Is it time to panic?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 ·

The Sens have stumbled out to an inauspicious 1-4-1 start. Chicken Little has arrived in the nation's capital and it's not even Halloween. Is there still time to turn things around? With 76 games left on the schedule of course there is....but time is shorter than what you might think.

www.shrpsports.com is a website that tracks the standings of various leagues by date. Going back five seasons(every year post lockout) it's amazing to see how little movement there is in the top eight on November 1st compared to the final standings.

05-06
-TOR & FLA had playoff spots on Nov.1. PHI & MTL had them at the end. (2)

06-07
-TOR, MTL & CAR had spots on Nov.1. OTT, TB & NYI had them at the end (3)

07-08
-TOR, NYI & CAR had spots on Nov.1. WSH, NJ & NYR had them at the end (3)

08-09
-TOR & BUF had spots on Nov.1. WSH & PHI had them at the end (2)

09-10
-NYR had a spot on Nov.1. BOS had it at the end. (1)

Thanks to three point games, in the last five seasons combined only eleven Eastern Conference teams have made the playoffs after not being in the top eight by November 1st. (on a side note, be sure to point out to your Leaf fan buddy that Toronto gave up an early season spot 4 of those 11 times :) In a more recent trend it's only happened three times in the last two seasons.

When you compare the final standings to December 1st, the five year number falls to eight, and in the last 2 years it's happened only twice. Both of those times coming last year.

So, is it time to panic Sens fans? Not really, but you might want to at least flip open the plastic cover. With three point games being handed out like candy these days, digging yourself a hole early can be fatal.

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Welcome to my Healthy Scratches blog. You can hear Jason York and myself weekdays from 3-6 on Team 1200. I use this blog to expand upon some of the things we talk about on the show, and anything else that really pops into my ample head.
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