Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post

It looks like the NHL will have an all-Canadian division in mid-January when (fingers crossed) play resumes. The media out east is convinced that Toronto and Montreal will be fighting for first. I posted last year's standings. (Teams sorted by points percentage.) The top five were basically tied. Montreal was in 6th, equidistant from 5th and 7th.

On paper, no team got weaker. (Vancouver could be, depending on your views on Holtby.)

Let's discuss!
Ottawa will be an interesting wildcard. So many young prospects added. It could take them time to gel and develop, but their relative youth may also help with recovery if it is a really compressed schedule.

In a short season, goaltending will be huge. Despite not improving their goalies, Edmonton may not be in a bad spot. Koskenin does better with less workload, which a shortened season automatically provides. Smith is hot and cold. His cold streak last season provided them their worst numbers. The team shouldn't need as many games from him this year, though the number of back to backs there are in a compressed schedule will impact how much teams need to get from their second goalie.

Will the schedule require teams to have two good goalies to carry the load due to lack of rest, or can one goalie manage a bulk of the work? Calgary, Montreal, and Winnipeg have solid starters who can be workhorses, so needing less starts from their backup could work in their favour. Teams that were already more of a tandem situation could have the option to ride the hot hand.

In a short season, any team could finish first by riding a hot goalie, or alternatively could plummet in the standings with one lengthy cold streak. There just won't be enough for the impact of those streaks to average out.