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Archive for October 2012

AHL Predictive Analysis – 28 October

(If you regularly read this AHL analysis, start under the title “The 28 October Chart,” and don’t miss the ending section “What Do We Already Know?”.)

Below is your AHL Point Predictor and Playoff Qualifying Curve (PQC) update for AHL games ending Saturday, 28 October. What are we showing here? Where the AHL is going, not where they were after the games that night.

How Will We Do It? Check back here several times a week as we provide you the simple chart below where you can follow the AHL’s march to the Playoffs. We will provide the PQC calls explained below as each team reaches another 10-game marker (i.e. Game 10, 20, 30, etc.). As teams do so, the standings’ line color changes to the appropriate PQC designation. And once we make a call of IN (Chasing Calder) or OUT (Tee Time), we stick by it unless a BAD CALL (Shot Off The Post) notification is made.

Additionally, we also give you projected standings based on team play. Note here that the chart is from early in the season, but we gain more and more accuracy with every game played. Still, projected standings will not gain true clarity until every team has at least one OT/SO loss and/or beginning around the Game 20 mark.

The 28 October Chart

Here are the two Conferences after games completed on 28 October:

Here are notes to explain the chart:

1. AHL Conferences are shown Western and Eastern from left to right as they would be on a map. The far left column in each chart titled ‘AHL Stnd’ indicates current team AHL standings as of the posted date. And teams use standard AHL abbreviations and color schemes.

2. ‘GP’ = Games Played.

3. ‘eW’ = Estimated Wins, our own formulary as the season progresses.

4. ‘eL’ = Estimated Losses

5. ‘eOTL’ = Estimated Overtime Losses, the third point in three-point games

6. ‘ePts’ = Estimated Points

7. ‘ePt Rnk’ = Estimated Points Rank, our order of how they will fare overall

8. And the ‘PQC Code’: ‘CC’ = Chasing Calder, or IN the Playoffs; ‘SS’ = Sharpening Skates, or just shy of IN the Playoffs; ‘ITC’ = In The Curve, or playing right about on average; ‘DoC’ = Dusting Off Clubs, or almost OUT of the Playoffs; ‘TT’ = Tee Time, or OUT of the Playoffs; and ‘SotP’ = Shot Off The Post, or a bad call of CC or TT. Remember, the PQC Codes get called every 10 games. (For example, my hometown Houston Aeros’ first PQC call will come after the game they play on 4 November, their Game 10.)

“What Do We Already Know?”

All teams have now passed the Game 5 (G5) mark. All teams reach the G10 mark for their first PQC calls by Sunday, 11 November.

After games on 28 October, Eastern Conference PQC status is below:

 

 

 

And on 28 October, the Western Conference PQC status is below:

 

 

 

We will know what each team’s PQC is for the G10 mark before we give you the call, but we cannot give you our recipe – just the final, plated dish. But stand by as you will only have to wait about two-to-three weeks for those calls.

Summary

So above you have it – the updated AHL Point Predictor and PQC Standings chart based on games ending 28 October. There are only seven (down from nine) teams in the hunt for a potential Chasing Calder call, and 12 (up from nine) teams we know will not be eliminated from the AHL playoffs come April over the course of the first 10 games’ analysis. Your next update will be posted on Monday, 29 October following the games played Sunday night.

Go to the bottom of the right hand column, load in your email address and click on the ‘Sign Me Up!’ button to subscribe to the OGA Blogs and you will not miss an AHL update (and the NHL ones when/if they come to an agreement.)

AHL Predictive Analysis – 27 October

(If you regularly read this AHL analysis, start under the title “The 27 October Chart,” and don’t miss the ending section “What Do We Already Know?”.)

Below is your AHL Point Predictor and Playoff Qualifying Curve (PQC) update for AHL games ending Saturday, 27 October. What are we showing here? Where the AHL is going, not where they were after the games that night.

How Will We Do It? Check back here several times a week as we provide you the simple chart below where you can follow the AHL’s march to the Playoffs. We will provide the PQC calls explained below as each team reaches another 10-game marker (i.e. Game 10, 20, 30, etc.). As teams do so, the standings’ line color changes to the appropriate PQC designation. And once we make a call of IN (Chasing Calder) or OUT (Tee Time), we stick by it unless a BAD CALL (Shot Off The Post) notification is made.

