Frozen Fantasy: Playoff Crystal Ball
Frozen Fantasy: Playoff Crystal Ball

This article is part of our Frozen Fantasy series.

My head has been reeling this week. American Thanksgiving can do that to anyone in hockey.

And it's not about the tryptophan in the turkey.

American Thanksgiving is the mile marker that often predicts which teams will likely get into the postseason.

And which ones won't.

The Rangers, Sabres AND Habs are all in playoff spots heading into the weekend. Cripes, Buffalo is ahead of the Maple Leafs in the Atlantic.

They finished dead last in 2017-18. And the Habs weren't far behind.

Do any of them have a shot at a playoff spot at season's end? Especially with the powerful Pens, Panthers and Islanders all on the outside looking in?

I'm taking Buffalo. I think.

Five teams from the Central will make the postseason. But none of the teams in the Pacific deserve a spot. The Ducks have a minus-15 goal differential. They had 101 points last season.

Spit.

Some 75 percent of teams in a playoff spot now stay there. That stat has held up for almost 15 years.

Dig a little deeper. Teams with a .500 record at American Thanksgiving might be a truer indicator. I haven't done a year-over-year analysis on its effectiveness. But if it works for Kenny Holland in Detroit, it works for me.

Winning percentage is an easy calculation. Wins divided by games played. Period.

Anaheim's winning percentage is .417. Both Vegas at .458 and Edmonton at .455 are better. In the East, Montreal is at .478. Two teams behind them – the

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janet Eagleson
Janet Eagleson is a seven-time Finalist and four-time winner of the Hockey Writer of the Year award from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. She is a lifelong Toronto Maple Leafs fan, loved the OHL London Knights when they were bad and cheers loudly for the Blackhawks, too. But her top passion? The World Junior Hockey Championships each and every year.
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