Tuesday, March 3, 2009

2009 NHL Playoff Projections - 20 Games to Play

With 62 games down and 20 to go, the playoff picture is taking shape. Where teams finish on April 12 will be determined by the pace at which they collect points for the rest of the season. The chart below extrapolates projected standings based on each team's winning percentage over the first 62 games and the past 10 games.

62 Game Projected Pace vs. Past 10 Game Projected Pace
>>>>>>>>EAST<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>WEST<<<<<<<<
1. BOS: 122'''''''''''1. BOS: 112''''''''''''1. SJS: 123'''''''''''''1. DET: 120
2. NJD: 110''''''''''2. NJD: 111'''''''''''2. DET: 119'''''''''''2. SJS: 117
3. WAS: 110'''''''''3. WAS: 109'''''''''3. CGY: 106''''''''''3. CGY: 112
4. PHI: 103''''''''''4. PHI: 104'''''''''''4. CHI: 107''''''''''''4. CHI: 107
5. MTL: 97'''''''''''5. FLA: 94''''''''''''''5. VAN: 95''''''''''''5. VAN: 104
6. FLA: 93''''''''''''6. PIT: 92''''''''''''''6. CLB: 90'''''''''''''6. CLB: 98
7. NYR: 93''''''''''7. MTL: 91'''''''''''''7. EDM: 89'''''''''''7. STL: 92
8. BUF: 91''''''''''8. CAR: 91'''''''''''''8. ANA: 86''''''''''8. EDM: 91

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9. CAR: 88'''''''''9. BUF: 89'''''''''''''9. MIN: 86''''''''''''9. NSH: 86
10. PIT: 87'''''''''10. TOR: 86'''''''''''10. DAL: 86''''''''''10. ANA: 85
11. TOR: 79'''''''''11. NYR: 84'''''''''''11. NSH: 85'''''''''''11. MIN: 81
12. OTT: 74''''''''12. OTT: 76'''''''''''''12. STL: 85'''''''''''12. DAL: 77
13. TBL: 69'''''''''13. ATL: 68''''''''''''13. LAK: 81''''''''''''13. LAK: 73
14. ATL: 66'''''''''14. TBL: 66''''''''''''14. PHO: 78'''''''''''14. PHO: 71
15. NYI: 60''''''''''15. NYI: 61''''''''''''15. COL: 75'''''''''''''15. COL: 69

If teams continue to collect points at their past 10 game rate as opposed to their 62 game pace, some will benefit (VAN +9/CLB +8/STL +7/TOR +7/CLG +6/PIT +5) while others will suffer (BOS -10/NYR -9/DAL -9/LAK -8/PHO -7/MTL -6/COL -6/SJS -6/MIN -5).

For CAR, PIT, and STL to make the playoffs, they must maintain their past 10 game pace. Conversely, NYR, BUF, and ANA must revert to their 62 game percentage to qualify for the post season.

With 40 possible points remaining in the final 20 games, mathematically most teams remain alive (assuming a 90 point playoff cutoff). These projections, however, tell quite a different story.

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