Additionally, we also give you projected standings based on team play. Note here that the chart is from early in the season, but we gain more and more accuracy with every game played. Still, projected standings will not gain true clarity until every team has at least one OT/SO loss and/or beginning around the Game 20 mark.

The 27 October Chart

Here are the two Conferences after games completed on 27 October:

Here are notes to explain the chart:

1. AHL Conferences are shown Western and Eastern from left to right as they would be on a map. The far left column in each chart titled ‘AHL Stnd’ indicates current team AHL standings as of the posted date. And teams use standard AHL abbreviations and color schemes.

2. ‘GP’ = Games Played.

3. ‘eW’ = Estimated Wins, our own formulary as the season progresses.

4. ‘eL’ = Estimated Losses

5. ‘eOTL’ = Estimated Overtime Losses, the third point in three-point games

6. ‘ePts’ = Estimated Points

7. ‘ePt Rnk’ = Estimated Points Rank, our order of how they will fare overall

8. And the ‘PQC Code’: ‘CC’ = Chasing Calder, or IN the Playoffs; ‘SS’ = Sharpening Skates, or just shy of IN the Playoffs; ‘ITC’ = In The Curve, or playing right about on average; ‘DoC’ = Dusting Off Clubs, or almost OUT of the Playoffs; ‘TT’ = Tee Time, or OUT of the Playoffs; and ‘SotP’ = Shot Off The Post, or a bad call of CC or TT. Remember, the PQC Codes get called every 10 games. (For example, my hometown Houston Aeros’ first PQC call will come after the game they play on 4 November, their Game 10.)

“What Do We Already Know?”

We are three games away from closing in on the Game 5 (G5) mark for all teams which we will reach on Saturday night, 27 October. We are also about one week away from some teams reaching the G10 mark for our first PQC calls. Things are beginning to shake out for the first round of predictions already.

In the East, five (down from six) of 15 teams still retain a chance at a Chasing Calder call. None can be better than Sharpening Skates, although a single loss to all but one of those five teams can restock that call. The other ten of the eastern teams cannot beat an In The Curve for their call. Finally, Syracuse, Norfolk, Springfield and now Bridgeport, Manchester and St. John’s are the teams who currently will not be at Tee Time come G10 and three others need one win or an OT/SO loss to join them.

Out West, the maximum PQC numbers are currently two Chasing Calder’s, one Sharpening Skates and nine who cannot surpass In The Curve. Three teams are already at In The Curve and await their G10 call. Additionally, Abbotsford, Charlotte, Chicago, Lake Erie, Rochester and now Houston will not be at Tee Time once G10 rolls around.

We will know what each team’s PQC is for the G10 mark before we give you the call, but we cannot give you our recipe – just the final, plated dish. But stand by as you will only have to wait about two-to-three weeks for those calls.

Summary

So above you have it – the updated AHL Point Predictor and PQC Standings chart based on games ending 27 October. There are only seven (down from nine) teams in the hunt for a potential Chasing Calder call, and 12 (up from nine) teams we know will not be eliminated from the AHL playoffs come April over the course of the first 10 games’ analysis. Your next update will be posted on Monday, 29 October following the games played Sunday night.

Go to the bottom of the right hand column, load in your email address and click on the ‘Sign Me Up!’ button to subscribe to the OGA Blogs and you will not miss an AHL update (and the NHL ones when/if they come to an agreement.)

AHL Predictive Analysis – 26 October

(If you regularly read this AHL analysis, start under the title “The 26 October Chart,” and don’t miss the ending section “What Do We Already Know?”.)

Below is your AHL Point Predictor and Playoff Qualifying Curve (PQC) update for AHL games ending Wednesday, 26 October. What are we showing here? Where the AHL is going, not where they were after the games that night.

How Will We Do It? Check back here several times a week as we provide you the simple chart below where you can follow the AHL’s march to the Playoffs. We will provide the PQC calls explained below as each team reaches another 10-game marker (i.e. Game 10, 20, 30, etc.). As teams do so, the standings’ line color changes to the appropriate PQC designation. And once we make a call of IN (Chasing Calder) or OUT (Tee Time), we stick by it unless a BAD CALL (Shot Off The Post) notification is made.

