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Archive for April 2012

2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2 Fin: PHI v NJD Analysis

On Goal Analysis continues their 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs 2nd Round analysis with the PHI versus NJD matchup that begins on Sunday, 29 April. For this review, we use the same analysis formula provided for the PHI versus NJD Round 2 blog posted on 27 April as listed below:

The Schedule

The 2012 Series

Comparative Team Stat Analysis (CTSA) against the Hi, Average and Lo of the previous six, post-Lockout Stanley Cup Champions including: Wins; Losses; Points; Conference Seed; Goals For; Goals Against; and Goal Differential.

We also provide CTSA on tem performance from Round 1 of the Playoffs in terms of: Power Play %; Penalty Kill %; Winning Streak; Longest Winning Streak; Losing Streak; Longest Losing Streak; Home and Away Winning %; odds of Wins and Losses of Round 2, Game 1 and the series as a whole from historical patterns; Round 1 Closing Win Streak; Average Output Per Game by position; and a total Team Point Value.

How does our analysis call this series?

PHI vs NJD

This is being billed as the 1 – 0 series because everyone believes that is how the games will end. Sure, a defensive / lack of prolific scoring style of game might ensue. But what does our pattern analysis show?

Schedule

Sun, 29 April, 3p (ET) NJD at PHI [NBC, CBC, RDS]

Tue, 1 May, 7:30p (ET) NJD at PHI [NBCSN, CBC, RDS]

Thur, 3 May, 7:30p (ET) PHI at NJD [NBCSN, CBC, RDS]

Sun, 6 May, 7:30p (ET) PHI at NJD [NBCSN, CBC, RDS]

Tue, 8 May, TBD NJD at PHI [NBCSN, CBC, RDS – if required]

Thur, 10 May, TBD PHI at NJD [TBD, CBC, RDS – if required]

Sat, 12 May, TBD NJD at PHI [TBD, CBC, RDS – if required]

2012 Series

Sat, 8 October PHI 3 @ NJD 0 (Philadelphia leads series 1 – 0; Bryzgalov defeats Brodeur; PHI goals from Giroux, Read and Simmonds; 56 PIMs)

Thur, 3 November NJD 4 @ PHI 3 SO (Series tied 1 – 1; Hedberg defeats Bobrovsky; NJD goals from Parise, Henrique and Clarkson; PHI goals from Rinaldo, Giroux and Talbot; 22 PIMs)

Sat, 21 January PHI 4 @ NJD 1 (Philadelphia leads series 2 – 1; Bryzgalov defeats Brodeur; PHI goals from Read, Hartnell (2) and Simmonds; NJD goal from Ponikarovsky; 76 PIMs)

Sat, 4 February NJD 6 @ PHI 4 (Series tied 2 – 2; Hedberg defeats Bobrovsky and (Bryzgalov); NJD goals from Foster (2), Kovalchuk, Zubrus, Parise and Ponikarovsky; PHI goals from Simmonds, Jagr, Giroux and Voracek; 50 PIMs)

Sun, 11 March PHI 1 @ NJD 4 (New Jersey leads series 3 – 2; Brodeur defeats Bobrovsky; NJD goals from Elias, Volchenkov, Kovalchuk and Parise; PHI goal from Giroux; 28 PIMs)

Tue, 13 March NJD 0 @ PHI 3 (Series tied 3 – 3; Bryzgalov defeats Brodeur; PHI goals from Couturier, Voracek and Briere; 28 PIMs)

Key Notes: This is the only intra-divisional matchup in Round 2; the regular season series ended in a tie; Bryzgalov won three of four starts; leading NJD goal scorer was Parise (3); leading PHI goal scorer was Giroux (4); and the series ran the most average PIMs at 43.3 per game with multiple fighting majors and misconducts issued.

