Quarterly returns

It's a long season, but the playoff picture develops early

Updated: November 19, 2009, 3:30 PM ET
By E.J. Hradek | ESPN The Magazine

A few weeks back, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock offered us a tip: "After 20 games, the standings don't change much." He's right. In the past four seasons, 80% of the teams in a playoff spot at the quarter-pole reached the postseason. So here's a playoff preview, November edition.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.