Now 1/4 of the way through the 2016-2017 NHL season, the standings get tighter and tighter and it’s almost like there’s literally no room to breathe.
Usually, when you hit the Thanksgiving mark of the NHL season you will know if your team is competing for a playoff spot or not. However, within the Atlantic Divison the Red Wings are currently in 6th place, just separated from the 3rd spot by 4 points. Florida and Tampa Bay currently sit atop Detroit but only by a whopping total of 2 points. Ottawa, who is in second place in the Divison, only leads Detroit by 5 points. You can expect this race to stay near even for the rest of the NHL season.
The Wild Card standings are even wilder. Philadelphia and Washington hold the 2 Wild Card spots with 28 and 29 points. Below that, there are SEVEN teams seperated by 5 points. Making each and every game and every single point more and more valuable. Personally, I feel this is great for the NHL. It makes games much more competitive and makes things a lot more interesting.
Detroit still has work to do if they hope to accomplish clinching their 26th consecutive ticket to the Stanley Cup playoffs. They may be out of a playoff spot now, but in a matter of 3 or 4 games it can all change drastically. There is no need to panic for Red Wings fans or for any other fans of NHL teams not in a playoff spot, things are still very very close.