If you haven’t heard, U.S. Thanksgiving is pretty significant among NHL folk — and no, not just because everybody got the night off.
(Well, most people got the night off. I’m here. But I’m Canadian and don’t mind working what we refer to as “Thursday, But With More Football.”)
See, turkey day has major ramifications for the NHL playoffs. As CBC put it, conventional wisdom says American Thanksgiving is “a mark on the calendar where essentially the playoffs are decided.”
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To further illustrate that point, the Associated Press (courtesy STATS) ran a report last year showing that — since the 2005-06 season — teams in a playoff spot entering the holiday have gone on to make the Stanley Cup postseason 77.3 per cent of the time.
So yeah. Late November standings are worth paying attention to.
And a quick glance at those standings reveals that 16 clubs — Montreal, Ottawa, Boston, New York Rangers, Washington, Pittsburgh, New York Islanders, Detroit, Dallas, St. Louis, Nashville, Los Angeles, San Jose, Vancouver, Chicago and Minnesota — currently have, according to the above statistic, better than a 75 percent chance of making the dance.
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