Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2012 NHL Playoff Projections - 10 Games To Play

With 72 games banked and 10 to play, the NHL playoff picture is all but set. The chart below projects final standings based on the points-per-game pace to date.

Projected 2012 NHL Playoff Picture: 72 Game Pace
EASTWEST
TeamW Pts Pace TeamW Pts Pace
1. NYR
45
97
1.35
1. STL
45
98
1.36
2. BOS
42
87
1.21
2. VAN
43
94
1.30
3. FLA
36
85
1.18
3. DAL
39
83
1.15
4. PIT
45
96
1.33
4. DET
44
92
1.28
5. PHI
42
92
1.28
5. NAS
42
92
1.28
6. NJD
41
87
1.21
6. CHI
39
86
1.19
7. OTT
37
84
1.17
7. SJS
36
82
1.14
8. WAS
36
78
1.08
8. LAK
35
82
1.14
9. WPG
34
76
1.05
9. COL
38
81
1.12
10. BUF
33
76
1.05
10. PHO
35
81
1.12
11. TOR
32
72
1.00
11. CGY
34
80
1.11
12. TBL
32
71
0.99
12. ANA
30
71
0.99
13. CAR
28
71
0.99
13. MIN
30
70
0.97
14. NYI
29
69
0.96
14. EDM
28
64
0.89
15. MTL
28
68
0.94
15. CLB
23
53
0.74

If teams maintain their 72 game pace the playoff points cutoff will be 89 (East) and 93 (West), a four point downturn from last year's 93 and 97, respectively. Substituting the 72 game pace for that of the past 10 games paints a slightly different playoff picture, as shown below.

Projected 2012 NHL Playoff Picture: 10 Game Pace
EASTWEST
TeamW Pts Pace TeamW Pts Pace
1. PIT
54
115
1.40
1. STL
52
113
1.38
2. FLA
42
98
1.19
2. VAN
46
102
1.24
3. OTT
42
97
1.18
3. DAL
46
98
1.19
4. PHI
50
109
1.33
4. NAS
48
105
1.28
5. NYR
49
106
1.29
5. DET
47
99
1.21
6. NJD
47
100
1.22
6. CHI
45
99
1.21
7. BOS
46
95
1.16
7. LAK
42
96
1.17
8. BUF
39
90
1.10
8. COL
45
95
1.16
9. WAS
41
89
1.08
9. CGY
40
93
1.13
10. WPG
39
87
1.06
10. SJS
39
91
1.11
11. CAR
33
83
1.01
11. PHO
38
89
1.08
12. TBL
37
82
1.00
12. ANA
33
78
0.95
13. TOR
35
79
0.96
13. MIN
32
75
0.91
14. MTL
32
78
0.95
14. EDM
31
72
0.88
15. NYI
32
78
0.95
15. CLB
28
63
0.77

The 10 game pace projections have Pittsburgh stealing the East's top spot from New York, Ottawa beating Boston for the Northeast Division title, and Buffalo bouncing Washington from postseason play. In the West, the top three seeds remain the same with Nashville displacing Detroit for home ice and Colorado taking the final playoff spot from San Jose.

Time will tell which pace prevails. Either way, Florida is poised to snap their league-leading playoff drought of 10 seasons, a list Toronto will top if they miss again this spring for the 7th consecutive season.

A harsh reality for the alleged hockey capital of the world.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

2012 NHL Playoff Projections - 20 Games To Play

With 62 games banked and 20 to play, the NHL playoff picture is taking shape. The chart below projects final standings based on the points-per-game pace to date.
























































































































































































































































































































Projected 2011 NHL Playoff Picture: 62 Game Pace
EASTWEST
TeamW Pts Pace TeamW Pts Pace
1. NYR
41
88
1.42
1. VAN
40
86
1.39
2. BOS
38
79
1.27
2. DET
41
85
1.37
3. FLA
30
72
1.16
3. SJS
33
73
1.18
4. PIT
36
77
1.24
4. STL
38
83
1.34
5. PHI
34
75
1.21
5. NAS
36
79
1.27
6. NJD
35
74
1.19
6. CHI
33
73
1.18
7. OTT
32
72
1.16
7. PHO
32
73
1.18
8. WAS
31
67
1.08
8. DAL
32
68
1.10
9. TOR
29
65
1.05
9. CGY
28
67
1.08
10. WPG
29
65
1.05
10. COL
31
66
1.06
11. TBL
28
62
1.00
11. LAK
27
66
1.06
12. BUF
27
62
1.00
12. MIN
28
65
1.05
13. NYI
26
60
0.97
13. ANA
27
64
1.03
14. CAR
23
59
0.95
14. EDM
25
56
0.90
15. MTL
24
58
0.93
15. CLB
18
43
0.69



