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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 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 76 21 55 7 76
C. Giroux 75 23 46 2 69
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
M. Streit 75 9 36 -10 45
B. Schenn 76 14 25 -7 39
S. Couturier 76 13 17 1 30
M. Del Zotto 58 9 20 -5 29
M. Read 74 7 22 -7 29
M. Raffl 61 20 6 7 26
V. Lecavalier 52 7 11 -10 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 15 17 11 .927 2.24
R. Emery 10 10 6 .892 3.15
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