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NHL Week 4 Tuesday (22 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.

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 Tuesday, 22 October’s games:

NHLeast22Oct

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 both divisions can rank as high a PQC call as Sharpening Skates (SS) or just short of IN the post-season.

3. Two teams – see below – are already an ITC call. Eight more Eastern Conference teams will not land better than an ITC call.

4. Three teams 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 Montreal and Toronto switching 8th and 7th places respectively.

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.
  • 22 October 2013, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON The Toronto Maple Leafs have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. Toronto completed their second best G10 since 2005/06 in this stretch. They have been forcing their will over opponents when it counts and taking advantage of their NHL second-best Power Play percentage. But when is .700 Hockey not as good as it seems, however? When the Corsi For % (CF%), Fenwick For % (FF%) and PDO do not back up the end result. Toronto is 30th in CF %, 29th in FF% and 2nd in PDO. If they were in the Top 16 in all categories, then .700 is a true measure of a strong capability to Win in most situations. Clearly, the question is still can they sustain the W’s for 72 more games.
  • 22 October 2013, BB&T Center, Sunrise, FL The Florida Panthers have been called at Dusting Off Clubs (DoC), or just short of eliminated from the 2014 NHL Playoffs. The Panthers have been under-achieving so far this season. A near-Tee Time call comes despite G1–10 being one of the Panther’s easiest stretches of the season. It will not get easier for this team who allows too many SOGs against – they are 25th in the NHL as of 22 October – as well as their corresponding 20th place Shots Per Goal Against.

8. The rest of the Eastern Conference PQC call schedule rolls out like this with Thursday night bringing us half of the Metropolitan’s G10 PQC calls. (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 Tuesday, 22 October’s games:

NHLwest22Oct

Western notes:

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

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

3. Six teams – see below – are already an ITC call. Two more Western Conference teams will also sit at ITC.

4. And one team sits as a Dusting Off Clubs (DoC) call at this time.

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

6. There are several changes to the projected Playoff pairings over night:

  • Vancouver and Los Angeles supplant Nashville and Calgary in the 8th and 7th seeds respectively.
  • St. Louis moving up to the 3rd seed has drawing Chicago up with them.
  • Anaheim slipped down to the 4th seed dropping Phoenix in their wake.

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.
  • 22 October 2013, Centre Bell, Montreal, QC The Edmonton Oilers have been called at Dusting Off Clubs (DoC), or just short of eliminated from the 2014 NHL Playoffs.
  • 22 October 2013, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN – Both the Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. While they made their fan base extremely nervous opening the season 1 – 3, it bears noting this was one of Nashville’s most difficult 10-game stretches of the season. This start opens the Preds the same as their 2011/12 and 2008/09 seasons where they were IN and OUT of the Playoffs respectively. And Minnesota hits G10 as a middle-of-the-road start. It is the kind of record that has put other teams in the post-season. Just not the Wild since the 2005/06 season. They clearly need to pick up their scoring game to support the great goaltending offered up by Josh Harding.
  • 22 October 2013, MTS Center, Winnipeg, MB The Winnipeg Jets have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. Sure the Jets were a middling ITC. But they were on the lower end of the ITC scale. They sit in the bottom 10 in CF%, FF% and PDO, making them like Toronto as explained above, but with 2.5 less Wins. If they cannot pick up the pace in the W column, they will be left behind this season.
  • 22 October 2013, Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, AZ The Phoenix Coyotes have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. Playing in one of their most difficult 10-game stretches schedule-wise, the Coyotes managed their best G10 PQC since the first Lockout. This is significant in the tough Western Conference, especially when you throw in there that they are Top 10 in all three of our advances stats categories as a team. Phoenix looks to be legit, folks.

8. The Western Conference PQC call schedule is rolling. We will have four calls on Thursday night, our most active PQC night of the G10 cycle. (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)

Thursday’s PQC analysis includes EIGHT more G10 calls…

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