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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 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 61 31 29 27 60
A. Steen 59 19 32 4 51
J. Schwartz 54 20 26 16 46
D. Backes 60 20 21 3 41
T. Oshie 53 17 24 12 41
K. Shattenkirk 49 8 32 18 40
P. Stastny 53 11 23 10 34
J. Lehtera 54 9 24 16 33
A. Pietrangelo 61 5 27 -3 32
P. Berglund 57 8 11 -2 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 19 9 2 .921 2.21
J. Allen 17 6 2 .905 2.50

 
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