PHI vs NJD CTSA

Using Regular Season Wins, Losses, Points, Conference Seed, Goals For, Goals Against and Goal Differential as measured against previous Stanley Cup winners, PHI is the leading team between the two. This is primarily due to NJD’s Goals Against which are above both average and the norm. (PHI 0; NJD –1)

In the double-edged sword neighborhood, PHI’s Round 1 series with PIT made them look great on the PP – the best of remaining Playoff teams – and second worst on the PK. NJD was the worst PK team.  (PHI – 1; NJD –2)

The Flyers’ Average Winning Streak and Longest Winning Streak are right at normal following Round 1. NJD’s numbers are tied as the lowest on both counts with several other teams. PHI’s Average Losing Streak and Longest Losing Streak in the playoffs are both below average and the norm. NJD’s Longest Losing Streak is below average/norm but their Average Losing Streak is normal for the Playoffs (PHI – 3; NJD – 5)

Playoff Home and Away records for the clubs are all .667 except for NJD’s Road record which stands at .500. If you play out those numbers, it suggests PHI wins this series in six games. (PHI – 3; NJD – 5)

No post-Lockout team has carried the Round 1 Win/Loss pattern each of these teams sport going into Round 2. So you have to say the historical odds of either team winning this first Round 2 game are at .500. Overall, no team has carried NJD’s pattern on to the Stanley Cup either. PHI’s pattern resulted in a loss for DAL in Round 3 of 2008 and win for DET in the same round and year. That adds up to a .500 chance for PHI to continue on to the Finals. These patterns, therefore, are not a helpful tool for predictive analysis at this time. (PHI – 3; NJD – 5)

After dropping Games 4 and 5 to PIT, PHI closed out their Round 1 series with a series clenching Game 6 victory for a one-game winning streak. After going down 3 – 2 in the series, NJD came back to win both Game 6 and Game 7 in OT. The two-game winning streak is right at average to close out Round 1 series. (PHI – 4; NJD –5)

In terms of the average, by–position output per player in 16 statistical categories, the comparison breaks down as follows:

  • PHI leads both clubs at every position in terms of overall, by-game statistical averages. PHI leaders by position are: LW – Hartnell; C – Rinaldo; RW – Giroux and D – Grossman. The Flyers’ combined Goalie numbers and individual numbers for Bryzgalov over Brodeur also give them the nudge at that position. The C and G positions are both above average and the norm, working against their overall comparison based on our Ten Pound Bag Theory. (PHI – 6; NJD –5)
  • NJD leads in terms of individual stats packs for LW where Parise is dominant. NJD’s Defense corps rates the lowest by-game statistical average of remaining Playoff teams. (PHI – 6; NJD –6)

If you add up the by–position, per–game averages, Round 1 performance gives PHI a substantial point lead in terms of total combined, by-game stats. PHI, in fact, produces the highest team, by-game stats average through Round 1.

The telling difference between these two teams is in their base overall grade. PHI is one of only two teams with a grade of “B” (NSH is the other). NJD, like several other teams, nets a “Low C.” (PHI – 6; NJD –6.5)

Summary

This series is as close in terms of the negative takeaways as any of the four Round 2 matchups get. A slight nudge goes to the Flyers, with a lot of their advantage coming from Round 1 offense and negatives from their Playoff-opening Special Teams play.

How does PHI win this series? They need to find a new gear in Goal. One that is strongly confident instead of sometimes sieve-like. They need to keep their explosive offense going as well. And add a spoonful more of defense this series to boot.

How does NJD land in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since before the Lockout? Stellar, shutdown defense and goaltending will erode the offensive confidence the Flyers carry into this series. That absence of scoring at will can create enough dis-ease that they question themselves. Ratcheting up Parise a notch, and Kovalchuk and Elias a couple of gears will also make the biggest of differences in game outcomes.

Our overall call is PHI winning the series in six games. The tell for this outcome will be one win in New Jersey out of the opening four games.

2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2 Con’t: STL v LAK Analysis

On Goal Analysis continues their 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs 2nd Round analysis with the STL versus LAK matchup that begins on Saturday, 28 April. For this review, we use the same analysis formula provided for the STL versus LAK Round 2 blog posted on 27 April as listed below:

The Schedule

The 2012 Series

Comparative Team Stat Analysis (CTSA) against the Hi, Average and Lo of the previous six, post-Lockout Stanley Cup Champions including: Wins; Losses; Points; Conference Seed; Goals For; Goals Against; and Goal Differential.

We also provide CTSA on tem performance from Round 1 of the Playoffs in terms of: Power Play %; Penalty Kill %; Winning Streak; Longest Winning Streak; Losing Streak; Longest Losing Streak; Home and Away Winning %; odds of Wins and Losses of Round 2, Game 1 and the series as a whole from historical patterns; Round 1 Closing Win Streak; Average Output Per Game by position; and a total Team Point Value.

