Thursday, December 8, 2011

2012 NHL Playoff Projections - 25 Games Played

With all teams having completed 25 games, equaling roughly 30 percent of the 82 game regular season schedule, the 2012 NHL playoff picture is taking shape. Preliminary postseason projections are posited below.














Projected 2011 NHL Playoff Picture At 25 Games
EASTWEST
TeamW Pts Pace TeamW Pts Pace
1. BOS
17
35
1.40
1. DET
16
33
1.32
2. NYR
15
34
1.36
2. MIN
15
33
1.32
3. PHI
15
33
1.32
3. DAL
15
31
1.24
4. PIT
14
32
1.28
4. SJS
15
31
1.24
5. TOR
14
30
1.20
5. STL
14
31
1.24
6. FLA
13
30
1.20
6. CHI
14
31
1.24
7. WAS
13
27
1.08
7. LAK
13
30
1.20
8. BUF
13
27
1.08
8. VAN
14
29
1.16
9. OTT
12
26
1.04
9. PHO
13
29
1.16
10. NJD
12
25
1.00
10. NAS
12
28
1.12
11. TBL
11
24
0.96
11. EDM
12
27
1.08
12. MTL
10
24
0.96
12. CGY
11
24
0.96
13. WPG
10
24
0.96
13. COL
11
23
0.92
14. NYI
9
23
0.92
14. ANA
7
19
0.76
15. CAR
8
20
0.80
15. CLB
7
17
0.68


Arguably insignificant with 70 percent of the schedule to play, standings at the 25 game mark have proven a reliable measure for postseason play. Specifically, in each of the past two seasons only four outliers at the 25 game mark have made the playoffs of which only one team from either year (Buffalo 2011) qualified with a points pace of less than 1.00.

Assuming a 95 point cutoff to qualify for the 2012 NHL postseason, though last year's actuals were 93 points in the East and 97 points for the West, 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. OTT
69
1.21
9. PHO
66
1.15
10. NJD
70
1.23
10. NAS
67
1.17
11. TBL
71
1.25
11. EDM
68
1.19
12. MTL
71
1.25
12. CGY
71
1.25
13. WPG
71
1.25
13. COL
72
1.27
14. NYI
72
1.27
14. ANA
76
1.32
15. CAR
75
1.32
15. CLB
78
1.36

The takeaway is the Lightning, Canadiens, Jets, Flames, Islanders and Avalanche are in a tough spot, while the Hurricanes, Ducks and Blue Jackets are all but done barring Perry-esque Hart trophy heroics.

Dreams never die but history doesn't lie.