Welcome to the NHL's new math, courtesy of the Bettman Era.
- The Leafs play Ottawa on Saturday. Heading into the game, the Leafs are 3-2-1 against the Senators. If the Leafs manage a regulation loss and an overtime win in their next two against Ottawa, both teams will finish with a 4-3-1 record against each other. In other words, both teams will win the season series.
- Speaking of Ottawa, the Senators are currently in fifth place, four points ahead of the Rangers (who have a game in hand). The Rangers have been hot lately and could easily catch Ottawa in the next week. That would be bad news for them, since the fifth place team gets to play the fourth seed and the sixth place team gets to play the third seed. In the East, it's quite possible that the fourth seed will be either Pittsburgh or New Jersey. The third seed will be either Carolina or Washington.
In other words, there's a very good chance that this year's #4 seed will actually be the second best team in the conference points-wise, while the #3 seed could be the eighth (or even ninth) best. Moving "up" from the sixth seed to the fifth spot will probably mean a first round matchup with a team that's up to 10-15 points better.
- As of today, 25 of the league's 30 teams are over .500. There's a realistic chance that as many as 28 or 29 teams could end the year over .500.
A note to Gary Bettman: A league that desperately needs to regain its credibility isn't doing itself any favors by having standings that nobody can take seriously.
Please, NHL, wake up and fix this mess in time for next year.