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NHL - Hockey at the Quarter Point

By Glenn McCready
Sunday, December 1st, 2002
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I wouldn't call this an official report card for several reasons, not the least of which is that here where I live, report cards have turned into these mini screenplays, and neither you nor I have that kind of time. But we can take a loose look at the first 20 or so games and see what's what.

If the season ended today (man, I hate that phrase ... it doesn't, it won't, so why ask?), in the Eastern Conference, Boston, Carolina, New Jersey, and Tampa Bay would have the home ice for the first round, while out West, it would be Dallas, Vancouver, Minnesota, and St. Louis in the top spots. And for other trends?

Florida and Nashville may not take solace in going to overtime, as they both have 4 OT losses, while Philadelphia has six ties and no OT losses. The Devils give up about 2.25 goals a game, while scoring 2.5. On the other end, Atlanta surrenders almost 4, while scoring less than 3 (and this after putting up 7 on the Rangers Thanksgiving night).

Some of the stats are very strange, indeed. Colorado has only won twice at home, while Dallas is undefeated at home. San Jose hasn't lost in their division, while Anaheim hasn't won in theirs. Tough break for the Ducks, as it happens to be the same division.

Lots and lots of stuff there, and what does it all mean? At this point, not a whole lot. It's one fourth of the way through, and unless you're one of those rotisserie folks, there's no reason to get all bogged down in this stuff now. Does anyone really think that Tom Poti is going to end up with more goals than Eric Lindros (provided Lindros doesn't get bonked on the head)?

If these figures all look about the same come March, this may prove to be a very interesting playoff year. So we have three-fourths of the season yet to play. Grab the Molson's, grab a chair, and settle in for the rest of the ride.

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