McCurdy: Latest standings projections

Follow Micah McCurdy on twitter @ineffectivemath 

pointProj-all (3)

Atlantic:

Very little movement except the Canadiens push up by a few points. The Ontario teams remain well back, and Buffalo remains mired in dreadfulness. The remaining fuss will be mostly in the top seeding, since Tampa Bay,Montreal, and Detroit are separated by less than a win.

Metropolitan:

The Islanders are still on top although not quite as comfortably. Here there is nothing to settle except seeding, especially between Washington and Pittsburgh who are nearly inseparable. The range from 2nd in the East to 7th is an incredibly tight three points, so who-plays-whom will likely go unknown until the last few games.

Wild-card race:

The final wildcard spot is the Bruins’ to lose, and although they’re twice as likely to keep it as surrender it I’m sure there will be some excitement and nervousness in Florida and Boston. Playoff cutoff is 92.5 points.

Central:

Nashville have put up the kind of results that make them heavy favourites for the Presidents’ Trophy. The separation at the top of the division is reasonably clear and nothing has changed substantially there over the last two weeks.

Pacific:

The Coyotes have dropped off into clear third-worst overall; it is very unlikely that they could fall beneath Edmonton. The Ducks have faltered somewhat but remain comfortably first in the division, and LA and Vancouver have pulled themselves away from the wild-card shemozzle. One big uncertainty is whether or not the Kings’ extraordinarily strong possession game is enough to overcome Jonathan Quick’s decidedly sub-par goaltending,which is not explicitly included in the projections.

Wild-card race:

The race in the West is much more exciting, with four teams tightly clustered around the playoff cutoff of 92.3 and three other teams quite close at hand. Winnipeg have the upper hand at the moment but injuries may bring them back down into the fracas, especially to the criminally underrated Perrault. They will almost certainly need to bench Pavelec for almost all of the remaining games to stay comfortable.

Lottery:

The race for 30th overall is essentially sewn up by Buffalo and has been for quite some time. The only other non-zero possibility is Edmonton and the points banked and the talent differential is almost certainly too much to overcome.

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