So there we were in the On Goal Analysis (OGA) offices, sitting like all other Hockey fans, twiddling our thumbs due to no NHL play.
And then it hit us. We have been producing the NHL Playoff Qualifying Curve (PQC) since the last Lockout (or, ‘The Last One’) at right about 90% accuracy. That is, determining the teams that would and would not make the playoffs as far out as possible from the actual playoffs, to the tune of 28-of-30 and approximately 100 days (in the Game 40 – 50 span) before the mathematical call each year.
We have never ventured off into another league. So what the heck? We’re going to give it a go with the professional League we know will play an entire season and work that PQC magic for the American Hockey League (AHL).
How do we do it? Well, we cannot exactly divulge what the secret ingredients are to our pick ’em recipe. But suffice it to say we are going to expand the experiment and bring you the AHL PQC this season right here in the OGA Blogs.
How Will We Do It?
Check back here several times a week as we provide you the simple chart you will see below to follow the AHL’s march to the Playoffs. We will give you the PQC calls explained below as each team reaches another 10-game marker (i.e. Game 10, 20, 30, etc.). As they do so, you will see the standings line color change to the appropriate PQC designation. And once we make a call of IN (Chasing Calder) or OUT (Tee Time), we will stick by that call unless a BAD CALL (Shot Off The Post) notification is made.
Additionally, we also give you the projected standings based on team play. Note here that the chart below is through the first weekend only. Projected standings for one or two games are not really an indicator of how things are going to go. That is why, for instance, you see Hamilton in the Western Conference with a estimated Win (eW) number of 76.00 games. Take a look conversely at Lake Erie in the same Conference who went 2-1-0 on the weekend and the numbers begin to alter more. In fact, we 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 14 October Chart
Here are the two Conferences after games completed on 14 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.
So above you have it – the first AHL Point Predictor and PQC Standings chart based on games ending 14 October. The next one posted will be after the Peoria at Chicago game on 17 October as there is only one game each scheduled on 16 and 17 October. 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.)