How does our analysis call this series?

STL vs LAK

This is being billed as the 1 – 0 series because everyone believes that is how the games will end. Sure, a defensive / lack of prolific scoring style of game might ensue. But what does our pattern analysis show?

Schedule

Sat, 28 April, 7:30p (ET) LAK at STL [NBCSN, TSN, RDS]

Mon, 30 April, 9p (ET) LAK at STL [CNBC, TSN, RDSI]

Thur, 3 May, 10p (ET) STL at LAK [NBCSN, TSN, RDS]

Sun, 6 May, 3p (ET) STL at LAK [NBC, TSN, RDS]

Tue, 8 May, TBD LAK at STL [CNBC, TSN, RDSI – if required]

Thur, 10 May, TBD STL at LAK [TBD, TSN, RDS – if required]

Sat, 12 May, TBD LAK at STL [TBD, TSN, RDS – if required]

2012 Series

Tue, 18 October  STL 0 @ LAK 5 (Los Angeles leads series 1 – 0; Quick defeats Halak (and Elliott); LAK goals from Gagne (2), Stoll, Brown and Kopitar; 16 PIMs)

Tue, 22 November LAK 3 @ STL 2 (Los Angeles leads series 2 – 0; Bernier defeats Halak; LAK goals from Kopitar, Richards and Mitchell; STL goals from Steen and Sobotka; 34 PIMs)

Fri, 3 February LAK 0 @ STL 1 (Los Angeles leads series 2 – 1; Quick defeats Elliott; STL goal from Langenbrunner; 4 PIMs)

Thur, 22 March STL 0 @ LAK 1 SO (Los Angeles leads series 2 – 0; Quick defeats Elliott; LAK SO winning goal from Carter; 20 PIMs)

Key Notes: Los Angeles was the king of this series with Quick defeating both Blues’ goalies and winning in both buildings; leading LAK goal scorer was Gagne (2); STL scored three total goals, all from different players; and the series ran an average of 18.5 PIMs per game with four fighting majors issued.

STL vs LAK CTSA

Using Regular Season Wins, Losses, Points, Conference Seed, Goals For, Goals Against and Goal Differential as measured against previous Stanley Cup winners, STL is just barely the most dominant team of the two and the best qualified (along with NSH) in terms of pattern analysis to advance toward winning The Stanley Cup since VAN was knocked out by LAK. (STL – 1.5; LAK –2)

Specialty Teams stats for the two teams’ PKs are relatively close and above the average of teams still in the Playoffs. STL’s PP is about three times better than LAK’s per the statistical package. (STL – 1.5; LAK –2.5)

The Blues’ Average Winning Streak and Longest Winning Streak are fueled by coming back from a Game 1 loss to SJS with four straight wins, the only Round 1 team to advance off of that pattern of wins. That works against them when you subscribe to our Ten Pound Bag Theory. The LAK’s numbers for these two categories fall right within averages. (STL – 3.5; LAK – 2.5)

Both teams’ Average Losing Streaks and Longest Losing Streaks are at one game so are a wash. (STL – 3.5; LAK – 2.5)

The Home and Road records of both teams are an interesting study. The LAK are perfect at home and STL is perfect on the Road. STL’s Home record is better than the Kings’ Road performance, however. When you play out these averages, STL comes out ahead in Game 7. (STL – 4.5; LAK –3.5)

Historical odds generated from Round 1 Win/Loss patterns by both teams indicates STL has a 1.0 chance of winning Game 1 of Round 2 while LAK’s odds are at .500. Overall, STL gets a .500 chance of winning the entire series while the Kings only bat a .333. (STL – 4.5; LAK –4)

STL closed out their Round 1 series with four straight wins, giving them potential momentum to continue in the ‘W’ column. The LAK won Game 5 after their only loss to last year’s Western Conference finalist. There is less potential momentum for the Kings there, but confidence should still abound from their series effort. (STL – 5.5; LAK –5)

In terms of the average, by–position output per player in 16 statistical categories, the comparison breaks down as follows:

