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NHL Week 4 Sunday (20 October): What Have We Learned?


The NHL is playing out Week 4. We are now in daily updates as two teams have completed their G10 furlong and all but two teams do likewise by Saturday, 26 October. In fact, this week will have a daily update every day except Thursday, 24 October as no teams reach their G10 PQC the night before.

Here we go with our notes…

The NHL As A Whole

1. West Versus East. For the week ending Saturday, 19 October, the East executed 20 – 32 – 5 / .395 Hockey against the West. We will update this again next Sunday, 27 October for games ending the day before.

2. We will also update the OT/SO percentage of 20.49% of total; games at the end of Week 3 next Sunday.

3. Ditto for PP / PK numbers after games played on Saturday, 26 October.

4. Of interest to advanced stat trackers might be the following breakdown of NHL teams across all situations, however:

  • 14 teams are at 50% or better in Corsi For Percentage
  • 14 teams are at 50% or better in Fenwick For Percentage
  • And 14 teams are at 100 or better in PDO

Of these three sets of 14 teams, how many are in the Top 14 in all three categories? Six total who fall out in rank order as follows: San Jose, Boston, Anaheim, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Montreal. Will these teams’ relative numbers hold up to the point these are the six most likely teams to appear in Conference– and Stanley Cup Finals? Time will tell…

Now for the crux of our daily report: How do the Conferences look in light of the Playoff Qualifying Curve (PQC) and what remains on the G10 PQC Call schedule for this season?

The Eastern Conference

Our chart below indicates how the Eastern Conference projects against the PQC through Sunday, 20 October’s games:

NHLeast20Oct

Some notes here:

1. One Metropolitan Division team still has a shot at a Chasing Stanley (CS) call, or IN the playoffs for this season.

2. One other team in the Atlantic Division can rank as high a PQC call as Sharpening Skates (SS) or just short of IN the post-season.

3. Most of the Conference (12 – of – 16 / 75%) lands at In The Curve (ITC) or about average for Eastern Conference play.

4. One team cannot surpass a Dusting Off Clubs (DoC) call or just short of OUT of the Playoffs.

5. And one team has already been called at Tee Time (T2) or OUT of 2014 Playoff contention – see below.

6. ‘If The Playoffs Started Today’ shows the Top 8 teams and who their opponents project to be. There are no changes from yesterday’s pairings.

7. G10 PQC breakdown:

  • 19 October 2013, First Niagara Center, Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Sabres have been called at Tee Time (T2), or eliminated from potential 2014 playoff contention.

8. The rest of the Eastern Conference PQC call schedule rolls out like this (Metropolitan Division teams in BOLD text):

SAT., 19 OCT – BUF (the first G10 call of the season)

MON., 21 OCT – DET

TUE., 22 OCT – FLA, TOR

THUR., 24 OCT – CAR, MTL, NJD, WSH

FRI., 25 OCT – CBJ, NYI, OTT, PIT

SAT., 26 OCT – BOS, PHI, TBL

MON., 28 OCT – NYR

The Western Conference

Our Western Conference chart below indicates their PQC projections through Sunday, 20 October’s games:

NHLwest20Oct

Western notes:

1. Two teams from each Division still have a shot at a CS call.

2. One Central Division team can still pull off a SS call.

3. One team – see below – is already an ITC call. Seven – of – 13 / 53.9% more of Western Conference teams, the largest majority, sit at ITC.

4. And one, final team cannot surpass a Dusting Off Clubs (DoC) call at this time.

5. No teams currently project a T2 maximum call yet.

6. Changes from last week’s ‘If The Playoffs Started Today’ from yesterday are: Vancouver off the chart and Nashville in the 8th seed. This is despite the Predators playing through one of their two, most difficult 10-game stretches based on Average Days Of Rest (between games), Division Rivalry games and Back-to-Back games over that timeframe. Those of you calling for Coach Trotz’s head after Game 3 might want to display a little patience…

7. G10 PQC breakdown:

  • 20 October 2013, Nationwide Arena, Columbus OH – The Vancouver Canucks have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. Note here that the Canucks hit G10 right on their G10 average since the Previous Lockout. This performance when measured against the Western Conference PQC is just a bit below the mark, especially given the increase in Western wins against the East. But they are not in danger of falling off the boards at this juncture. Of particular note here is the fact that they are not playing in their worst 10-game stretch of the year, but a very trying one none the less.

8. The Western Conference PQC call schedule kicks off tonight and looks like this (Central Division teams are in BOLD print):

SUN., 20 OCT – VAN

MON., 21 OCT – LAK

TUE., 22 OCT – EDM, MIN, NSH, PHX, WPG

THUR., 24 OCT – ANA, CGY, CHI, SJS

FRI., 25 OCT – COL

SAT., 26 OCT – DAL

TUE., 29 OCT – STL (the last G10 call of the season)

Tuesday’s PQC analysis includes two more G10 calls…

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