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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.

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