As with every year, it's a been a grueling 82-game regular season for all 30 NHL teams, but 16 in particular have battled especially hard to position themselves for what kicks off today -- the real season. The Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Here at Terapeak, we're literally counting down the hours until the first pucks drop over on the east coast (though many of us wouldn't mind fast-forwarding right to tonight's game in Vancouver!), but we'll bide our time by taking a pre-playoffs look back at the Terapeak NHL Index, which we first launched last October (its companion widget seen below):
So how have the past month's eBay sales reflected the NHL's regular season? You can begin by looking at the top teams in both the Eastern and Western Conferences -- Boston and San Jose, respectively. On one hand, you've got Boston, a storied franchise (albeit one that's spent the past decade mired in mediocrity) that began the season if not among the top 5-selling teams, then at least comfortably in the top 10. And what has a great regular season done for them? Well, for one, it's vaulted them to #2 among NHL team total eBay sales! (Behind, naturally, the Penguins, whose phenom centreman Sidney Crosby is legitimately as good -- or better -- a brand by himself as any team in the NHL.)
Out West, meanwhile, the San Jose Sharks are a still-relatively-young franchise that, despite consistently icing one of the best teams in the league (and inevitably choking that away come playoff-time), began the season once again on no one's radar in terms of eBay sales. Perhaps chalk that up to playing home games in California, or perhaps it's got more to do with their polarizing teal sweaters -- whatever the case, all seems forgiven after the Sharks led the league in points and climbed to 3rd in Total Sales in the Western Conference (behind two always-popular Original 6 teams, Chicago and Detroit).
On the whole, regular season prowess has actually been a pretty solid indicator of sales this season: in the East, 7 of the 8 playoff teams find themselves among the conference's 8 best-selling franchises, with only Carolina lagging behind the fray. In the West, meanwhile, sales are more-or-less aligned with regular season point totals... Only why are our Canucks among the conference losers in terms of Total Sales? Big city, great hockey market... What gives?
Ah, we'll take a victory over the Blues and be happy with that! Enjoy the playoffs, everyone!