In the meantime, I thought I'd take a look at each team's performance in the standings relative to their payroll. I did a few spreadsheets that look at the money each team has to pay per standings point. I then compare their rank in that category to their projected finish in the regular season (pure rank order, not accounting for division leaders getting the top 3 seeds).
When you get to the difference between the rankings of "Payroll $/Pts 82" and "Pts/82" you are getting a handle on whether or not a team is outperforming its (in)efficiency.
For instance, the Washington Capitals have the 11th-highest (as in worst) Payroll$/Pts82 total in the Eastern Conference. That is horribly inefficient.
The silver lining is, that given the Capitals are projected to finish 9th in the Eastern Conference, they have a +2 difference and are outperforming their payroll inefficiency.
Of course, they would still be playing golf by mid-April. But, what can you do? Hopefully Mr. DVR will have some good news for me in a few hours.
Standings are from NHL.com prior to the action on Wednesday night. So, the Caps/Pens game and the Devils/Oilers games are not included. Cap info is from Capgeek.
* You can click on any chart to enlarge it*