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NHL Week 4 Thursday (24 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 daily updates as teams reach their G10 PQC.

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 Thursday, 24 October’s games:

NHLeast24Oct

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. Five teams – see below – are already an ITC call. Five 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. Changes from Wednesday’s pairings are:

  • Detroit at Boston and Montreal at Pittsburgh switched No. 1 and 2 seeds.
  • Washington supplanted the Islanders as the Metro Division’s No. 3 seeded team.

7. G10 PQC breakdown:

  • 19 October 2013, First Niagara Center, Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Sabres have been called at Tee Time (T2), or the first team called OUT of the 2014 Playoffs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 24 October 2013, Prudential Center, Newark, NJ The New Jersey Devils have been called Dusting Off Clubs (DoC), or just short of eliminated from the 2014 NHL Playoffs. As many have said, when you lose your top two scoring forwards and didn’t score by the boatload in the first place, you struggle. This is not New Jersey’s worse start since the 2005/06 season where the PQC begins calculating. But it lands just barely in front of 2010/11. New Jersey is also helped here by a lowering of the Eastern Conference PQC due to Eastern losses to the West.
  • 24 October 2013, Centre Bell, Montreal, QC The Montreal Canadiens have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. Les Canadiens are suffering from the injury bug again this season. Parros, Briere, Murray, Prust, Drewiske and, of significance, Pacioretty, all rest on Injured Reserve. That said, Montreal brought six wins to the G10 table and rest in the Top 11 or better in all situations advanced team stats.
  • 24 October 2013, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN The Carolina Hurricanes have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. Two, simple things. The ‘Canes pulled down a relative 5.5 Wins in the G10 stretch and it was good enough for a better start than three of their seven previous, full seasons. The question becomes how do they do with Cam Ward out for the next couple of weeks?
  • 24 October 2013, Rexall Place, Edmonton, AB The Washington Capitals have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. The Caps began the season a bit, shall we say, off. The 0 – 4 – 1 start was really an ‘Oh-Oh – four – and – one’ beginning. They turned it all upside down in the last half of the G10 to go 4 – 1 for .500 Hockey. And resting within the Top 15 in Corsi For % and PDO advanced stats are an indication of righting the ship from a harsh launch.

8. The rest of the Eastern Conference PQC call schedule rolls out like this with Friday night bringing us two – thirds of the Atlantic’s remaining 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 Thursday, 24 October ’s games:

NHLwest24Oct

Western notes:

1. One Pacific Division team is a CS call, with two Central Division teams’ CS fates to be determined.

2. No teams can still pull off a SS call.

3. Nine of 10 teams ITC calls are in.

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 since Wednesday’s report:

  • Vancouver at Colorado and Phoenix at San Jose switched No. 1 and 2 seeds.
  • Phoenix dropped to the 7th seed.
  • Los Angeles moved up to the 5th seed.

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.
  • 22 October 2013, MTS Center, Winnipeg, MB The Winnipeg Jets have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play.
  • 22 October 2013, Jobing.com Arena, Glendale, AZ The Phoenix Coyotes have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play.
  • 24 October 2013, TD Garden, Boston, MA The San Jose Sharks have been called Chasing Stanley (CS), or the first team called IN the 2014 Playoffs. They’re circling the NHL, folks. Or at least nine of their first 10 opponents. San Jose suffered only a G10 loss to Boston by one goal, lost in a SO to Dallas, or dismantled their opponents. Rank them in advanced stats and you will find they are the cream of the NHL crop. And point scoring streaks for several members of their squad to open the season? Fuhgidaboot it – the Sharks are legit.
  • 24 October 2013, Centre Bell, Montreal, QC – The Anaheim Ducks have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. Were they not on this current Eastern road trip and had they not dropped their last two games, they would likely be the second CS team in the NHL this season. Indicators of performance – minus their dismal Power(less) Play – is that in ‘All Situations’ they are in the Top 10 for Corsi For and Fenwick For Percentages. And they are at #14 in PDO and just under 100, the score you look to meet and then beat in that category. When you also see this is their second best G10 start since the 2006/07 Stanley Cup Championship year, they may just be flying high this season.
  • 24 October 2013, St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, FL The Chicago Blackhawks have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. Boy, they just escaped with the consolation point out of Tampa Bay on 24 October. There is an unfair air about them that they aren’t the same team as last, shortened season when they set the record and won The Cup. Well, no, they aren’t going to rattle off an in regulation, unbeaten streak that goes to almost 30 games. But quietly, and despite every team bringing their best to try and beat the Cup winners, they just pulled off their highest G10 ranking since the first Lockout. Don’t be fooled that they are not the same Cup Champion Blackhawks or you will find yourself in line, leaning on your stick, waiting to initiate your last handshake of the season in mid-April.
  • 24 October 2013, American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX The Phoenix Coyotes have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. What a difference a week (OK, eight days) makes. Flames fans were initially juuuust a bit Monahanded and Hudlerwinked when starting undefeated in regulation in the first five games turned into one win in the next five. They are also 23rd, 20th and 23rd in advanced stats, telling of the true nature of an up-and-coming team who is not coming along yet.

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)

Friday’s PQC analysis includes FIVE more G10 calls…

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