Additionally, we also give you projected standings based on team play. Note here that the chart is from early in the season, but we gain more and more accuracy with every game played. Still, projected standings will not gain true clarity until every team has at least one OT/SO loss and/or beginning around the Game 20 mark. But you should know we are striving to bring you the end result long before its actual arrival.

The 26 October Chart

Here are the two Conferences after games completed on 26 October:

Here are notes to explain the chart:

1. AHL Conferences are shown Western and Eastern from left to right as they would be on a map. The far left column in each chart titled ‘AHL Stnd’ indicates current team AHL standings as of the posted date. And teams use standard AHL abbreviations and color schemes.

2. ‘GP’ = Games Played.

3. ‘eW’ = Estimated Wins, our own formulary as the season progresses.

4. ‘eL’ = Estimated Losses

5. ‘eOTL’ = Estimated Overtime Losses, the third point in three-point games

6. ‘ePts’ = Estimated Points

7. ‘ePt Rnk’ = Estimated Points Rank, our order of how they will fare overall

8. And the ‘PQC Code’: ‘CC’ = Chasing Calder, or IN the Playoffs; ‘SS’ = Sharpening Skates, or just shy of IN the Playoffs; ‘ITC’ = In The Curve, or playing right about on average; ‘DoC’ = Dusting Off Clubs, or almost OUT of the Playoffs; ‘TT’ = Tee Time, or OUT of the Playoffs; and ‘SotP’ = Shot Off The Post, or a bad call of CC or TT. Again, the PQC Codes get called every 10 games. (For example, my hometown Houston Aeros’ first PQC call will come after the game they play on 4 November, their Game 10.) Note here that in the NHL it was tradition to get some early ‘Chasing Stanley’ and/or TT calls each year until the last year season. In 2011-12, it took until the Game 30 mark to start calling CS’ due to the competitiveness of the League. We will see how the AHL works out.

“What Do We Already Know?”

We are three games away from closing in on the Game 5 (G5) mark for all teams which we will reach on Saturday night, 27 October. We are also about one week away from some teams reaching the G10 mark for our first PQC calls. Things are beginning to shake out for the first round of predictions already.

In the East, six of 15 teams still retain a chance at a Chasing Calder call. None can be better than Sharpening Skates, although a single loss to all but one of those teams can restock that call. Ten o the eastern teams cannot beat an In The Curve for their call. Finally, Syracuse, Norfolk and now Springfield are the teams who currently will not be at Tee Time come G10 and four others need one win or an OT/SO loss to join them.

Out West, the maximum PQC numbers are currently two Chasing Calder’s, one Sharpening Skates and 12 who cannot surpass In The Curve. Additionally, Abbotsford, Charlotte, Chicago, Lake Erie and Rochester will not be at Tee Time once G10 rolls around. One team’s final G10 PQC has been determined, but we will not release it until their G10.

We will know what each team’s PQC is for the G10 mark before we give you the call, but we cannot give you our recipe – just the final, plated dish. But stand by as you will only have to wait about two-to-three weeks for those calls.

Summary

So above you have it – the updated AHL Point Predictor and PQC Standings chart based on games ending 26 October. There are only nine teams in the hunt for a potential Chasing Calder call, and five teams we know will not be eliminated from the AHL playoffs come April. Your next update will be posted on Saturday, 27 October following the games played Friday night. We also will keep an eye on the PQC picture which is starting to shape up now as we head toward the G10 mark.

Go to the bottom of the right hand column, load in your email address and click on the ‘Sign Me Up!’ button to subscribe to the OGA Blogs and you will not miss an AHL update (and the NHL ones when/if they come to an agreement.)

AHL Predictive Analysis – 24 October

(If you regularly read this AHL analysis, start under the title “The 24 October Chart,” and don’t miss the ending section “What Do We Already Know?”.)

Below is your AHL Point Predictor and Playoff Qualifying Curve (PQC) update for AHL games ending Wednesday, 24 October. What are we showing here? Where the AHL is going, not where they were after the games that night.

How Will We Do It? Check back here several times a week as we provide you the simple chart below where you can follow the AHL’s march to the Playoffs. We will provide the PQC calls explained below as each team reaches another 10-game marker (i.e. Game 10, 20, 30, etc.). As teams do so, the standings’ line color changes to the appropriate PQC designation. And once we make a call of IN (Chasing Calder) or OUT (Tee Time), we stick by it unless a BAD CALL (Shot Off The Post) notification is made.

