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Numbers Game: Looking at Goal Differential

With the NHL taking a few days off for the All-Star break, I figured this was a good time to examine the goal differentials of each team.

The goal differentials will be listed from best to worst:

1. Boston Bruins +62

2. San Jose Sharks +52

3. Detroit Red Wings +40

4. Chicago Blackhawks +38

5. New Jersey Devils +27

6. Montreal Canadiens +18

7. Washington Capitals +15

8. Philadelphia Flyers +14

9. Calgary Flames +12

10. Minnesota Wild +10

11. Buffalo Sabres +2

12. New York Rangers +2

13. Vancouver Canucks 0


14. Anaheim Ducks -1

15. Pittsburgh Penguins -2

16. Florida Panthers -3

17. Columbus Blue Jackets -4

18. Edmonton Oilers -6

19. Phoenix Coyotes -7

20. Colorado Avalanche -9  

21. Los Angeles Kings -14

22. St. Louis Blues -16

23. Carolina Hurricanes -21

23. Ottawa Senators -21

25. Dallas Stars -22

26. Nashville Predators -23

27. Tampa Bay Lightning -24

28. Atlanta Thrashers -28 

29. Toronto Maple Leafs -32

30. New York Islanders -49

What to take from these numbers: Looking closely at these numbers, we realize that there are certainly a lot of bad teams in the NHL.  Sure the standings are close because of the three-point game, but there are only 12 teams in the entire NHL that have a plus goal differential.  Essentially two-thirds of the league isn’t very good.  So, the NHL we are currently watching has its great teams (teams with a goal differential over +25) like San Jose, Detroit, Boston, New Jersey and Chicago but that is more than offset by its bad teams.

Maybe we are foolishly led to believe that this is the NHL everyone wanted.  A league where everyone has a chance to succeed and the standings are close; however, that seems flawed.  Sure the standings are close, but there is a wide separation between good and bad. 

For example, let’s take a look at the standings from 2003/04 or better known as the pre-lockout year.  In that season, there were 16 teams with plus goal differentials.  Think about it;  that was before the salary cap came into effect.  Now, that we have a salary cap in place, everyone says there is parity.  But in reality, there was arguably more parity before the lockout than there is now.

So, I guess one has to question whether the NHL has parity because of the salary cap or because of the no-tie system.

Insert: I originally forgot to post Calgary.  My bad.  The Flames are now included.

The Jets are scheduled to return to the ice for practice tomorrow after taking today off.

The Moose will play the first ever school day game. @ICdave will join @danielthefink on the broadcast.

We will have plenty of news on

A new month is almost here and with it brings 16 more chances to win authentic Jets merchandise (and potentially tickets to a Jets game).

But you need to enter to win.

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