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Are 48 games enough for a season?

As the NHL prepares for a shortened season, one must wonder if 48 games is really enough to decide who gets to compete for the Stanley Cup.

Should this year's champion have an asterisk next to their name?

Well, if you look at the 2011-12 standings through 48 games, you will find that the teams that made the playoffs were pretty much already set.

The only team not in playoff contention after 48 games to rise into a playoff spot was the Phoenix Coyotes, who went on to win the Pacific Division in the final moments of the regular season.

I bet the Minnesota Wild wouldn't have minded playing a 48-game season instead of completing their free-fall to the bottom of the Western Conference in an 82-game season.

Now, there were many changes in the seeding, which has a big effect on the outcome of the postseason, so there was some purpose to the final 34 games.

But check out the final standings for the 2011-12 season and tell us, is a 48-game season long enough?

Eastern Conference

Western Conference

-- Courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau