This is On Goal Analysis‘ sixth in the series and second Western Conference comparison for this year’s Playoffs. Once more, here is what you get in our first round preview:
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 sixth is the No.4 seed in the West…
NSH vs DET
Another great opening round matchup in the Western Conference happens here beginning tonight. Ironically, and in concert with the Eastern 4th seed, this pairing stands as the only intra-divisional Round 1 matchup in the Conference. And as with most Eastern matchups, this series includes the least amount of travel miles and time of the Western pairings.
Wed, 11 April, 8p (ET) DET at NSH [CBC,CNBC,RDS2,FS-D (HD),SPSO (HD)]
Fri, 13 April, 7:30p (ET) DET at NSH [CBC,CNBC,RDS2,FS-D (HD),SPSO (HD)]
Sun, 15 April, Noon (ET) NSH at DET [CBC,NBC,RDS]
Tue, 17 April, 7:30p (ET) NSH at DET [CBC,NBCSN,RDS2,SPSO (HD),FS-D (HD)]
Fri, 20 April, 8p (ET) NSH at DET [CBC,CNBC,RDSI,FS-D (HD),SPSO (HD) – if required]
Sun, 22 April, TBD NSH at DET [FS–D (HD) – if required]
Tue, 24 April, TBD NSH at DET [FS–D (HD) – if required]
Sat, 26 November NSH 1 @ DET 4 (Detroit leads series 1 – 0; Howard defeats Rinne; DET goals from Filppula (2), Zetterberg and Cleary; NSH goal from Hillen; 10 PIMs)
Thur, 15 December DET 3 @ NSH 4 (Series tied 1 – 1; Rinne defeats Howard; NSH goals from Legwand, Tootoo and Weber (2); DET goals from Holmstrom, Zettererg and Lidstrom; 6 PIMs)
Mon, 26 December DET 4 @ NSH 1 (Detroit leads series 2 – 1; Howard defeats Rinne; DET goals from Filppula (2), Datsyuk and Cleary; NSH goal from Blum; 14 PIMs)
Fri, 17 February NSH 1 @ DET 2 (Detroit leads series 3 – 1; MacDonald defeats Rinne; DET goals from Franzen and Datsyuk; NSH goal from Spalling; 6 PIMs)
Tue, 10 March DET 2 @ NSH 3 (Detroit leads series 3 – 2; Rinne defeats MacDonald; NSH goals from Hornqvist and A.Kostitsyn (2); DET goals from Miller and Abdelkader; 16 PIMs)
Mon, 30 March NSH 4 @ DET 1 (Series tied 3 – 3; Rinne defeats Howard; NSH goals from Bourque, Bouillon, Radulov and Weber; DET goal from Hudler; 10 PIMs)
Key Notes: Both teams won in each other’s building; all goalies, whether Rinne versus Howard or MacDonald, split their games against each other; leading NSH goal scorer is Weber (3); DET’s leader in goals scored is Filppula (4); NSH has a slight momentum advantage having won the last two contests; and the series has a low average of 10.33 PIMs per game.
NSH vs DET 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. NSH with the home ice advantage is in gold and blue for chart background while the DET is in black text on white background wherever their stats fall within the average range of the post-Lockout SCF teams.
NSH has the first shortcoming – their Goals For total is below average, but above the Lo norm. (NSH –.5; DET 0)
DET’s PP is not the worst in the playoffs, but it is one of four that stands both below the average and Lo norm. (NSH –.5; DET –1)
The Red Wings’ average Winning Streak in both above average and the Hi norm, the first statistic hailing the Ten Pound Bag Theory in this series. (NSH –.5; DET –2)
Winning by committee, NSH’s Longest Winning Streak at five games is below average but above the Lo norm. (NSH –1; DET –2)
Despite their winning record at home, DET’s Average Losing Streak is below average and the Lo norm at 2.267 games. (NSH –1; DET –3)
Speaking of Home Winning Record, DET is tied for the highest which is above both average and Hi norm. Counterbalancing that winning record is the Away Winning Record which is below average but above the Lo norm. Comparing both teams’ records, we see something like a 3 – 1 advantage for NSH to open, DET winning in Game 5, and NSH taking a second at The Joe to close out this series. (NSH –1; DET –4.5)
NSH’s final streak to close out the season was three, winning games. Sounds great, yes! But it is above the SCF’s average and Hi norm. (NSH –2; DET –4.5)
The average output by position for 16, final 2011-12 statistical categories shows us:
- NSH is both below average and Lo norm at Left Wing on a player–per–game basis (NSH –3; DET –4.5)
- DET is also below average at LW but is above the Lo norm (NSH –3; DET –5)
- NSH is below average but above the Lo norm at Right Wing (NSH –3.5; DET –5.5)
- DET is above both average and the Hi norm at Right Wing (NSH –3.5; DET –6.5)
- And as with almost every other team in the Playoffs, both teams’ Goaltenders are above both average and Hi norms (NSH –4.5; DET –7.5)
Finally, Both teams, sporting “mid-C” averages and below both average numbers and the Lo norm in overall score. (NSH –5.5; DET –8.5)
When you add it up as a whole, NSH is the better team than DET by an almost two–to–one margin, In Playoff terms, that makes the Preds look like a 4 – 2 game winner in this series. Sure, DET has made the playoffs 21 straight times and every year since the Lockout. Sure DET has a ton of experience and the ability to massage and coalesce a game into a win. But what we do not like for the Winged Wheel is their age and rash of injuries.
Between these two teams, the indicators say NSH stands the best chance of raising The Cup this year. It will be tough, but we feel the Predators will see Round 2 and, depending on the opponent, Round 3 as well.
How does NSH take this series? Rinne needs to dominate, and in his favor, he has won the last two games between these clubs. And then it becomes a display of collective, Radulovian–like energy.
How could DET pull this off? Ignore the pain of age and injury. This is less for them about skill than perseverance.
Our overall call is NSH in six games. The tell will be winning either Game 3 or 4.
Up tomorrow is the last two, Western Conference matchups…