What You Need to Know for 2013-14

Changes to divisions and playoff qualifications highlight the upcoming season

Wednesday, 07.24.2013 / 9:26 AM CT / 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 ANA 76 47 22 7 222 213 101
2 NSH 75 46 21 8 214 180 100
3 STL 74 46 21 7 226 182 99
4 CHI 74 44 24 6 209 172 94
5 MIN 75 43 25 7 215 185 93
6 VAN 74 43 27 4 212 199 90
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 74 37 23 14 199 184 88
9 CGY 75 40 28 7 219 199 87
10 DAL 75 36 29 10 232 240 82
11 SJS 74 36 30 8 207 210 80
12 COL 74 34 28 12 200 206 80
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 75 23 44 8 158 249 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 74 35 35 29 70
A. Steen 72 24 38 6 62
J. Schwartz 67 24 31 16 55
D. Backes 73 25 29 7 54
T. Oshie 66 19 32 13 51
P. Stastny 66 14 29 6 43
A. Pietrangelo 74 6 35 -2 41
K. Shattenkirk 49 8 32 18 40
J. Lehtera 67 11 28 19 39
P. Berglund 69 8 12 -6 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 24 12 3 .921 2.16
J. Allen 19 6 4 .906 2.45

 
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