  • STL leads both clubs at the LW, C and D positions. The Blues’ LW ranking is the highest at that position for all teams still in contention where McDonald, Sobotka, Steen and Perron all statistically outplay any LAK Left Winger. At C, Berglund is the leader of the pack, followed by the top 4 King Centermen. It is only in overall statistical average that STL prevails here. While the Kings’ Mitchell is the top performing Dman, the next four Defenders in terms of stats packs are all STL players who carry the highest by-game average of all defensive corps still in the post-season. (STL – 6; LAK –5)
  • Los Angeles leads in terms of stats packs for RW and G. The Kings’ RWs overall average stands as the highest by-game statistical average of all current Playoff teams. The primary reason was the dominance of Brown over the Canucks, a player who will be keyed upon by the Blues for shutdown. And Quick’s performance outpaced the Blues’ effort based primarily on SOG against, Saves and the      lone Shutout between the two clubs. (STL – 6; LAK –6)

If you add up the by–position, per–game averages, the LAK lead STL by a couple of points in total combined by-game stats. It should be noted here that these two teams have the highest averages next to PHI of the remaining eight Playoff teams.

The telling difference between these two teams is in their base overall grade. STL rates a “High C” while the LAK net a “Low C.” The nudge has a lot to do with STL’s stats in their four consecutive wins to close out their series, to include their goal scoring average. The LAK are not devoid of scoring capability, just hampered in actual output. (STL – 6; LAK –6.5)

Summary

This series is as statistically close as any of the four Round 2 matchups. A nudge goes to the Blues based on how they came into the Playoffs and closed out their Round 1 matchup. There is just more potential capability there than for the Kings. Sometimes potential is not enough, but in this case, it looks to be just barely so.

How does STL win this series? Keeping the SOG against low with strong defense and Elliott (and/or Halak) coming across as a stone wall would do it. But they will need to add some timely goals from their talented forwards and off of the blue line on the PP as in Round 1 to guarantee a trip to the Western finals.

How does LAK pull off an upset? If they cannot score, they cannot win. So Quick must be durn near perfect four times. Follow that with needing the likes of Brown, Williams, Kopitar, Richards and Carter needing to find a new, higher scoring gear that has not been present in dominating fashion for most of the season.

Our overall call is STL winning the series in seven games. The tell for this outcome will be one win in Los Angeles.

Sunday, 29 April will be our final Round 2 preview blog ahead of NJD at PHI…

2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2: NYR v WSH Analysis

On Goal Analysis continues their 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs 2nd Round analysis with the NYR versus WSH matchup that begins on Saturday, 28 April. For this review, we use the same analysis formula provided for the NYR versus WSH Round 2 blog posted on 27 April as listed below:

The Schedule

The 2012 Series

Comparative Team Stat Analysis (CTSA) against the Hi, Average and Lo of the previous six, post-Lockout Stanley Cup Champions including: Wins; Losses; Points; Conference Seed; Goals For; Goals Against; and Goal Differential.

We also provide CTSA on tem performance from Round 1 of the playoffs in terms of: Power Play %; Penalty Kill %; Winning Streak; Longest Winning Streak; Losing Streak; Longest Losing Streak; Home and Away Winning %; odds of Wins and Losses of Round 2, Game 1 and the series as a whole from historical patterns; Round 1 Closing Win Streak; Average Output Per Game by position; and a total Team Point Value.

How does our analysis call this series?

NYR vs WSH

What? AGAIN!? This is the third of four possible years these two teams could meet in the playoffs since The Lockout. And the Capitals vanquished the Rangers in the previous two series. So what are we in store for this season?

Schedule

Sat, 28 April, 3p (ET) WSH at NYR [NBC, CBC, RDS]

Mon, 30 April, 7:30p (ET) WSH at NYR [NBCSN, CBC, RDS]

Wed, 2 May, 7:30p (ET) NYR at WSH [NBCSN, CBC, RDS]

Sat, 5 May, 12:30p (ET) NYR at WSH [NBC, CBC, RDS]

Mon, 7 May, 7:30p (ET) WSH at NYR [NBCSN, CBC, RDS – if required]

Wed, 9 May, TBD NYR at WSH [TBD, CBC, RDS – if required]

Sat, 12 May, TBD WSH at NYR [TBD, CBC, RDSI – if required]