If teams maintain their 62 game pace, the playoff points cutoff will be 89 (East) and 90 (West), a slight dip from last year's 93 and 97. An uptick in production, however, is needed for outliers to salvage their season.



















































































































































Points Needed In Final 20 Games



EAST

WEST
Team
Pts
Pace
Team
Pts
Pace
9. TOR
24
1.20
9. CGY
23
1.15
10. WPG
24
1.20
10. COL
24
1.20
11. TBL
27
1.35
11. LAK
24
1.20
12. BUF
27
1.35
12. MIN
25
1.25
13. NYI
29
1.45
13. ANA
26
1.30
14. CAR
30
1.50
14. EDM
34
1.70
15. MTL
31
1.55
15. CLB
47
2.35


While most have enjoyed relatively consistent production thus far this season, some have deviated drastically during the past 21 games. Most notably Anaheim has doubled their pace posting .74 more points per game during the past 21 games than they did in their first 41 games. On the other hand, Pacific Division sibling San Jose has fallen further than any other team collecting .48 fewer points per game than the first half.



































































































































































































































































Points Collected In Past 21 Games



EAST

WEST
Team
Pts
Pace
Team
Pts
Pace
PIT
31
1.48
VAN
33
1.57
NYR
30
1.43
DET
32
1.52
NJD
26
1.24
ANA
32
1.52
CAR
26
1.24
NAS
31
1.48
OTT
25
1.19
STL
30
1.43
FLA
24
1.14
PHO
30
1.43
TBL
24
1.14
CGY
26
1.24
NYI
24
1.14
CHI
21
1.00
BOS
22
1.05
DAL
21
1.00
PHI
21
1.00
COL
21
1.00
WAS
21
1.00
EDM
21
1.00
BUF
21
1.00
LAK
19
0.90
WPG
20
0.95
SJS
18
0.86
MTL
19
0.90
MIN
17
0.81
TOR
18
0.86
CLB
16
0.76



Understanding past behavior is a strong indicator of future performance, the question is how far back does one look to prepare predictions. The chart below posits final standings extrapolating the points pace for the past 21 games over the remainder of the regular season.

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Projected 2011 NHL Playoff Picture: 21 Game Pace
EASTWEST
TeamW Pts Pace TeamW Pts Pace
1. NYR
55
117
1.43
1. VAN
55
117
1.43
2. BOS
48
100
1.22
2. DET
56
115
1.40
3. FLA
40
95
1.16
3. PHO
45
102
1.24
4. PIT
52
107
1.30
4. STL
52
112
1.36
5. NJD
47
99
1.20
5. NAS
50
109
1.33
6. OTT
43
96
1.17
6. ANA
41
94
1.15
7. PHI
43
95
1.16
7. CHI
42
93
1.13
8. WAS
40
87
1.06
8. CGY
38
92
1.12
9. TBL
39
85
1.03
9. SJS
41
90
1.10
10. WPG
38
84
1.02
10. DAL
41
88
1.07
11. CAR
33
84
1.02
11. COL
40
86
1.05
12. NYI
37
83
1.01
12. LAK
34
84
1.02
13. TOR
37
82
1.00
13. MIN
35
81
0.99
14. BUF
36
82
1.00
14. EDM
34
76
0.93
15. MTL
32
76
0.93
15. CLB
25
58
0.71






Despite differences in points pace between the 62 and 21 game spans, the same East teams qualify under either scenario with the Flyers finishing below the Senators and Devils applying the 21 game pace. In the West, however, the 62 game pace has the Sharks and
Stars qualifying whereas the 21 game pace shows the Flames and Ducks stealing their spots.
In short, it's getting real in the playoff points race. Time will tell which teams and pace prevail during the final 20 game postseason push.