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NHL Week 4 Friday (25 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.

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 Friday, 25 October’s games:

NHLeast25Oct

Some notes here:

1. No Eastern Conference teams are Chasing Stanley (CS) at Game 10 (G10).

2. Only one 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. Nine teams – see below – are already an ITC call. One 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:

  • No change to the top two seeds.
  • Based on Toronto’s loss on Friday night, they abdicate their home ice advantage to Tampa Bay.
  • And a complete change in the last two, Metro Division seeds as Washington @ Carolina morph into Columbus at NY Islanders.

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.
  • 24 October 2013, Centre Bell, Montreal, QC The Montreal Canadiens have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play.
  • 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.
  • 24 October 2013, Rexall Place, Edmonton, AB The Washington Capitals have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play.
  • 25 October 2013, Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA Both the Pittsburgh Penguins and NY Islanders have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. The Pens would have finished higher had they not dropped their last two games. They are playing well despite injuries. Of concern, however, is their next 10 game stretch is their most difficult one of the season based on Intra-Divisional and Back-To-Back games plus time to recover in between contests. The Islanders just produced their second best G10 PQC since the first Lockout. They are a mix of bottom-five in Corsi– and Fenwick For %, and Top 10 in PDO, however. Their G1-10 was their least difficult stretch of the season and G11 – 20 will be their most difficult. So watch for the Isles to either ramp up their game in the next couple of matches or be prepared for them to fall by the wayside within 20 games.
  • 25 October 2013, Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH The Columbus Blue Jackets have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. The ‘Jackets were the beneficiary of their easiest stretch of 10 games this season, and a frankly terrible Metro Division run. Still, their advanced stats are all at 13th or higher in the NHL and they are 12th in the League on the PP. And they are in the Top 20 in Goals For which also outpaces their opponents by a smidge. Keep an eye on C.B.J. as they may claw and scratch their way into a Metro 2 or 3 seed to make the post-season.  
  • 25 October 2013, Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, QC The Ottawa Senators have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play. So the Sens are not playing as well as they did last season. Their .500 Hockey indicates there might be some underlying issues there. Their advanced stat positions relative to the rest of the League marks them as No. 17.333 which would cull them just off the playoff list. Still, their PP is Top 15 and PK is Top 10 in the League, and that .500 Hockey stems from a season opening 1 – 2 – 2 mark. We just are not sure how they will turn out yet.

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 Friday, 25 October ’s games:

NHLwest25Oct

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:

  • No change to Chicago @ St. Louis.
  • Rank order of visiting teams switched as Phoenix and Los Angeles dropped and Vancouver rose.

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.
  • 24 October 2013, Centre Bell, Montreal, QC – The Anaheim Ducks have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play.
  • 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.
  • 24 October 2013, American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX – The Phoenix Coyotes have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for NHL play.
  • 25 October 2013, Pepsi Center, Denver, CO The Colorado Avalanche have been called Chasing Stanley (CS), or the first team called IN the 2014 Playoffs. Mark it down, Avs fans – if you were at Pepsi Center last night, you saw the game where Colorado clenched a playoff berth. The hottest team in the NHL landed their best G10 mark since the last Lockout, improving on the .800 Hockey that began the 2009/10 season when the last saw post-season action. Only three words of caution here: 1) they benefit from the easiest schedule in the Western Conference this year and just had their easiest 10-game stretch of the year; 2) they benefit from Columbus and Detroit no longer in the Central Division where they rest; 3) and in 2009/10, the lull came in the Game 11 – 40 timeframe. So manage your expectations appropriately.

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 TWO more G10 calls…

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