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NHL Week 10 (Thursday, 5 December): What Have We Learned?


Game 30 (G30) furlong calls continue below with two new Chasing Stanley (CS), one Sharpening Skates (SS) and one Dusting Off Clubs (DoC) calls.

So here we go with our notes…

The NHL As A Whole

1. The West Versus East rundown will be updated next Sunday, 8 December for games through 7 December.

2. The current OT/SO percentage will also be updated with the West versus East rundown.

3. Ditto for PP and PK numbers.

4. And also for winning percentages (W%).

And now for our current analysis of the NHL…

The Eastern Conference

Our chart below indicates how the Eastern Conference projects against the PQC through Thursday, 5 December’s games:

NHLeast5Dec

Some notes here reference G30 maximum calls:

1. Four (down from five) Eastern Conference teams have a shot at earning a CS call for G30. Two teams join Tampa Bay below.

2. No teams can earn a Sharpening Skates (SS) call by G30, or just short of IN the post-season.

3. Seven teams cannot surpass an In The Curve (ITC) call by G30. Two teams have already nestled into that mark and will be announced before week’s end.

4. No teams currently project a Dusting Off Clubs (DoC) call, or just short of OUT of the Playoffs.

5. And five (up from four) Eastern teams remain a T2 projection, or OUT of 2014 Playoff contention with one to be called once they reach their G30 mark.

6. ‘If The Playoffs Started Today’ shows the Top 8 teams and who their opponents project to be. There are some changes from our last blog’s final seedings projection:

  • Based on their win on Thursday, Pittsburgh displaces Boston as the Number 1 seed. Boston slips to Number 2 after their loss in Montreal.
  • Tampa Bay, after last night’s win, move us and drop Detroit back down to the Number 7 Wild Card seed.

7. 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.

14 November 2013, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY – The New York Islanders have been called at Tee Time (T2), or the third team called OUT of the 2014 Playoffs.

15 November 2013, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN – The Florida Panthers have been called at Tee Time (T2), or the fourth team called OUT of the 2014 Playoffs.

16 November 2013, Jobing.com Arena, Phoenix, AZ – The Tampa Bay Lightning have been called Chasing Stanley (CS) at G10, the fourth team in the NHL and first in the Eastern Conference called IN the 2014 Playoffs.

17 November 2013, Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, ON – The Columbus Blue Jackets have been called at Tee Time (T2), or the sixth team called OUT of the 2014 Playoffs.

5 December 2013, Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Penguins have been called Chasing Stanley (CS), or the seventh team called IN the 2014 Playoffs.  The Penguins, as has pretty much been SOP for the past several years, are hot! Even through injuries suffered, abated and re-suffered to the likes of Malkin, Neal, Letang and Martin, they are rolling. At G30, they are only one-half of a game behind their highest G30 mark since the 2005/6 season and tied their G30 mark from their Stanley Cup winning season. And while they are the lowest Fenwick For % (FF%) in the NHL shorthanded, they are Top 10 in all other categories and the East’s best team in most. It just took them a while to get to the CS mark.

5 December 2013, Centre Bell, Montreal, QC – The Montreal Canadiens have been called Chasing Stanley (CS), or the eighth team called IN the 2014 Playoffs. What a difference 10 games with 8.5 wins makes. Les Canadiens at G30 are tied with their best-since-the-previous-Lockout effort through 30 games. In terms of FF%, they are 16th in All situations, 20th at Even Strength, 20th on the PP and 3rd Shorthanded. While that may sound like mixed success, it has been enough to seal the deal in the W column when you consider they are at 100 or better in Shooting Percentage + Goalie Save Percentage (called PDO) in almost all situations. While they will not keep an .850 W percentage throughout the year, this means they have the snipers and goaltending to make win streaks occur. And that bodes well for a Playoff berth come April.

