Blog Entry

Brutal truth: Southeast division is horrible

Posted on: March 5, 2012 11:09 am
Edited on: March 5, 2012 11:17 am
By: Adam Gretz

A couple of weeks ago I looked at the Southeast Division and how every team in it has been outscored by its opponents this season. That is not a good sign, and it's not something that happens very often. It's never happened in the post-lockout NHL, and the closest we came was during the 2006-07 season when the Atlanta Thrashers, the winners of the Southeast that year, finished as plus-one, the only team to outscore its opponents for the season.

They were then demolished in the playoffs, losing four straight games. 

It's still true today, and with the Washington Capitals currently owning the "best" goal-differential at minus-12, the division, as a whole,has been outscored by 107 goals this season

The quick illustration below shows how that compares with the other five divisions in the NHL this season:

Yeah. That's pretty bad, even though every team outside of Carolina still has a legitimate shot to win it. Some might call that parity. Others might call it complete mediocrity.

(For what it's worth, since the start of the '05-06 season no division has ever finished a full season worse than minus-100).

It's probably not much of a surprise, based on the above image, that eight of the top-10 teams in the NHL standings currently reside in the Atlantic and Central Divisions, while the Atlantic gets a bit of a boost by having the Islanders, a team that's at least competitive, in its fifth spot, while the Central has the Columbus Blue Jackets

The Northwest (minus-42 as of Monday) and Pacific Divisions (even) escape a lot of the jokes that have been directed at the Southeast this season, but they're not exactly lighting it up, either. But those divisions at least have teams on the plus side when it comes to goal-scoring this season.

Though, outside of Vancouver the Northwest is every bit as bad as the Southeast. It's very possible that Vancouver, for the second year in a row, will be the only team to represent the division in the playoffs.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: March 6, 2012 12:23 pm

Brutal truth: Southeast division is horrible

you must have a very good memory, Tampa last beat Pit in Nov. since then they have lost 6-3,4-2,and 8-1 so yes they went 1-3 vs pit so i guess that is them taking them out.

Since: Feb 5, 2007
Posted on: March 6, 2012 10:38 am

Brutal truth: Southeast division is horrible

No one thought the Arizone Cardinals deserved a home game the year they went to the super bowl at 9-7.  Unfortunately none of the teams in the southeast created the division format.  You win it and you get a home series.  It's just the way sports works and who knows once the playoffs start.  Montreal as the 8 seed two years ago took out the 1 and 2 seeds.

Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:11 pm

Brutal truth: Southeast division is horrible

I do recall the Lightning taking out the number 4 seed penguins and number 1 seed Capitals.  The Lightning own one of the best records in the eastern conference over the last 1 1/2 months. Don't act surpised if they make the playoffs.

Since: Oct 28, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2012 4:55 pm

Brutal truth: Southeast division is horrible

I don't buy into the anger over home ice since it means very little in the playoffs. Look at the Bruins taking Game 7 in Vancouver last season and the Penguins doing the same in Detroit a few years ago. If these teams winding up in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with a better record than the Southeast Division winners wins the series, then they should have no issues winning the series going by what I've read in other places.


Since: Jun 16, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 2:30 pm

Brutal truth: Southeast division is horrible

nycgator...I could not agree offense to any of the teams or their fans in the SE but there is no way any one of these teams should be a higher seed and have home ice advantage over teams with better records just because they won the SE division. There are 4 teams in the Atlantic with better records than the SE division leader. What makes it worse is the teams in the SE play each other more because they are in the same division and still have less points.....put anyone of the top 4 teams in the Atlantic in that division and they run away with it. Its a joke.....I think they absolutely should make the playoffs for winning their division even if they have less point than the 8th ranked team (which would be pretty hard to do...if even possible) but no way should they get a 3rd seed and home ice advantage. Fix it Bettman!!!!!

Since: Oct 29, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 1:32 pm

Brutal truth: Southeast division is horrible

The embarassing Southwest division has turned the Eastern Conference playoff seeding into quite the mess.  For instance, any team would choose the 6th seed over any other seed....period.  

The NHL front office needs to use this year as exhibit A for moving towards a true record/pts system for playoff seeding.  Division winners should have no special treatment. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or