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The Race For 6th Thread


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#1 Triumph

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 03:19 PM

Okay, the Devils are basically in the playoffs - as of Saturday morning, 3/10, the Devils were up 9 points with 2 games in hand on the ninth place team, which can also win a division to get into the playoffs. Buffalo is 11 points back and the Devils have a game in hand on them. It will take a monumental collapse to fall out of the race.

Still, the division is out of reach and the Devils can face some formidable foes depending on where, from 4-8, they finish. And Pittsburgh is now 6 points ahead of the Devils and holds the tiebreaker for 4th, making home ice advantage in the first round unlikely. So here's who I'd like to face in the playoffs, sorted in order from most desirable to least desirable:

Any Southeast Division winner
Senators
Rangers
Flyers
Bruins
Penguins

Which means finishing in 6th would be best for New Jersey right now. An upcoming article on my blog will show that, post-lockout, there is absolutely no correlation between regular season head to head record and first round playoff record. So the Devils should want to play the worst team, and that will almost certainly be the SE Division winner. Ottawa is a rather unlikely matchup, as they are 3 points down to the Bruins, but the B's have 2 games in hand.

WARNING FOR THE SUPERSTITIOUS: Finishing in 6th does not guarantee a playoff victory, nor does not finishing in 6th guarantee a playoff loss. This is just a fun thread to give the end of the season some juice. Please don't mention finishing in 6th and losing to a team that was outshot by 52 in a 6 game series. There are a million other threads on which to foist your beliefs in hexes and anti-hexes.

Right now, here's how the race for 6th looks:

Team PTS GR
5. Flyers 83 16
6. Devils 81 15
7. Senators 80 13

It's looking good - we'll want Senators losses and Flyer wins for the time being.

Edited by Triumph, 01 April 2012 - 10:55 PM.

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#2 devilsrule33

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 03:24 PM

I think everyone knows 6 is where you want to be. Facing the Flyers or Penguins in the first round would not be fun at all. Add in the fact that the Penguins should have Crosby back, and you're probably facing a 1-seed if everyone was healthy.

However, facing the Capitals kind of scares me. If that team gets hot and wins the division, gets healthy and has their best players playing like they are capable of.....that's pretty scary. A lot of ifs, but still very possible.
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#3 Triumph

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 03:29 PM

I think everyone knows 6 is where you want to be. Facing the Flyers or Penguins in the first round would not be fun at all. Add in the fact that the Penguins should have Crosby back, and you're probably facing a 1-seed if everyone was healthy.

However, facing the Capitals kind of scares me. If that team gets hot and wins the division, gets healthy and has their best players playing like they are capable of.....that's pretty scary. A lot of ifs, but still very possible.


Without Backstrom, they have not been very good. With Dale Hunter, they haven't been very good. They still have a lot of talent, but at center they are pretty weak. It's not the same team.
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#4 devilsrule33

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 03:34 PM

Without Backstrom, they have not been very good. With Dale Hunter, they haven't been very good. They still have a lot of talent, but at center they are pretty weak. It's not the same team.


I totally agree. I saw them in Ottawa a few weeks back and everyone here saw the 5-0 victory last week, and just looking up and down their roster..it's unimpressive. If Backstrom returns, it changes the game a bit.

Much rather play Florida or Winnipeg. It be fun to see playoff games in the Peg. That be an all-time hockey atmosphere. Hopefully Florida keeps winning too.
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"It goes to the captain and then there are handoffs during a skate around the ice" Mike Emrick as Scott Stevens is being presented the Stanley Cup.


#5 Steven M.

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 03:37 PM

I posted this in another thread, but I am hoping for 6th for my own selfish reasons (assuming Florida holds the #3 seed). I'd be able to go up to every game... which would be awesome!
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#6 NCDevsFan

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 03:44 PM

I'm just happy we are even having this discussion after last year.
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#7 ZeroGravityFat

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 05:37 PM

6 is a great spot, hope we keep the spot.
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#8 NJDevs4978

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 08:09 PM

I think everyone knows 6 is where you want to be. Facing the Flyers or Penguins in the first round would not be fun at all. Add in the fact that the Penguins should have Crosby back, and you're probably facing a 1-seed if everyone was healthy.

However, facing the Capitals kind of scares me. If that team gets hot and wins the division, gets healthy and has their best players playing like they are capable of.....that's pretty scary. A lot of ifs, but still very possible.