2012 Series

Fri, 25 November NYR 6 @ WSH 3 (New York leads series 1 – 0; Lundqvist defeats Neuvirth; NYR goals from Gaborik, Anisimov, Fedotenko (2), Boyle and Richards; WSH goals from Brouwer, Carlson and Ovechkin; 18 PIMs)

Wed, 28 December NYR 1 @ WSH 4 (Series tied 1 – 1; Vokoun defeats Biron; WSH goals from Johansson, Brouwer and Semin (2); NYR goal from Dubinsky; 14 PIMs)

Sun, 12 February WSH 2 @ NYR 3 (New York leads series 2 – 1; Lundqvist defeats Neuvirth; NYR goals from Callahan, McDonagh and Prust; WSH goals from Semin and Carlson; 8 PIMs)

Sat, 7 April WSH 4 @ NYR 1 (Series tied 2 – 2; Holtby defeats Lundqvist; WSH goals from Ovechkin, Perrault, Carlson and Backstrom; NYR goal from Boyle; 16 PIMs)

Key Notes: This series wound up a split; Lundqvist went 2 – 1 playing three different goalies with his single loss to Holtby closing out the regular season; both teams split wins in each other’s building; leading NYR goal scorers in this series are Fedotenko and Boyle (2); leading WSH goal scorers are Carlson and Semin (3); and the series ran an average of 14 PIMs per game with no majors issued.

NYR vs WSH CTSA

Using Regular Season Wins, Losses, Points, Conference Seed, Goals For, Goals Against and Goal Differential as measured against previous Stanley Cup winners, NYR is the most dominant team of the two and the best qualified (along with NJD) in terms of pattern analysis to advance toward winning The Stanley Cup since BOS was knocked out by WSH. (NYR – 1; WSH –3.5)

Specialty Teams stats rank NYR and WSH as pretty similar in terms of statistical effort. WSH gets the nod, however, as they are .2% better on the PP and 6.7% better/second only to PHX on the PK. (NYR – 1.5; WSH –3.5)

Both teams’ Average Winning Streak and Longest Winning Streak are equal. Both are also below the average for teams still in Playoff contention. (NYR – 3.5; WSH – 5.5)

WSH’s Average Losing Streak and Longest Losing Streak is also better than NYR’s. (NYR – 4.5; WSH –5.5)

Both teams have a better Home record than their opponent’s Road record. That said, WSH’s Home Record and NYR’s Road record hold the better Winning percentage. These numbers indicate the series has potential for a long, see-saw battle with NYR prevailing in another Game 7. (NYR – 5; WSH –6)

There is no data indicating if either team has a high probability of winning Game 1 of Round 2. This is because no other, similar Win/Loss pattern exists for teams winning Round 1 since the Lockout. Also, no team with NYR’s W/L pattern has won subsequent Playoff series since 2006, so there is no overall indication of success from their Round 1 performance. For WSH, twice their pattern resulted in losses in the Round 3 and once a Stanley Cup victory (for the 2006 Hurricanes). So the Caps have a .333 probability of going on to the Finals against no data for NYR. (NYR – 5; WSH –6)

NYR closed out their Round 1 series having to take Games 6 and 7 back-to-back. A two-game closeout streak is low average. WSH went into BOS and won Game 7 in OT – their one game closeout streak is the Lo number for half of the teams remaining in play. (NYR – 5.5; WSH –7)

In terms of the average, by–position output per player in 16 statistical categories, the comparison breaks down as follows:

  • WSH leads both clubs at the LW, C and G positions. LW and C fall in the Lo/average range and their Goalie is in the Hi/average range for Playoff teams still on the docket. Leading players here in terms of by-game statistics are Ovechkin at LW and Holtby in goal. If NYR’s Boyle is still out, Backstrom is the dominant Centerman in this contest. And Holtby’s lead over Lundqvist comes from more SOG against, Saves and corresponding TOI. (NYR –5.5; WSH –8.5)
  • NYR leads in terms of stats packs for RW and D. RW stands as Hi/average while Defense is Lo/ average on a by-game basis when compared to all other current Playoff teams. The Ranger’s Callahan leads Brouwer at RW, and Girardi and McDonagh both lead WSH’s top Defenseman (Carlson) in terms of both by-game and overall team percentage of statistical contribution. (NYR – 6.5; WSH –8.5)

If you add up the by–position, per–game averages, NYR leads WSH by a scant .573 points in total combined by-game stats.

