“Thoughts on Thoughts” is a feature that looks at Elliotte Friedman’s terrific weekly post “30 Thoughts.” Justin Bourne selects his 10 favourite tidbits, and elaborates.
Friedman’s column, October 21st: Playoff also-rans determined early in the NHL
I’ll try wrap Friedman’s intro up in just a few words: “Is your team off to a terrible start this season? Well then, you’re probably boned.”
Of course, Elliotte wrote it much more eloquently than that:
Generally, working yourself into a panic about what your team does in the first 10 games is a bad idea. But what really stands out about this particular season is how many teams are in danger of falling so far behind.
For example, the highest number of teams to fall at least four points out of the playoffs by Nov. 1 in our sample size is seven. That was 2006-07, the year Calgary made it. The lowest was two. This year, there are, potentially, seven such teams in the Eastern Conference (remember the crossovers). The West has three.
Misery loves company, maybe? No? …Okay, then some teams have some work to do here.
As far as pure opinion goes, you have to believe Buffalo is already screwed. I mean, sorry to pee in the Corn Flakes of a fanbase this early in the year, but how many Sabres fans even believe that their group can turn it around? 10 games in, looking at the 2014 draft. Fun. I won’t fully write-off any other group entirely yet, but it’s seriously time to get the ship righted if you’re one of the 10 teams Elliotte’s referring to. Standings here, if you’re curious.
2. Just when we thought we were finished with boardroom battles for eight years, this is going to be an interesting week between the NHL and NHL Players’ Association. On Monday afternoon, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will hear Patrick Kaleta’s appeal of the 10-game suspension levied by league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan. This is not a popular move by the union, internally or externally. Outside of the Sabres dressing room, you won’t find many players who support this. They feel Kaleta tries to hurt people and shouldn’t be the test case for the newly created process (Personal opinion: those people are right). Basically, the NHLPA’s position is you don’t get to say he can’t use what’s available to him just because you don’t like him.