flyers. The reason this has so much meaning for me is that for as long as I have been a Caps fan we have been that 3rd seed. The team that everyone ridicules for not deserving to be seeded so high. Now that ridicule can be passed on to someone else. Players like Alex Ovechin, Alex Semin, and Mike Green have finally lifted us into the elite of the NHL...and the view from up here is awesome.
There is no doubt in my mind that playing in the South"least" has added to the ridicule especially in recent years. I do agree that the rest of the division could be demoted to the American Hockey League with little to no issue or resistance. This year is different though, finally. We have beaten all the studs in the east in their buildings. Ask Sindey Crosby and the Penguins(we came back from 3-0 down to win that one) or Zedeno Chara and the Boston Bruins what is was like to lose the the Caps at home. Its going to be a fun couple of months as we move towards the playoffs. I said it on Facebook yesterday and I'll repeat it here. There is room on the Caps bandwagon for you. I would get on now though.
If you need me tomorrow night, I won't be around. I'll be "rockin' the red" with my boys at the phone booth. Lets go Caps!
Posted by Scott at 1:12 PM