NHLToL: Mid-Tourney Recap

Get caught up: Tournament Format

We've hit the midpoint of the 2010 NHL Tournament of Logos so I thought it a good time to recap where we've been and what's still to come. I'll try to keep it brief (haha).

Habs Dominating After three weeks of voting, the Montreal Canadiens lead the NHL with 222 points, 25 better than 2nd-place Calgary Flames. The Habs have finished with no fewer than 70% of the vote in each poll so far — same with the Blackhawks.

But keep in mind that only six teams from each conference, including Montreal and Calgary, have seen action in all three weeks to this point. We'll have a more definite feel for things after Week 5 when every team has had its bye.

Stiffer competition in the East? The Western Conference has four logos with fewer points than the worst logo in the East. A sign, perhaps, that there's stiffer competition in the Eastern Conference? It's hard to say. All I know for sure is that it's going to take a miracle for the Sabres, Stars, Lightning, Predators or Ducks to have a chance at advancing. I think it's clear which logos are most unpopular.

By the low numbers Through three weeks, the Anaheim Ducks logo holds the record for fewest votes in a single poll with 790 in Week 2. They came close in Week 3 with just 794. The Ducks and Blue Jackets are the only teams to finish a poll with fewer than 1,000 votes.

By the high numbers On the other hand, the Edmonton Oilers logo holds the record for the most votes in a single poll after three weeks. It garnered 4,374 votes in Week 1 against the Ducks. Detroit and Montreal are the only other teams to snag over 4,000 votes in one week. The Montreal Canadiens logo is the only one claiming more than 10,000 total votes to this point.

Historical comparison As anticipated, there has been some overlap with the original NHLToL conducted in 2007 as a few logos face old foes in the new tournament. So how do the results compare between then and now?

  • Devils vs Maple Leafs
    2007 result: Devils 51 - Leafs 49 (Round 1)
    2010 result: Devils 57 - Leafs 43 (Week 2)
  • Canadiens vs Islanders
    2007 result: Canadiens 78 - Islanders 22 (Round 1)
    2010 result: Canadiens 75 - Islanders 25 (Week 2)
  • Blues vs Canucks
    2007 result: Blues 51 - Canucks 49 (Round 3)
    2010 result: Canucks 60 - Blues 40 (Week 2)
  • Avalanche vs Wild
    2007 result: Avalanche 52 - Wild 48 (Round 2)
    2010 result: Wild 59 - Avalanche 41 (Week 3)

In case you've forgotten, the Canadiens edged out the Blues for the 2007 championship. This comparison just shows that things may not turn out quite the same this time around.

Barnburners to come The final weeks leading up to the playoffs still have some drama to offer. This week we see the Battles of Alberta and Ontario as the Oilers face the Flames and the Senators face the Maple Leafs. But for as epic as those match-ups will be, we'll see equally un-epic ones as well when the best in the East (Montreal) takes on the worst in the East (Buffalo).

Week 5 will be interesting because we'll get to see how the heavyweights handle not collecting votes. New Jersey, Montreal, Minnesota, Vancouver and Calgary are all sitting out the final week before the Wildcard polls.

I think that's really all there is worth noting in terms of stats and schedules. You guys can read the standings as well as I can. It's becoming clear who's likely to advance and who probably won't. Anyone need to revise their predictions?

Waning interest I've noticed a sharp decline in voting since we got started three weeks ago. Nearly 70,000 total votes were cast in the 12 polls available during Week 1. It dropped to just over 60,000 in Week 2 and didn't even reach 50,000 in Week 3. That tells me that while the NHLToL is still popular, you guys are getting bored voting for the same logos over and over — despite the changing opponents.

What I'm going to take away from that is a desire for a shorter schedule. Future logo tournaments will have a three-week round-robin instead of five weeks. I'll see how Wildcard Week goes before deciding whether it will stay or go.

Surprise! Mini-tournament! Some of you expressed concern that after six straight weeks of getting a dozen polls or more all at once, the playoffs will leave you with a lot less to vote on in the same amount of time. I already planned for that. We'll have a separate mini-tournament going on concurrently with the three weeks of NHLToL playoffs.

I won't give away what it is yet, but I'm sure you guys will enjoy it. It will involve a short, three-week round-robin followed by one final championship poll. During that week (May 10) you'll also get to vote on what the subject of the new logo tournament will be. We can get going on the minor leagues or stick with the NHL, maybe secondary logos or jerseys.

Nothing's off the table but I'm going to narrow it to three options. Then after the next tournament, we'll have another three options and so forth until you guys stop voting. I love this new format and I think it'll yield some interesting results.

New feature Quick note: I'm adding a new feature starting with the Week 4 polls. You'll now be able to click on the logos in each poll to see a slightly larger view. We all know what the NHL's logos look like but this feature will come in handy when we start doing the minor leagues.

Feel free to add your thoughts and observations in the comments.