8. The G30 Projection Schedule is (Atlantic Division teams are in BOLD Text):

THUR., 5 DECMTL, PIT

FRI.,6 DEC – CAR, DET, NJD

SAT., 7 DECBUF, FLA, NYI, NYR, OTT, TOR

SUN., 8 DEC – BOS, WSH

MON., 9 DEC – CBJ, PHI

TUE., 10 DECTBL

The Western Conference

Our Western Conference chart below indicates their PQC projections through Thursday, 5 December’s games:

NHLwest5Dec

Western notes:

1. Seven teams out of the West can earn a CS call by G30. There is one new team to add to the CS rolls when they reach their G30 mark. This makes six Western teams already called IN the Playoffs.

2. One team below is an SS call at their G30 mark.

3. Three (down from four) teams cannot surpass an ITC call out of the West. One team has already secured that mark and will be announced at their G30 early this week.

4. One (up from NO) team below is a DoC call at their G30 mark.

5. And two teams remain T2 calls for G30.

6. There were only two adjustments to the last blog’s ‘If The Playoffs Started Today’ seedings projection based on games through Thursday night:

  • Based on another strong win, St. Louis moves up to the Number 2 seed.
  • And after their loss last night, Colorado drops to the Number 6 seed.

7. PQC breakdown:

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.

25 October 2013, Pepsi Center, Denver, CO – The Colorado Avalanche have been called Chasing Stanley (CS) at G10, the second team called IN the 2014 Playoffs.

13 November 2013, Rexall Place, Edmonton, AB – The Edmonton Oilers have been called at Tee Time (T2), or the second team called OUT of the 2014 Playoffs.

16 November 2013, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN – The Chicago Blackhawks have been called Chasing Stanley (CS), or the third team called IN the 2014 Playoffs.

16 November 2013, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames have been called at Tee Time (T2), or the fifth team called OUT of the 2014 Playoffs.

19 November 2013, First Niagara Center, Buffalo, NY – The St. Louis Blues have been called Chasing Stanley (CS), or the fifth team called IN the 2014 Playoffs.

3 December 2013, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN – The Vancouver Canucks have been called In The Curve (ITC), or about average for 2013-14 NHL play.

3 December 2013, Honda Center, Anaheim, CA – The Anaheim Ducks have been called Chasing Stanley (CS), or the sixth team called IN the 2014 Playoffs.

5 December 2013, BB&T Center, Sunrise, FL – The Winnipeg Jets have been called Dusting Off Clubs (DoC), or just short of OUT of the 2014 Playoffs. So the Jets wins look like this in five-game stretches: +2; +2.5 (and ITC at G10); +1.5 (DoC-like); +4 (back to ITC for G20); +2 (slipping…) and +3 (and our G30 DoC call). That averages out to .500 Hockey. The lowest W% any Western Conference team has ever held and made the Playoffs are the 2007/8 Blackhawks and the 2008/9 Predators at .537. So, while not completely out of the picture yet, Winnipeg’s erratic play is setting them on course for the 19th Hole early in April if they cannot find winning ways.

5 December 2013, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN – The Minnesota Wild have been called Sharpening Skates (SS), or just short of IN the 2014 Playoffs. We said at Game 20 that Minnesota has not yet convinced us they are a playoff team. Proving the point, they finished their G30 mark just short of a CS call again. While we do believe they have the potential to see the post-season for a second consecutive time, they are going to have to pick up their game a bit.

8. The G30 Projection Schedule is (Central Division teams are in BOLD Text):

TUE., 3 DEC – ANA, VAN (the first G30 PQC calls)

THUR., 5 DEC – CHI, EDM, MIN, WPG

SAT., 7 DEC – LAK, NSH

SUN., 8 DEC – SJS

TUE., 10 DEC – CGY, PHX

THUR., 12 DEC – COL, DAL, STL (the last G30 PQC calls)

Our next blog will be posted on Sunday, 8 December for games played on 6 & 7 December with 11 total G30 furlong calls. Why are we behind the power curve? Frankly, the ply in the Metro Division is giving our model fits. We will fight through, however, to give you our most accurate PQC calls for this exciting season…

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