The new NHL season is here, as is the new divisional alignment. Each conference now has two divisions, eight teams per division in the East and seven per division in the West. In an effort to more properly align divisions along time zones, the NHL has moved Detroit and Columbus to the East, and Winnipeg is finally in the West. The playoffs will now consist of the top three teams in each division, plus the next two best teams in each conference, regardless of division. With a divisional format to the playoffs, this means you could have a team win a division of which it is not a part.
With the new alignment in full effect, it was a fun opportunity for our experts to pick under a whole new set of rules. With that in mind, our own competition here has a new scoring system in place:
- Successfully picking a team to make the playoffs is worth one point.
- Picking the #1 seed in each division exactly is worth three bonus points, then two points for #2 and one point for #3.
- Picking the first wildcard in each conference exactly is worth two bonus points, then one point for the second wildcard.
- Picking which division winner will wind up with the NHL’s best record is worth two points.
- In the event of a tie, we’ll also be picking which team will end up with the NHL’s worst record, then second worst, then third worst. Further tiebreakers will be the total number or worst three teams guessed correctly in any order, then lowest combined record of all three choices.
With all that in mind, the complete pick sets are below. Results will be presented at the conclusion of the season, so check back then. Continue reading 2013-2014 NHL Expert Picks »