Additionally, we also give you projected standings based on team play. Note here that the chart is from early in the season, but we gain more and more accuracy with every game played. Still, projected standings will not gain true clarity until every team has at least one OT/SO loss and/or beginning around the Game 20 mark. But you should know we are striving to bring you the end result long before its actual arrival.

The 24 October Chart

Here are the two Conferences after games completed on 24 October:

Here are notes to explain the chart:

1. AHL Conferences are shown Western and Eastern from left to right as they would be on a map. The far left column in each chart titled ‘AHL Stnd’ indicates current team AHL standings as of the posted date. And teams use standard AHL abbreviations and color schemes.

2. ‘GP’ = Games Played.

3. ‘eW’ = Estimated Wins, our own formulary as the season progresses.

4. ‘eL’ = Estimated Losses

5. ‘eOTL’ = Estimated Overtime Losses, the third point in three-point games

6. ‘ePts’ = Estimated Points

7. ‘ePt Rnk’ = Estimated Points Rank, our call in how they will fare overall

8. And the ‘PQC Code’: ‘CC’ = Chasing Calder, or IN the Playoffs; ‘SS’ = Sharpening Skates, or just shy of IN the Playoffs; ‘ITC’ = In The Curve, or playing right about on average; ‘DoC’ = Dusting Off Clubs, or almost OUT of the Playoffs; ‘TT’ = Tee Time, or OUT of the Playoffs; and ‘SotP’ = Shot Off The Post, or a bad call of CC or TT. Again, the PQC Codes get called every 10 games. (For example, my hometown Houston Aeros’ first PQC call will come after the game they play on 4 November, their Game 10.) Note here that in the NHL it was tradition to get some early ‘Chasing Stanley’ and/or TT calls each year until the last year season. In 2011-12, it took until the Game 30 mark to start calling CS’ due to the competitiveness of the League. We will see how the AHL works out.

“What Do We Already Know?”

As we begin to close in on the Game 5 (G5) mark, we can already see a few things shaking out in each Conference, to include adjustments for Sunday night’s games.

In the East, six of 15 teams still retain a chance at a Chasing Calder call. Now only two cannot be better than Sharpening Skates. And seven cannot best an In The Curve for their call. Finally, Syracuse and Norfolk remain the two teams who will not be at Tee Time come G10.

Out West, the maximum PQC numbers are currently three Chasing Calder’s, five Sharpening Skates’ (down three from Saturday) and seven who cannot surpass In The Curve just as in the East. Additionally, Chicago, Lake Erie and Rochester will not be at Tee Time once G10 rolls around.

We will know what each team’s PQC is for the G10 mark before we give you the call, but we cannot give you our recipe – just the final, plated dish. But stand by as you will only have to wait about two-to-three weeks for those calls.

Summary

So above you have it – the updated AHL Point Predictor and PQC Standings chart based on games ending 24 October. There are only nine teams in the hunt for a potential Chasing Calder call, and five teams we know will not be eliminated from the AHL playoffs come April. Your next update will be posted on Saturday, 27 October following the games played Friday night. We also will keep an eye on the PQC picture which is starting to shape up now as we head toward the G10 mark.

Go to the bottom of the right hand column, load in your email address and click on the ‘Sign Me Up!’ button to subscribe to the OGA Blogs and you will not miss an AHL update (and the NHL ones when/if they come to an agreement.)

Why the Owners are (Mostly) Right

Since the latest NHL lockout began, many fans and journalists alike have sided with #theplayers, appalled by the notion that the owners – “greedy, stupid billionaires” all – would demand their employees take an immediate pay cut.  After all, the NHL made $3.3 BILLION last season.  Also, the players have contracts – written agreements, signed by the owners, promising to pay x amount over the life of the deal.  Now the owners don’t want to pay the agreed-upon amount?  How dare they!  To the NHLPA and their supporters I say:  get over yourselves.  Set aside your histrionics and your talking points and take a cold, hard look at reality.  Here’s why the owners are (mostly) right, and you are (mostly) wrong:

The Nature of the Beast

The NHL is a unique industry, in that 30 separate businesses simultaneously work in conjunction to produce a single product (an NHL season) and compete fiercely against one another (to win the Stanley Cup).  The battle between teams isn’t confined to the ice, either:  GMs compete with each other for scarce resources (NHL-caliber players).  The level of competition is such that, were 30 Sidney Crosby clones available, each team would attempt to acquire as many Sidney Crosbys as possible.