Both teams also net an overall statistical grade of “Low C” with NYR toting a 2.943 grade points lead over WSH. Of note here is the Capital’s combined statistical grade is the lowest of the remaining teams.  (NYR – 6.5; WSH –9.5)

Summary

Between these two clubs, historical team statistics and their Round 1 performance indicate NYR should come out ahead. Their advantages really come down to Home and Away Win/Loss percentages and overall, by-position/by-game statistical averages. The margins of error are very close, however, indicating a tough-fought series is ahead.

How does NYR ensure a series victory? Firstly, they must ignore the history of their last two Playoff series with WSH and how the Caps dominated them in MSG to close out the season. Unfortunately, Lundqvist is going to have to be close to perfect again for the Blue Shirts to earn each victory. If they get Boyle and his energy back in this series, that will definitely be a game-changer. And the Rangers’ top performing Dmen need to continue hitting, blocking shots and scoring the odd point.

How does WSH pull off an upset? As we stated in their Round 1 analysis with BOS, if Holtby is the next coming of Ken Dryden, this is likely their series. Also, Ovechkin, who comes in leading all LW’s in statistical output, needs to find his happy place somewhere between his O and d. They will also need Backstrom and Hendricks to kick it up a notch, especially to exploit the absence of Boyle for as long as that goes.

Our overall call is NYR winning the series in seven games. The tell for this outcome will come on 12 May.

Up later is our blog for the Saturday contest between STL and LAK…

2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2: PHX v NSH Analysis

On Goal Analysis‘ 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs 1st Round pick results are all in. How did we do? We were 100% in the Western Conference in terms of picking winners. In terms of how many games we were off, here is how it looked:

VAN vs. LAK –2

STL vs. SJS –1

PHX vs. CHI –1

NSH vs. DET –1

In the Eastern Conference, we were only 50% on winners, correctly selecting NYR and NJD to win their series and missing on BOS and PIT. Of note with the Penguins, our preview of that matchup called for PHI in five or six games, or PIT if it went to a Game 7. But since we said if you held us to it, we would say PIT in seven, we call that a loss. The difference in games is:

NYR vs. OTT 0

BOS vs. WSH –1

FLA vs. NJD 0

PIT vs. PHI –1

Overall, that makes us 6 – of – 8 / 75% and an average of .875 games off of the mark in calling final games.

That all done, we are now staring at the first Game 1 for Round 2 tonight in the PHX versus NSH matchup. For this review, we use the same formula provided for Round 1 in terms of analyzing the following:

The Schedule

The 2012 Series

And finally, Comparative Team Stat Analysis (CTSA) against the Hi, Average and Lo of the previous six, post-Lockout Stanley Cup Champions including: Wins; Losses; Points; Conference Seed; Goals For; Goals Against; Goal Differential; Power Play %; Penalty Kill %; Winning Streak; Longest Winning Streak; Losing Streak; Longest Losing Streak; Home and Away Winning %; Wins and Losses in their Last 10 games played; Closing Game Streak; Average Output Per Game by position; and a total Team Point Value.

How does our analysis call this series?

PHX vs NSH

Both Western Conference series consist of multiple time zone distances between home arenas which contribute to player fatigue. Both NSH and PHX will feel that jetlag each first game played in Music City, U.S.A. But different, relative playing hours are not all that there is to this matchup. So what does our analysis say?

Schedule

Fri, 27 April, 9p (ET) NSH at PHX [NBCSN, TSN, RDS]

Sun, 29 April, 8p (ET) NSH at PHX [NBCSN, TSN, RDS]

Wed, 2 May, 9p (ET) PHX at NSH [CNBC, TSN, RDSI]

Fri, 4 May, 7:30p (ET) PHX at NSH [NBCSN, TSN, RDS]

Mon, 7 May, 10p (ET) NSH at PHX [NBCSN, TSN, RDS – if required]

Wed, 9 May, TBD PHX at NSH [TBD, TSN, RDSI – if required]

Fri, 11 May, TBD NSH at PHX [TBD, TSN, RDS – if required]

