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Playing with the Hypotheticals

Players, Coaches, Fans all look at what will soon be a new NHL

Tuesday, 12.6.2011 / 5:55 PM ET / News
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Playing with the Hypotheticals
With news coming late last night on the East Coast about the National Hockey League re-aligning their teams and conferences, Flyers players and coaches gave their impressions.

 WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
WATCH: BRAYDON COBURN
WATCH: MAX TALBOT
WATCH: A CLOSER LOOK
WATCH: FORMAT DETAILS
WATCH: BOARD'S VOTE
WATCH: ABOUT THE PROCESS
WATCH: NHL NETWORK'S TAKE

THE FOUR CONFERENCES
CONFERENCE (7 TEAMS)
PHI, NJ, PIT, NYI, NYR, WSH, CAR

CONFERENCE (7 TEAMS)
BOS, MTL, TOR, OTT, BUF, FLA, TBL

CONFERENCE (8 TEAMS)

DET, CBJ, NSH, STL,
CHI, MIN, DAL, WNP

CONFERENCE (8 TEAMS)
LA, ANH, PHX, SJ,
VAN, CGY, EDM, COL
“It seems like kind of a neat idea and it’ll be different for sure,” said Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn, who is the Flyers player representatives for the NHL’s Player Association.

Their new conference, named Conference D for now, will be the same teams as the Atlantic Division (PIT, NJ, NYR, NYI) with the same amount of games being played, but Flyers fans will get an additional look (home and away) of the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals.

The format will have the Flyers see every team twice and for Flyers fans, they will see every team in the NHL at least once, meaning yearly trips to Vancouver, Calgary, San Jose and the other West Coast teams that the Flyers have been infrequent guests and hosts to every other year in some cases.

The format will also see a much different race for the playoffs and Stanley Cup championship.

“I just saw it this morning and I didn’t know if it was final or not,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “I’m not sure what to think about it. I don’t mind [the travel]; the playoffs will be different, so that’s why I’m not sure yet.”

What fans can expect to see in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs is a clash of conference rivals through the first two rounds.

In each yet-to-be named conference, the top four teams in the standings will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs AND will face each other in rounds 1 and 2 in a (#1 vs. #4) and (#2 vs. #3).

In many ways it is a throw back to the old “Divisional” playoff series, before teams would play for the right to go to the Stanley Cup Final.

From 1974-75 through 1993 the Flyers played in the NHL’s Patrick Division, named after NHL-legend Lester Patrick, taking eight regular season division titles along the way, the most of any team in that division throughout the years.

They also prevailed in three playoff series to capture the Patrick Division title, moving onto the Wales Conference Finals, which included two memorable seven-game series against the NY Islanders, and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the late 80’s in which they prevailed in both.

Following the 1992-93 season, the NHL became the Eastern-Western Conference with geographical names (Atlantic, Northeast, Central, Pacific) for their divisions.

From there it gets a bit interesting and fans can play with the hypotheticals for the next 17 months.

The four winners of their conference would meet in the third round of the playoffs, with the two remaining teams vying for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

This essentially could mean that the Flyers could play teams from any other conference, such as the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and others for the Stanley Cup Title.

And vice-versa, the Flyers could be in the semi-final series playing the Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings and even the Edmonton Oilers.

Whatever the case turns out to be, the hockey won’t change. And if it does, the feeling is that most players and coaches expect it to be more heated and passionate than ever.

“I know from past experience that anytime you play a team in the playoffs, it just seems to breed bad blood,” added Coburn. “It just seems in that kind of a format you end of playing, some people in consecutive years in the playoffs and that will really conjure up some fierce rivalries.”


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 78 22 45 -8 67
W. Simmonds 81 32 28 -7 60
B. Schenn 80 26 33 3 59
J. Voracek 73 11 44 -5 55
S. Gostisbehere 64 17 29 8 46
S. Couturier 63 11 28 8 39
M. Raffl 82 13 18 9 31
M. Read 79 11 15 -5 26
M. Streit 62 6 17 -1 23
S. Laughton 71 7 14 -2 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 23 19 10 .918 2.51
M. Neuvirth 18 8 4 .924 2.27
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