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NHL Week 4 Monday (21 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. So last night, two games went 1 – 0 for the finial score, one of which taking until the Shootout determination. Goal scoring, or lack there of, is always hotly debated in the NHL. Who are the top 10 teams in terms of Goals For Percentage (GF%), or the difference between goals scored and total goals scored and given up by a team? They are:

San Jose – 72.2% (7)

Colorado – 70% (9)

Boston – 66.7% (25)

Montreal – 63.4% (8)

Tampa Bay – 61% (11)

Anaheim – 60.4% (28)

Pittsburgh – 60% (10)

St. Louis – 59.1% (3)

Toronto – 56.9% (2)

Chicago – 56.4% (12)

Each team’s ranking on the Power Play through last night’s three games follows the GF% in parentheses and bold text. As you can see, PP success does not in and of itself define how successful teams are overall at scoring goals. While Boston and Anaheim are in the high 20’s in terms of PPG’s, they nonetheless are in the Top 10 in GF%. The reverse can be said of Toronto who, at No.9 in GF% is No.2 on the PP where they have potted 33% of their GF total. As a bottom line, however, you will see all 10 of these teams projected as in the playoffs come season’s end. Score on the PP or not, goals scored equals success.

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 Monday, 21 October’s games:

NHLeast21Oct

Some notes here:

1. NO Eastern Conference teams are now projected as a Chasing Stanley (CS) call at Game 10 (G10).

2. One team in each 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. The change from yesterday’s pairings is the movement of Toronto into the projected No.3 seed and home ice advantage against projected No.4 seed Detroit.

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.
  • 21 October 2013, Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI The Detroit Red Wings have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. Detroit’s ranking is just above the PQC and just below their G10 average since 2005/06. (This average does NOT include last year’s shortened season.) They are the only Eastern Conference team that has been in the Playoffs every year since the previous Lockout and three times previously were called at CS by G10. While that won’t happen this season, they are better than the 2011/12 season.

8. The rest of the Eastern Conference PQC call schedule rolls out like this with tonight being the most active PQC call night of the G10 furlong. (Metropolitan Division teams are 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 Monday, 21 October’s games:

NHLwest21Oct

Western notes:

1. One team already is, and three others still have a shot at a CS call in the Western Conference.

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

3. Two teams – see below – are already an ITC call. Six – of – 12 / 50% 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. The change from yesterday’s pairings is the movement of Calgary into the projected No.7 seed and Los Angeles out of the projected playoff picture.

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.
  • 21 October 2013, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles Kings have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. While the King’s PQC is lower than last season’s G10, it is still no lower than what they have earned over the last four, full-season playoff years.

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)

Wednesday’s PQC analysis includes NINE more G10 calls…

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