People are bitching about the NHL’s weak Southeast Division. Blah blah blah… so the Division winner gets a top-3 seed in the Eastern Conference regardless of its constituent teams’ records.
While it’s conceivable that a team with more points than the SE Div. champ could get pushed into the Conference’s 9th spot (and out of the playoffs), that’s unlikely to happen.
Tonight’s win in Philly (fuck the Flyers) puts the Caps at the top of the Southeast, and bumps Buffalo down to #9… at least for now.
But, if you’re playing along at home, you’ll notice that Washington and Buffalo each have 57 points in the standings, and that the Caps have 26 wins this season, whereas the Sabres have 25. Every other team has fewer points.
The aforementioned concept does not apply. The Capitals are a legitimate playoff contender (so far). Even if they weren’t seeded 3rd for leading the SE, they’d still be seeded 8th in the Conference. And that’s a far cry from being worst team in the league when Boudreau took over for Hanlon on Thanksgiving Day.