To continue that analogy, as a fan, you would be upset if your team made no attempt to acquire at least one Crosby (or at least one more Crosby than your biggest rival).  Fans pay good money for tickets, concessions, parking and souvenirs, and as such, they (rightfully) expect, even demand, management/ownership do whatever it takes to ice the best possible team.  Fan expectations, which translate directly to revenue, are a significant driver of off-ice competition.

This “Battle of the GMs” is not just driven by fan expectations – it’s also required by law.  If they didn’t compete – if the 30 GMs got together and said, “Okay, guys…from now on, nobody offers UFAs more than $2mil/year.  Agreed?  Agreed!” – that would be collusion, and the NHLPA would sue…and win.  Thus, player salaries continue to grow (from an average of $1.4mil in 2005 to $2.4mil today), held in check only by the salary cap and the self-imposed spending limits of individual owners.

Why the Players are Locked Out

Over the life of the now-expired CBA, the players received 57% of Hockey-Related Revenues (HRR).  Despite the fact that HRR has grown to record levels, at least half of all NHL franchises lost money last season.  Why?  Because 43% of HRR is not enough for many franchises to cover their operating expenses.

In truth, the NHL erred back in 2005, when they agreed to give the players 57%.  It was intended as “a spoonful of sugar” to make the medicine – a salary cap – go down, but the financial struggles of at least half the league’s franchises have proven the short-sightedness of that deal.  Now, for the stability and financial health of the NHL as a whole, a correction must be made.

Why We Wait

If you’re reading this, you know the NHL’s latest offer called for an immediate 50/50 revenue split, with a “make whole” provision for existing player contracts.  In short, players would have some of the money due them this season and next deferred to Year 3 or to the end of their current contract, whichever comes first.  The NHLPA objects to those “make whole” payments coming out of the players share of HRR, saying it would mean “players paying players”, which they find highly offensive.

At the same time, the NHLPA has called repeatedly for increased revenue sharing to help the struggling franchises.  By this, of course, they mean moving money from profitable franchises to unprofitable ones…in other words, they’re all for “owners paying owners”.  Though revenue sharing among franchises is a necessity, the NHLPA stance reeks of hypocrisy.

The players made three counter-proposals to the NHL last week, none of which would bring the HRR split down to 50/50 before Year 5.  In other words, the NHLPA proposals call for roughly half of all franchises to continue to bleed cash for at least four more years.  What will the players sacrifice in return?  Well, they’ll get smaller raises each year…but make no mistake, they will get raises.

Truthfully, there’s no guarantee a 50/50 HRR split will put all 30 NHL franchises in the black; in fact, some franchises will still lose money, at least in the short-term.  Lowering the players share of HRR will reduce the number of teams in need of revenue sharing $$$, which will increase the stability of the league as a whole…and thinking long-term, at the end of the next CBA, if only three or four clubs are still losing money, it will be exceedingly difficult for the NHL to make a case for a greater share of HRR.

In Conclusion

It’s obvious, even to the NHLPA, that the HRR split must come down to 50/50.  Now, the players must set aside their personal animosity toward Gary Bettman, their ridiculous indignation at the NHL’s original offer (43% of HRR) and their unrealistic expectation of uninterrupted (though reduced) raises year-over-year, and work with the league to tweak the NHL’s last offer and get a deal done.  In the current economic climate, many people in the “real” world are either unemployed or have taken significant pay cuts in order to keep their jobs.  A 20% pay cut when you’re making $50k hurts much more than 20% of $525k, believe me.  If the rest of us can do it, the NHLPA can, too.

Twitter Updates

  • ...This suggests that the LAK will defeat CHI in Game 6 to play the NYR for the Stanley Cup 3 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... 3 months ago
  • ...So those stats point to the NYR claiming victory tonight and playing the winner from the Western Conference in the Finals 3 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... 3 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. 3 months ago

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