blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: April 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

2013 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 2013 NHL regular season examining their records over the final 10 and 20 games to measure where momentum lies heading into the postseason.

Team Performance Heading Into 2013 NHL Playoffs

Final10 GP20 GP

1. PIT36728161632

2. MTL2963481021

3. WAS27578171532

4. BOS286238921

5. TOR26575111126

6. NYR26567141226

7. OTT25566121122

8. NYI24556151126


Final10 GP20 GP

1. CHI36777151328

2. ANA3066511920

3. VAN26595111327

4. STL29607141326

5. LAK27595121125

6. SJS25575101327

7. DET24565131125

8. MIN2655491021

ChicagoVancouverSan Jose and St. Louis bested the West amassing 13 wins each during the final 20 games, with Chicago and St. Louis finishing strongest over the final 10 games with seven wins a piece.  Minnesota endured the poorest finish of any playoff bound team in the conference trailing its peers for both the final 20 and 10 game stretches.

In the East, Pittsburgh and Washington led all others over the final 20 and 10 game measures with the Penguins earning an extra win and the Capitals picking up an extra point.  Boston and Montreal trailed their playoff conference peers at each interval, registering the same number of points but with the Canadiens besting the Bruins by two wins.

In terms of streaksDetroit finished with four straight wins while Montreal and the New York Rangers won their final two, leading their respective conferences in the category. The New York Islanders dropped their last three games owning the coldest finish, though three others (Boston, San Jose, Vancouver) lost their last two.

In short, Washington, Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit are hot heading into the playoffs while Montreal, Boston and Minnesota 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.

Monday, April 29, 2013

2013 NHL Draft Lottery Results

Tonight Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly presented the NHL Draft lottery results on TSN, with the top overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, to be held on June 30, 2013 in Newark, being awarded to the Colorado Avalanche.
The actual lottery was conducted 30 minutes earlier at NHL Headquarters in New York City, with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman presiding and offering this detailed explanation of the process.
Designed to guard against teams purposely losing regular season games to improve their 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 without any guarantees for poor performance.

Until 2013, only the league's five worst regular season teams were eligible for the top overall pick, allowing teams to advance up to four spots and fall only one spot in the lottery. That changed this year with all non-playoff teams eligible for the top overall pick albeit with their statistical likelihood directly tied to their final regular season standing. The most a team can fall in this year's lottery position is one spot.

For the second year in a row, the top pick went to someone other than the statistical favorite with the last place Florida Panthers edged out by the lottery winning Avalanche. The win gives Colorado their first top overall pick in franchise history - fourth top overall pick if you count their prior incarnation as the pre-lottery Quebec Nordiques (1989 Mats Sundin, 1990 Owen Nolan, 1991 Eric Lindros) - and snaps the Edmonton Oilers three year lottery win streak yielding three top overall picks (2010 Taylor Hall2011 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2012 Nail Yakupov).

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

1. COL: 18.8%
2. FLA: 25.0%
3. TBL: 14.2%
4. NAS: 10.7%
5. CAR: 8.1%
6. CGY: 6.2%
7. EDM: 4.7%
8. BUF: 3.6%
9. NJD: 2.7%
10. DAL: 2.1%
11. PHI: 1.5%
12. PHO: 1.1%
13. WPG: 0.8%
14. CLB: 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 2012 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.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

2013 NHL Playoff Projections - 10 Games To Play

With 38 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 2013 NHL Playoff Picture: 38 Game Pace
TeamW Pts Pace TeamW Pts Pace
1. PIT28561.471. CHI29621.63
2. MTL25551.452. ANA25551.45
3. WAS19401.053. VAN21481.26
4. BOS25541.424. LAK22471.24
5. TOR21461.215. SJS20471.24
6. OTT19441.216. MIN22461.21
7. NYR19421.167. STL22461.21
8. NYI18401.058. DET19431.13
9. NJD15391.039. PHO17401.05
10. WPG18381.0010. DAL18391.03
11. PHI17370.9711. EDM16391.03
12. BUF15360.9512. CLB16391.03
13. CAR16340.8913. NAS15381.00
14. TBL16340.8914. CGY14320.84
15. FLA12300.7915. COL12290.76
If teams maintain their 38 game pace, the playoff points cutoff will be 50 (East) and 54 (West), respectively.  The shortened season has kept playoff races tight, with eight teams (New Jersey, Winnipeg, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Phoenix, Dallas, Edmonton, Columbus) sitting within 4 points of a postseason slot with only 10 games to play. Don't be fooled by their proximity to the playoffs, however, as neither the 38 game pace nor 10 game pace suggests any of these eight will be skating past April 27th.

Projected 2013 NHL Playoff Picture: 10 Game Pace
TeamW Pts Pace TeamW Pts Pace
1. PIT36721.501. CHI35751.56
2. BOS33711.482. VAN29641.33
3. WAS26551.143. ANA29641.33
4. MTL31681.424. SJS28641.33
5. TOR27611.275. LAK28601.25
6. NYR24541.126. STL28581.21
7. OTT24541.127. MIN28581.21
8. NYI23511.068. DET25551.14
9. PHI22491.029. CLB22521.08
10. BUF20481.0010. EDM21501.04
11. NJD17460.9611. PHO21501.04
12. WPG21440.9212. DAL23491.02
13. TBL20430.9613. NAS19481.00
14. FLA17400.8314. CGY17380.79
15. CAR17360.7515. COL14340.71
Both the 38 game pace and the 10 game pace projections yield the same playoff participants in each conference. In the West, Vancouver, San Jose and St. Louis each jump a spot in the final standings if the 10 game pace prevails displacing Anaheim, Los Angeles and Minnesota, respectively.  In the East, Boston edges Montreal for the Northeast Division title, and New York leapfrogs Ottawa.  Toronto appears poised to snap their league-leading playoff drought of 7 seasons, a list Edmonton will top if they miss again this spring for the 6th consecutive season.

For 16 teams the real season begins April 30th.  The remaining 14 clubs will have five long months to reflect on what could have been.