2012 Series

Thur, 13 October PHX 5 @ NSH 2 (Phoenix leads series 1 – 0; LaBarbera defeats Rinne; PHX goals from Schlemko, Whitney, Korpikoski, Boedker and Doan; NSH goals from Suter and Wilson; 10 PIMs)

Thur, 3 November NSH 3 @ PHX 0 (Series tied 1 – 1; Rinne defeats LaBarbera; NSH goals from Blum, Halischuk and Hornqvist; 10 PIMs)

Tue, 6 December PHX 3 @ NSH 2 (Phoenix leads series 2 – 1; Rinne defeats LaBarbera; PHX goals from Pyatt, Whitney and Yandle; NSH goals from Hillen and Weber; 12 PIMs)

Mon, 12 March NSH 5 @ PHX 4 SO (Series tied 2 – 2; Smith defeats Rinne; NSH goals from Erat, Fisher, Bouillon and Smith; PHX goals from Langkow, Yandle, Ekman-Larsson and Torres; 6 PIMs)

Key Notes: This series wound up an interesting tie; Rinne went 2 – 2 playing LaBarbera three times and losing the nly game he played against Smith in a SO; in every game, the visiting team was the victor; leading PHX goal scorer in this series is Whitney (2); true to form, NSH had 11 different goal scorers all with only one goal, and 12 if you count A.Kostitsyn’s SO game winner; and the series ran an average of 9.5 PIMs per game with no majors issued, indicating we are in for a lot of up–and–down the ice rushes and strong goal tending play.

PHX vs NSH CTSA

Different from our last post for Round 1 is analysis of Playoff, vice Regular Season, Streaks, Next Win or Loss and By-Position stats packs as detailed below.

Using Regular Season Wins, Losses, Points, Conference Seed, Goals For, Goals Against and Goal Differential as measured against previous Stanley Cup winners, NSH is the dominant team between the two and the best qualified team in terms of pattern analysis to advance toward winning The Stanley Cup since VAN was knocked out by the LAK. (PHX – 1; NSH –.5)

Specialty Teams stats rank NSH with the lowest PP of the remaining Playoff teams and PHX with the highest PK. Remembering our Ten Pound Bag Theory about playing effort, these are negative occurrences for both teams which likely will correct as they play more games in the post-season. For the moment, however, they work against the averages. (PHX – 2; NSH –1.5)

PHX’s Winning Streak and Longest Winning Streak averages are both among the lowest of Playoff teams while NSH’s are right about average. (PHX – 4; NSH –1.5)

The Average Losing Streak and Longest Losing Streak for both teams are equal at 1.0 for all numbers. This category is therefore a wash. (PHX – 4; NSH –1.5)

In terms of Winning % both Home and Away, PHX’s Home % is the lowest for teams still in the Playoffs and both teams have the same road record following the 1st Round. These numbers by themselves indicate NSH coming out on top of PHX by the end of Game 6. (PHX – 5; NSH –1.5)

In measuring both teams’ Round 1 Wins/Loss pattern against all other, similarly patterned teams, PHX has a 1.0 chance of a win for Game 1 of Round 2 while NSH’s probability is only a .667. Overall, neither team’s Round 1 pattern equals that of previous, post-Lockout Stanley Cup Winning Teams (SCWTs). (PHX – 6; NSH –3.5)

PHX ended their series with a Game 6 win after dropping Game 5 for a one-game winning streak. This is below the Round 1 average. NSH is right within the average having won their last three games straight. (PHX – 7; NSH –3.5)

In terms of the average, by–position output per player in 16 statistical categories, the comparison breaks down as follows:

  • PHX leads      both clubs at the LW position and is above average/below the Hi number.      All three of their LW’s lead NSH’s on a per-game statistical basis and      boast Whitney with two Regular Season goals against the Predators. NSH’s      LW corps boasts the lowest per-game totals of all teams still in      contention (PHX – 8; NSH –4)
  • NSH’s      Centermen barely lead PHX in the pivot category as an overall group. The      top, per-game player is PHX’s Hanzal. But Legwand and Fisher from NSH both      provided a higher percentage of per-game statistical output for their      team. (PHX – 8.5; NSH –4)
  • PHX leads in      terms of stats packs for RW and D as well. The Coyotes’ Doan is the leader      at RW over NSH’s Radulov by a good margin. PHX’s Defense as a whole carry      the best numbers, but the Predator’s Weber is the most prolific defenseman      on the ice in this contest and trails only the LAK’s Mitchell in overall      stats pack through Round 1. (PHX – 9; NSH –4)
  • You wouldn’t      necessarily guess it, but PHX’s Smith leads Rinne in combined, by-game      statistics based on a larger stats pack for the one more contest he has      faced and the lone Shutout garnered between the two clubs. (PHX – 9; NSH –4.5)

If you add up the by–position, per–game averages, PHX leads NSH at every position except Center with an by-game lead of 5.855 points.

