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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 - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
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