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NHL 2012 Playoffs Round 1 Con’t: BOS Versus WSH


This is On Goal Analysis‘ second in the series running the numbers for the NHL’s 2012 Playoff season. While others will give you their ‘gut’ and still might not have a different call than we do, OGA collectively believes in predictive analysis. As a reminder,  here is what you get in our first round preview:

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.

We will put these up as fast as we can go from East to West and 1st vs 8th seed to 4th vs 5th pairings. Up second is the No.2 seed in the East…

BOS vs WSH

…Can WSH overcome last year’s Stanley Cup winner, or do we cut them lose now? The answers lie in the numbers below…

Schedule

Thur, 12 April, 7:30p (ET) WSH at BOS [CBC, NBCSN]

Sat, 14 April, 3p (ET) WSH at BOS [CBC, NBC]

Mon, 16 April, 7:30p (ET) BOS at WSH [CBC, NBCSN]

Thur, 19 April, 7:30p (ET) BOS at WSH [CBC, NBCSN]

Sat, 21 April, 3p (ET) WSH at BOS [CBC, NBC – if required]

Sun, 22 April, TBD BOS at WSH [TBD – if required]

Wed, 25 April, TBD WSH at BOS [TBD – if required]

2012 Series

Tue, 24 January BOS 3 @ WSH 5 (Washington leads series 1 – 0; Vokoun defeats Rask; WSH goals from Perreault (3), Eakin and Wideman; BOS goals from Peverley, Seguin and Marchand; 10 PIMs)

Sun, 5 February BOS 4 @ WSH 1 (Series tied 1 – 1; Thomas defeats Vokoun; BOS goals from Lucic, Marchand, Seguin and Peverley; WSH goal from Johansson; 18 PIMs)

Sat, 10 March WSH 4 @ BOS 3 (Ottawa leads series 2 – 1; Vokoun defeats Thomas; WSH goals from Semin, Hendricks, Beagle and Laich; BOS goals from Lucic, Marchand and Boychuck; 14 PIMs)

Thur, 29 March WSH 3 @ BOS 2 SO (Washington wins series 3 – 1; Vokoun/Neuvirth defeats Thomas; WSH goals from Wideman and Johansson; BOS goals from Krejci and Ference; 17 PIMs)

Key Notes: WSH won in both buildings, to include both games at TD Banknorth Garden; Vokoun better than Thomas 3 – 1 but joins Neuvirth with injuries – the baton is now passed to rookie Holtby; leading WSH goal scorer is Perrault (3); leading BOS goal scorer is Marchand (3); and an average of 14.75 PIMs per game.

BOS vs WSH CTSA

There is no change to the leading Hi, Avg and Lo numbers from Stanley Cup Finalist (SCF) values as stated in our last post. And remember BOS, with home ice advantage, has home dark jersey color on chart background while WSH is in black text on white background wherever their stats fall within the average range of the post-Lockout SCF teams.

For number of W’s this season, WSH is outside of averages but within norms of the 2010 Flyers. (BOS 0; WSH –.5)

Both teams. Number of Losses are above the average but within the norms established, again, by the 2010 Flyers. (BOS –.5; WSH –1)

And once again like PHI, WSH’s Points are only within the norms set in 2010.  (BOS –.5; WSH –1.5)

The Capitals’ Goals For and Goals Differential are both worse than norms. (BOS –.5; WSH –3.5)

WSH’s PP percentage is only better than the norm set by BOS last season. (Note here that BOS has improved their PP this year by one percentage point to fall just within the averages. BOS –.5; WSH –4)

Due to their great month of November, BOS’ Longest Winning Streak and Average Losing Streak are both better than the averages and norm. This is where the Ten Pound Bag Theory kicks in, however, costing them a little traction. What? Penalize them for doing great things? Just remember – after their incredible 14 – 0 – 1 run from 1 November through 5 December, they went 0 – 2, then 7 – 0 before never winning more than two in a row until 24 – 27 March’s three victories. (BOS –1.5; WSH –4)

WSH’s Road Winning % falls below the 2010 Philly norm, costing them a bit more. While the Home and Away percentages are close and this season’s history might say otherwise, the series is going to be BOS’ to lose if they can find that same, extra gear they had last post-season. (BOS –1.5; WSH –4.5)

BOS joins three other teams with the second most Wins in their Last 10 games at seven total. This number ties VAN’s Hi norm established in 2011. (BOS –2; WSH –4.5)

Both teams’ closing two-game Win Streak ties the Hi norm set by BOS last season. (BOS –2.5; WSH –5)

The average output by position for 16, final 2011-12 statistical categories indicates:

  • WSH’s Left Wing corps (led by Ovechkin) is above any post-Lockout SCF team on a player–per–game basis (BOS –2.5; WSH –6)
  • Output by WSH’s Centermen is below average but within norms of DET’s 2008 Cup Winning team (BOS –2.5; WSH –6.5)
  • BOS’ Right Wings are within, and WSH’s RWs are below, the norms set by PIT’s 2009 Cup winning team (BOS –3; WSH –7)
  • BOS’ Defensive corps is a bit off of their Hi norm set last year but within the bounds (BOS –3.5; WSH –7)
  • And both teams’ Goaltenders are above the average and any norms for both teams (BOS –4.5; WSH –8)

If you add up the by–position, per game averages, however, BOS leads WSH by a scant 26.693 to 26.468, both of which are behind the totals for NYR and OTT.

BOS’ team total points added up across the board and divided by a factor of 10 put them within the averages and at a school grade of “B.” WSH only holds a “D” average. While not perfect, BOS’ numbers are either within norms or above the established, Hi norm indicating a potential Cup repeat is possible for the first time since DET did it in 1997 and 1998. (BOS –4.5; WSH –9)

A Bruins team that does not get caught thinking ahead to Round 2 should handily win this series at between five and six games.

Summary

In terms of being this season’s Cup winner, the stats say BOS is the only team of these two likely to win The Cup.

By-position numbers and history also imply WSH can give BOS a run for their money each game although BOS should come out on top for four wins and a Round 2 slot.

How do the Bruins do it? Tim Thomas and second gear.

And what about WSH? Holtby needs to be the second coming of the Rookie version of Ken Dryden until Vokoun is healthy enough to return to action. This offensively gifted team needs to also be let loose just a bit to tally some goals. If both of these cannot happen, ignore this paragraph because the Bruins are playing into May.

Our overall call is contests should be close early with BOS pulling out ahead by the 3rd period in most cases. BOS in five or six.

The next preview will be FLA versus NJD…

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