Friday, December 10, 2010

2011 NHL Playoff Projections - 25 Games Played

With 30 percent of the regular season in the books, the 2011 NHL playoff picture is taking shape. Postseason projections are posited below.














Projected 2011 NHL Playoff Picture At 25 Games
EASTWEST
TeamW Pts Pace TeamW Pts Pace
1. WAS
17
36
1.44
1. DET
17
37
1.48
2. PHI
15
34
1.36
2. DAL
16
33
1.32
3. MTL
15
32
1.28
3. VAN
14
31
1.24
4. PIT
15
32
1.28
4. LAK
15
30
1.20
5. TBL
14
31
1.24
5. PHO
12
30
1.20
6. BOS
14
31
1.24
6. CLB
14
29
1.16
7. NYR
14
29
1.16
7. COL
13
29
1.16
8. ATL
13
29
1.16
8. NAS
12
29
1.16
9. CAR
11
25
1.00
9. SJS
12
28
1.12
10. OTT
11
23
0.92
10. STL
12
28
1.12
11. FLA
11
22
0.88
11. CHI
12
26
1.04
12. TOR
9
22
0.88
12. ANA
11
25
1.00
13. BUF
9
21
0.84
13. MIN
11
25
1.00
14. NJD
8
18
0.72
14. CGY
10
22
0.88
15. NYI
5
15
0.60
15. EDM
9
22
0.88


Though team standings so early in the season may seem insignificant, they provide an amazingly accurate measure of one's chances of making the playoffs. Last season, only 1 of 3 teams managing a 1.00 pace through 25 games made the postseason and none collecting less qualified.

Applying that standard to this season's data, three teams are skating on rather thin ice (CAR, ANA, MIN) and eight are already out (OTT, FLA, CGY, TOR, EDM, BUF, NJD, NYI).

The 1.16 points per game pace set by the pair of 8th place clubs suggests a 95 point cutoff to qualify for the 2011 NHL postseason. Using that math, the chart below presents the points and pace needed for the remainder of the season for existing outliers to skate beyond 82 games.








Points Needed In Final 57 Games

EAST

WEST
Team
Pts
Pace
Team
Pts
Pace
9. CAR
70
1.23
9. SJS
67
1.17
10. OTT
72
1.26
10. STL
67
1.17
11. FLA
73
1.28
11. CHI
69
1.21
12. TOR
73
1.28
12. ANA
70
1.23
13. BUF
74
1.30
13. MIN
70
1.23
14. NJD
77
1.35
14. CGY
73
1.28
15. NYI
80
1.40
15. EDM
73
1.28

Anything shy of a Penguins-esque pace for the Panthers, Flames, Leafs, and Oilers and their playoff dreams will be dashed for yet another year.
The hard truth of the holidays is the Islanders' postseason prospects are dead. The silver lining is GM Garth Snow should be in a position to select the Isles 5th top ten draft pick in six years. The dream never dies.