NSH garners an overall statistical grade of “Low B” and the second highest of all teams still in the hunt. PHX draws a “High C” grade.

Summary

Between these two clubs, historical team statistics and their Round 1 performance indicate NSH should come out ahead. This is despite PHX’s statistical lead at every position except Center. Why? Because NSH’s effort is a by-committee game as evidenced by 11 regulation goals in the Regular Season series with the ‘Yotes all scored by different players.

How does NSH ensure they win this series? Continue to play that all–for–one… game they play so well. And it will not hurt for Radulov to continue to improve stats on the Wing and Rinne to stand on his head, again.

How does PHX pull off an upset? Three things: Mike Smith them to death; find another gear for Doan that has him rise above the NSH check; and pressure the Predator blueline to launch more hurried and less accurate SOG.

Our overall call is NSH wins the series in six games. The tell for this outcome is stealing at least one game of the first two in Glendale.

Up later are our blogs for the two Saturday contests…

The 2012 NHL Playoffs: 14 April Game 2′s Fin

Our final analysis today is the CHI @ PHX 2012 NHL Playoff Game 2 on Saturday, 14 April…

CHI @ PHX, 10p (ET) – PHX leads series 1-0

Our series call (and all others for Round 1) calls for a PHX victory in seven games. The Game 1 OT outcome indicates another tight rivalry ensues in this series.

We now turn to our by-player, Game 1 analysis of who is having the most impact for their team in terms of total percentage of statistical output for the 16 categories we are watching:

  • At LW, Whitney of PHX leads CHI’s Bickell in total statistical numbers. Bickell is the leader in the overall, statistical percentage of team output between the two players, however. This pair of players are so close, the difference for Whitney is TOI in total numbers and SOG for Bickell in overall percentage.
  • At C, Hanzal of PHX with the GWG is out playing Kane of CHI in both categories we cover. Hanzal’s GWG in OT, Shooting % and combined 11 Hits and Blocks are the source of the difference. Hanzal will be keyed upon by CHI’s players in Game 2.
  • At RW, Doan of PHX is just ahead of CHI’s Hossa in both of our measured categories. Doan’s TOI, Shifts Per Game, Faceoff % and Hits are the difference here.
  • At D, Seabrook of CHI leads PHX’s Ekman-Larsson at the Defenseman position in both categories by a decent margin. Seabrook’s one Goal, +/- and six Hits put him out front.
  • In G, Smith’s OT Win and Save % for PHX give him better statistical numbers than CHI’s Crawford.

For teams as a whole, PHX’s stats pack barely leads CHI’s. By-position, the leaders are:

  • LW – PHX; this position holds the largest discrepancy between the two clubs.
  • C – CHI
  • RW – CHI
  • D – PHX
  • G – PHX

STL obviously leads the team stats categories overall 3 – 2. But unlike with SJS in Game 1, PHX’s win comes from the Center position where CHI was dominant overall. This series remains close, and it will take the Coyote’s defensive skill and dominance in goal to win Game 2.

Twitter Updates

  • ...This suggests that the LAK will defeat CHI in Game 6 to play the NYR for the Stanley Cup 5 months ago
  • Since 2005/6, when a Round 3 team wins Game 5, they lose Game 6 66.7% of the time; also, Western series are determined by Game 5.889... 5 months ago
  • ...So those stats point to the NYR claiming victory tonight and playing the winner from the Western Conference in the Finals 5 months ago
  • Since 2005/6, when a Round 3 team wins Game 5, they lose Game 6 60% of the time; also, Eastern series are determined by Game 5.778... 5 months ago
  • 4. Top 4 in each DIV play 2 rounds seeded within the DIV, 1 round versus other DIV champ and then the Finals between the Conference champs. 5 months ago

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