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The U.S. Thanksgiving NHL Playoff Rule


By Fred Wallace

You might remember back in November, Don Luther & I were talking about the NHL Playoffs and how in recent times it's been stated that 80% of the teams that held a playoff position by the end of American Thanksgiving, ie late November, made the NHL Playoffs.

So Don & I wrote down the 16 teams in place for an NHL playoff spot back on November 27th.....

In the East, 6 of the 8 teams in place November 27th are in the post season.
In the West, 5 of the 8 teams in place after American Thanksgiving survived.

The percentage ? 68%....not 80 %

In the East, the Islanders and Rangers fell off the mark allowing strong performances by Philadelphia and especially by Boston to claim a playoff spot.

Interestingly, the Islanders and Rangers didn't just miss the playoffs, they were sucking fumes; the Islanders 17 points out, the Rangers 20 back.

In the West on November 27th, Chicago & Calgary were tied for 8th place and by the end of the season, the Flames flickered 11 points back and the Blackhawks bottomed out 19 points in arrears.

The Dallas Stars and St Louis Blues also had playoff spots at US Thanksgiving and both just missed the postseason; the Stars down by 3 points, the Blues bypassed by Colorado in their final game of the season to miss by 1 point.

Along with Colorado, both Minnesota & Anaheim rallied from late November to join the post season party.

So for 2017-2018, 68% of teams in playoff positions by American Thanksgiving made it to the real season.

We'll make a note and see what next year's percentage is.

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