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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…

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  • ...This suggests that the LAK will defeat CHI in Game 6 to play the NYR for the Stanley Cup 1 month 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... 1 month ago
  • ...So those stats point to the NYR claiming victory tonight and playing the winner from the Western Conference in the Finals 1 month ago
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