The Pens might get the 1-seed anyway at the rate it's going :lol:

I agreed with you on the Caps for most of the year, until their 5-0 loss at Carolina a couple weeks back...but then they started winning games more regularly (other than the 5-0 loss to us). So yeah, it really depends on what team shows up for the playoffs. We haven't matched up 'too' great with them the last couple years although we somehow tatooed them during the MacLean era once and pounded them the last time as well.
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#9 Devil Fan

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 09:38 PM

Other than Carolina, any Southeast winner should be Devils' prey. Wash: wildly inconsistent. Fla: little depth. Win: bad road team. TB: goalie problems

Of the 4, I think Tampa is the better matchup because goalies can cause them a game. (look at Toronto). Then, Florida is my next choice because they don't have a good secondary scoring. Wash: their goaltending remains a big question mark. Winnipeg has the potential to win a 7- game series because they are so good on home ice.
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#10 Neb00rs

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 10:04 PM

Still, the division is out of reach and the Devils can face some formidable foes depending on where, from 4-8, they finish. And Pittsburgh is now 6 points ahead of the Devils and holds the tiebreaker for 4th, making home ice advantage in the first round unlikely. So here's who I'd like to face in the playoffs, sorted in order from most desirable to least desirable:

Any Southeast Division winner
Senators
Rangers
Flyers
Bruins
Penguins

Which means finishing in 6th would be best for New Jersey right now. An upcoming article on my blog will show that, post-lockout, there is absolutely no correlation between regular season head to head record and first round playoff record. So the Devils should want to play the worst team, and that will almost certainly be the SE Division winner. Ottawa is a rather unlikely matchup, as they are 3 points down to the Bruins, but the B's have 2 games in hand.

I agree with this list except I'd rather face Pitt than the Bruins honestly. We just don't play Boston well. We've lost all 4 times we've played them this season.
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#11 David Puddy

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 02:15 AM

Given Pittsburgh's history, I wouldn't put it past them to deliberately tank the last few games to get the 6 seed.
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#12 Marshall

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 04:10 AM

Glad the Flyers won tonight.
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#13 Colorado Rockies 1976

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:56 AM

The Pens might get the 1-seed anyway at the rate it's going :lol:


I've been so focused on the Devils that I didn't even see that Pittsburgh is now only four points back of the Rangers, with each team having 15 games left...that, and they still face each other two more times. I think the Rangers still probably take the Atlantic, but it's definitely not the sure thing it seemed like a week or so ago.

As for the whole "6" argument...can't argue against it. The Devils' best chance to advance to the second round is going to come against the SE Division winner.
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#14 aylbert

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 10:02 AM

I've been so focused on the Devils that I didn't even see that Pittsburgh is now only four points back of the Rangers, with each team having 15 games left...that, and they still face each other two more times. I think the Rangers still probably take the Atlantic, but it's definitely not the sure thing it seemed like a week or so ago.



The Pens surge has affected them:

http://hockeyrodent.com/
Since Feb 21 to Mar11:

Atlantic division winner:
88.4% NEW YORK RANGERS ---> 72.2% (-16.2%)
5.2% NEW JERSEY DEVILS ---> 1.2% (-4%)
4.1% PHILADELPHIA FLYERS ---> 8.7% (+4.6%)
2.3% PITTSBURGH PENGUINS ---> 17.9% (+15.6%)
0.0% NEW YORK ISLANDERS ---> 0.0% (unch)

Edited by aylbert, 11 March 2012 - 10:03 AM.

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#15 roomtemp

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 11:21 AM

Honestly I just want to avoid Boston in the 1st round. Any other 1st round matchup I like for us between who ever wins the SE, Penguins or Flyers. Knowing the Devils luck the last 3 times they made the playoffs and getting the worst matchup for them it probably will be Boston somehow
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#16 devilsrule33

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 12:21 PM

Honestly I just want to avoid Boston in the 1st round. Any other 1st round matchup I like for us between who ever wins the SE, Penguins or Flyers. Knowing the Devils luck the last 3 times they made the playoffs and getting the worst matchup for them it probably will be Boston somehow


Devils need to avoid teams with a ton of speed. Boston hasn't been that impressive, but their team speed still affects the Devils greatly. That and big Chara neutralizing Parise. They are probably a worse match for the Devils than Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh has never been a bad matchup for the Devils, but they haven't been fully healthy in years. Malkin is an MVP favourite, and Crosby, if healthy, is as good as it gets. Not sure what to think about the Flyers. Their goaltending situation is seriously an issue, and the Pronger loss is gigantic. Not sure they win a round.

Anyway you slice it, 6th is where you need to be.

Edited by devilsrule33, 11 March 2012 - 12:27 PM.

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#17 Blown01NJ

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 01:21 PM

Pens overtake the top spot, Rags fall to 4th, we pick up 5th.

Madness ensues.
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#18 Triumph

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 01:52 PM

Re: Boston - like I said, there's no visible connection between regular season head to head results and playoff results. And Tim Thomas has been human for the last month or so.

It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if the Devils could win their games against the Flyers in the OT or shootout.

Edited by Triumph, 11 March 2012 - 01:58 PM.

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#19 Triumph

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 09:00 PM

SUNDAY 3/11 Results:

NJ beats PHILLY
Ottawa DNP

TEAM POINTS GR
5. Flyers 85 14
6. Devils 85 13
7. Senators 81 12

While I would've preferred an OT win for the Devils tonight, we're still looking much better for finishing 6th or higher.

Edited by Triumph, 11 March 2012 - 09:21 PM.

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#20 Vic Rattlehead18

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 09:01 PM

After the last two wins against the flyers. I'm not worried about them in the playoffs
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