blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: April 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

2012 NHL Playoff Projections - 82 Games Played

When it comes to the NHL playoffs, a general rule of thumb is to expect the unexpected. While division winners typically hoist the Stanley Cup, top-seeded teams are no stranger to first round playoff upsets.

Acknowledging that the best predictor of future behavior is typically past performance, the chart below tracks teams over the second half of the 2012 NHL regular season examining their 10, 20 and 41 game records in order to measure where momentum lies heading into the postseason.

Team Performance Heading Into 2012 NHL Playoffs

Final10 GP20 GP41 GP
1. NYR5110961210212451
2. BOS4910271511232145
3. FLA3894298221846
4. PIT5110861215312662
5. PHI4710351113282249
6. NJD4810271513282554
7. WAS429261411252046
8. OTT4192489202045

Final10 GP20 GP41 GP
1. VAN5111181711252658
2. STL4910941111262556
3. PHO429771610242354
4. NAS4810461212252656
5. DET481024107172249
6. CHI4510161512282149
7. SJS439671410231841
8. LAK409551313292048

Vancouver , St. Louis and Nashville bested the West from the season's midpoint with Chicago and Los Angeles leading during the final 20 games, and Vancouver and Phoenix finishing strongest over the final 10 games. San Jose endured the poorest second half of any playoff bound team with Detroit trailing its peers for the final 20 and 10 game stretches.

In the East, Pittsburgh led all others over the final 41 game and 20 game measures with Boston and New Jersey posting the best records during the final 10 games of the season. Ottawa trailed its playoff conference peers at each interval during the second half, with Florida being a close second.

In terms of streaks, New Jersey finished with six straight wins and Phoenix won their final five, leading their conferences in the category. Ottawa dropped their last three games owning the coldest finish, though three others (New York, Detroit, Los Angeles) lost their last two.

In short, Vancouver, Nashville, Phoenix, New Jersey, Boston and Pittsburgh are hot heading into the playoffs while Ottawa, Florida and Detroit are not. Of course, none of these statistical measures matter when puck drops tonight. It's a new dawn. It's a new day. It's a new life.

Let the second season begin. The real season. 16W.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

2012 NHL Draft Lottery Results

Tonight TSN televised the NHL Draft lottery from Toronto where the top overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft was awarded to the Edmonton Oilers for the third straight year.

Designed to guard against teams purposely losing regular season games to improve draft position, the weighted lottery system implemented prior to the 1995 NHL Entry Draft provides weaker teams with a greater chance of a higher pick while allowing teams to advance up to four spots and fall only one. Despite all non-playoff bound clubs participating, only the league's five worst regular season teams are eligible for the top overall pick with the last place club enjoying a 48.2% likelihood of the loot.

For the first time in five years, the top pick went to someone other than the statistical favorite with the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets edged out by the lottery winning Oilers. The win gives Edmonton their third first overall pick in as many years (2010 Hall, 2011 Nugent-Hopkins), matching the Quebec Nordiques top overall pick threepeat dating back to the pre-lottery era (1989 Sundin, 1990 Nolan, 1991 Lindros).

Other than Edmonton and Columbus trading places, the remaining clubs placed as predicted by their statistical probabilities set forth below.

1. EDM: 18.8%
2. CLB: 25.0%
3. MTL: 14.2%
4. NYI: 10.7%
5. TOR: 8.1%
6. ANA: 6.2%
7. MIN: 4.7%
8. CAR: 3.6%
9. WPG: 2.7%
10. TBL: 2.1%
11. WAS: 1.5% (via COL)
12. BUF: 1.1%
13. DAL: 0.8%
14. CGY: 0.5%

Remaining NHL Entry Draft positions are set after the playoffs with the Stanley Cup champion and runner-up picking 30th and 29th, respectively. Conference finalists (28th, 27th) as well as division winners and wildcard teams (26th through 15th) are then ordered among their respective subgroup based on regular season standings, positioning teams with better regular season records to pick later than their peers.

* See also 2018 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2017 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2016 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2015 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2014 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2013 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2011 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2010 NHL Draft Lottery Results.
* See also 2009 NHL Draft Lottery Results.