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NHL introduces new division names with schedule

Friday, 19.07.2013 / 3:19 PM / News Articles
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NHL introduces new division names with schedule
The release of the 2013-14 regular-season schedule Friday included the debut of the four new division names for the re-aligned National Hockey League.

The release of the 2013-14 regular-season schedule Friday included the debut of the four new division names for the re-aligned National Hockey League.

The League went to a re-aligned format for geographic purposes and has decided to stick with geographic names for the four new divisions. Three of the four names are carryovers from the old six-division alignment, but the League added a new name to the mix.

The four division names are Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific. The Atlantic and Metropolitan divisions make up the Eastern Conference and each division has eight teams. The Central and Pacific divisions make up the Western Conference and have seven teams in each division.

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

The Red Wings have moved from the Western Conference to the East.

The Metropolitan Division teams include the three New York-area teams, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils; along with the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets, who are joining the Red Wings in the move east.

The new Central Division in the Western Conference features Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets, who are moving from the Eastern Conference to the Western Conference.

The new Pacific Division in the Western Conference includes Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

The 2013-14 schedule ensures that all 30 teams play in all 30 arenas at least once during the season.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs will still consist of 16 teams, eight from each conference, but it will be division-based and a wild-card system has been added.

The top three teams in each division will make up the first 12 teams in the playoffs. The remaining four spots will be filled by the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference -- regardless of division -- based on regular-season points. It will be possible for one division to send five teams to the postseason while the other sends three.

The seeding of the wild-card teams within each divisional playoff will be determined by regular-season points. The division winner with the most points in the conference will be matched against the wild-card team with the fewest points; the division winner with the second-most points in the conference will play the wild-card team with the second-fewest points.

The teams finishing second and third in each division will play in the first round of the playoffs. The winners of each series will play for berths in the conference championship series.

The winners of the conference championships advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Olympic Break

The League's 1,230-game schedule will pause from Feb. 9-25, 2014, while NHL players comprise the majority of the rosters of the national teams competing in Sochi for Olympic gold. The NHL season resumes Wednesday, Feb. 26 with a slate of four games.

Realignment

Effective this season, the NHL will operate under a new divisional alignment and scheduling matrix that ensures that all 30 teams play in all 30 arenas at least once a season. In creating more geographically-appropriate groupings, the NHL now has two eight-team divisions in the Eastern Conference and two seven-team divisions in the Western Conference:

WESTERN CONFERENCE EASTERN CONFERENCE
Pacific Division Central Division
Metropolitan Division
Atlantic Division
Anaheim Chicago Carolina Boston
Calgary Colorado Columbus Buffalo
Edmonton Dallas New Jersey Detroit
Los Angeles Minnesota NY Islanders Florida
Phoenix Nashville NY Rangers Montreal
San Jose St. Louis Philadelphia Ottawa
Vancouver Winnipeg Pittsburgh Tampa Bay
Washington Toronto




New Regular-Season Schedule Matrix

Western Conference (7-Team Divisions)

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

(Exception: one team from each division plays one less game inside Division and one more game inside Conference outside Division)

Eastern Conference (8-Team Divisions)

Within Conference (Division): 30 games

* 5 games vs. two teams (3 Home/2 Away vs. one team, 2 Home/3 Away vs. one team) AND 4 games vs. five teams (2 Home/2 Away). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.

* 5 X 2 =10 games

* 4 X 5 = 20 games

Within Conference (Non-Division): 24 games

* 3 games vs. each team (2 Home/1 Away vs. four teams, 1 Home/2 Away vs. four teams). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.

* 3 X 8 = 24 games

Non-Conference: 28 games

* 2 games vs. each team (1 Home/1 Away)

* 2 X 14 = 28 games

The Stanley Cup Playoffs have a new division-based format. Playoff qualification will be primarily Division-based, with the top three finishers in each Division qualifying for the first 12 spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (and the first three "seeds" in each Division). The two additional playoff spots in each Conference, designated as "Wild Cards," will be awarded to the next two highest-placed finishers in each Conference, ranked on the basis of regular-season points and regardless of Division. The League will play under this new alignment and playoff system for a minimum of three seasons, through the 2015-16 NHL season.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Senior Writer

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 48 32 10 6 143 124 70
2 NSH 46 31 10 5 141 107 67
3 STL 46 29 13 4 148 111 62
4 CHI 47 30 15 2 148 108 62
5 WPG 49 26 15 8 138 122 60
6 SJS 48 25 17 6 131 132 56
7 VAN 46 26 17 3 124 118 55
8 CGY 48 26 19 3 140 126 55
9 LAK 47 20 15 12 129 126 52
10 COL 49 20 18 11 128 141 51
11 DAL 47 21 19 7 146 154 49
12 MIN 47 21 20 6 130 138 48
13 ARI 47 16 25 6 108 160 38
14 EDM 48 12 27 9 110 160 33

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Ladd 49 17 23 10 40
B. Little 49 18 20 10 38
B. Wheeler 49 13 23 11 36
D. Byfuglien 49 12 20 9 32
M. Perreault 46 15 14 2 29
M. Frolik 49 10 16 6 26
M. Scheifele 49 7 19 4 26
E. Kane 34 10 12 6 22
A. Lowry 48 6 9 3 15
J. Trouba 33 5 9 5 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Hutchinson 14 4 2 .935 1.90
O. Pavelec 12 11 6 .911 2.52
 
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