What You Need to Know for 2013-14

Changes to divisions and playoff qualifications highlight the upcoming season

Wednesday, 07.24.2013 / 10:26 AM / St Louis Blues - News
By Chris Pinkert  - St. Louis Blues
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What You Need to Know for 2013-14
Get ready for the 2013-14 season right here with details on new divisions and how playoff teams will be determined.


New division rivals, a new schedule format and a different way to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs...a lot has changed since we last dropped the puck.

Below are some notes on the changes to get you ready for the 2013-14 season.

NEW DIVISIONS
The NHL has re-aligned to a four-division format for geographic purposes. Both the Western Conference and Eastern Conference now have two divisions each. The Blues remain in the Western Conference's Central Division, but have said goodbye to the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets, who both moved to the Eastern Conference. The Blues have four new division rivals though: Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota and Winnipeg.

Each Western Conference division features seven teams, while the Eastern Conference divisions each feature eight teams.

Western Conference


Central Division: Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, Winnipeg Jets

Pacific Division: Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks

Eastern Conference

Metropolitan Division: Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals

Atlantic Division:
Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs


HOW PLAYOFF TEAMS ARE DETERMINED
Like past seasons, the Stanley Cup Playoffs will feature 16 teams (eight from both conferences), but qualifying for the playoffs has changed.

Now, the top three teams in each division (12 teams total) will be guaranteed a playoff berth. The remaining playoff spots in each conference will be filled by the next two highest-place finishers regardless of division. In this format, It's possible that the Central Division sends five teams to the playoffs while the Pacific Division only sends three.


NEW REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE MATRIX
For the first time in 16 years, the Blues will play at least one home game with EVERY team in the NHL. The Winnipeg Jets return to St. Louis on Oct. 29, while Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are here on Nov. 9. In addition, Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals visits April 8.

The Blues will host former division rivals Columbus on Jan. 4 and Detroit on April 13.

As far as division rivals go, the Blues will play five of their division rivals five times each. The remaining division rival (Colorado) will be played four times this season. Next season, a different division rival will only be played four times.

Here's the entire breakdown of the new schedule format:

Within Conference (Division): 29 games
  • 5 games vs. five teams (3 Home/2 Away vs. two teams, 2 Home/3 Away vs. three teams) AND 4 games vs. one team (2 Home/2 Away). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
  • 5 X 5 = 25 games
  • 1 X 4 = 4 games
Within Conference (Non-Division): 21 games
  • 3 games vs. each team (2 Home/1 Away vs. four teams, 1 Home/2 Away vs. three teams). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
  • 3 X 7 = 21 games
Non-Conference: 32 games
  • 2 games vs. each team (1 Home/1 Away)
  • 2 X 16 = 32 games

OLYMPIC BREAK
NHL players will head to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. As a result, the NHL schedule will pause from Feb. 9 - 25. The Blues could have quite a few players representing their countries. As of July 24, eight have already been invited to Olympic Orientation Camps.

As a result of the Olympic break, there will be no All-Star game this season.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Steen 68 33 29 17 62
T. Oshie 79 21 39 19 60
D. Backes 74 27 30 14 57
J. Schwartz 80 25 31 28 56
A. Pietrangelo 81 8 43 20 51
K. Shattenkirk 81 10 35 1 45
V. Tarasenko 64 21 22 20 43
D. Roy 75 9 28 -1 37
J. Bouwmeester 82 4 33 26 37
V. Sobotka 61 9 24 14 33
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 18 6 2 .922 1.96
R. Miller 25 30 4 .918 2.64

 
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