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NHL Week 12 (Saturday, 14 December): What Have We Learned?


Game 30 (G30) furlong calls are now complete. With more than 30% of the NHL schedule accomplished, we have a good idea of almost two–thirds of the 2014 Playoff picture. Below are our final calls through G30 and the new schedule for G40 calls.

So here we go with our notes…

The NHL As A Whole

1. West Versus East dominance continues for a 12th straight week. After a couple of weeks of improvement in Winning Percentage (W%), however, the east dropped from last week’s 69 – 84 – 23 / 45.7% to this week’s overall 73 – 95 – 27 / 44.4%. The Metro Division dropped to 35 – 47 – 12 / 43.6% after last week’s 28 – 36 – 9 / 44.5% and its representative three-week rise. The Atlantic Division also trailed off a bit to 38 – 48 – 15 / 45.1% from last week’s 35 – 42 – 14 / 46.2%. While they did worse against the West overall, they fared worse against the Central with a 30 – 48 – 13 / 40.1% (against last week’s 29 – 41 – 12 / 42.7% or a change of – 2.6%) than the Pacific with a  43 – 50 – 14 / 46.7% record (32 – 36 – 10 / 47.4% or a change of – .7%).

2. Current OT/SO percentage increased a bit from last week’s 24.3% to this week’s 24.7%.  And for the first time in the last five weeks, the number of games being solved in OT versus a SO decreased from 39.4% to 39% even.

3. For PP and PK numbers, Pittsburgh remains the number one PP team for the third straight week with a 26.7% success rate, slightly up from last week’s 26.6%. Florida finds themselves back in the basement having displaced Winnipeg with the 10.8% PP rate the Jets held last week. Vancouver retains the top slot on the PK for the sixth consecutive week with another increase in proficiency, this time up to 90.2% from last week’s 89.2%. And the Islanders retain the 30th position for the sixth straight week with only a slight improvement to 72% from last week’s 71.6%.

4. As for the average W%, the East’s remained stagnant at 51.5%. Eight (down from nine) teams are currently at or above that mark, with Boston the best at 69.7%. The Number 8 slot is now solely Carolina’s at 51.5%, the statistical average for the East. Out West, the W% is 61.4%, a mark nine (up from eight) teams can tie or beat. Number 1 is St. Louis at 75.8% while Minnesota is now Number 9 at 61.4%, again, the statistical average.

5. Finally, what is interesting is that we calculate projected points three ways. This is a week where the statistical numbers do not exactly line up. Here, in order, is what we have as an average for top, projected points in the East:

Boston 114.3 (variance of 1.251 points)

Pittsburgh 114.2 (variance of 1.254 points)

Montreal 102.6 (variance of 2.242 points)

Tampa Bay 102.2 (variance of 1.13 points)

Washington 99.5 (variance of 1.113 points)

Toronto 91.7 (variance of 1.015 points)

Four other teams are a Top 8 in either one or two projected points calculations. In order, they are Philadelphia and New Jersey with two Top 8’s and Detroit and Carolina with one Top 8 each. All calculation variations average a .982 points spread, meaning the model is in decent agreement point-wise and that it will take between 115 – 113 and 85 – 84 points to be a playoff team in the East. There is just disagreement on the final two teams to qualify out of four likely contenders.

The West is a slightly different model:

St. Louis 121.9 (variance of 4.299 points)

Los Angeles 118.3 (variance of 2.16 points)

Colorado 116 (variance of 4.041 points)

Chicago 115.3 (variance of 6.868 points)

Anaheim 109.6 (variance of 6.27 points)

San Jose 109.4 (variance of 7.919 points)

Vancouver 103.9 (variance of 2.878 points)

There are two teams that do not hit all three Top 8’s: Phoenix has two Top 8’s and Minnesota has one. As you can see the projected, average points are higher, but the spread is greater. This means things are a little less certain than in the East. It will take somewhere between 125 – 118 and 105 – 100 points to be a playoff team in the West.

That is a big difference between the two conferences, largely defined by better Western Conference play against the East and Edmonton within the Conference.

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 Saturday, 14 December’s games:

NHLeast14DEC

Some notes here reference G30 maximum calls:

1. Six Eastern Conference teams can reach a CS call for G40. Four have already done so and remain at CS unless criteria are met to make a Shot Off The Post call.

2. One team can earn a Sharpening Skates (SS) call at G40.

3. Three teams cannot beat an In The Curve (ITC) at G40.

4. No teams currently project as a Dusting Off Clubs (DoC) call at G40.

5. And six Eastern teams are at Tee Time (T2) at G40.

6. ‘If The Playoffs Started Today’ shows the Top 8 teams and who their opponents project to be. There was only once change from our last blog update. Based on their loss last night, Carolina replaces the Rangers in the Top 3 in the Metro Division.

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.

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.

6 December 2013, Prudential Center, Newark, NJ – The New Jersey Devils have been called at Tee Time (T2), or the eighth team called OUT of the 2014 Playoffs.

7 December 2013, Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, QC – The Ottawa Senators have been called at Tee Tim (T2), or the ninth team called OUT of the 2014 Playoffs.

8 December 2013, Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON – The Boston Bruins have been called Chasing Stanley (CS), or the tenth team called IN the 2014 Playoffs.

8. The G40 Projection Schedule is (Atlantic Division teams are in BOLD Text):

TUE., 7 JAN – NYI, PIT,

WED., 8 JAN – MTL, NYR, OTT

THUR., 9 JAN – CAR, NJD, TOR

SAT., 11 JANBOS, CBJ, DET, FLA, PHI, TBL

SUN., 12 JANBUF, WSH

The Western Conference

Our Western Conference chart below indicates their PQC projections through Saturday, 14 December’s games:

NHLwest14DEC

Western notes:

1. Up to 10 teams can earn a CS call at G40. Six teams already dis and remain at CS unless criteria are met to make a Shot Off The Post call.

2. No teams project as an SS call at G40.

3. One team projects as a maximum of an ITC call at G40.

4. No teams are a DoC call at G40.

5. And three teams remain T2 calls for G40.

6. There was several adjustments to the ‘If The Playoffs Started Today’ Top 8 teams in the Western Conference since our last blog posting:

  • The top for teams all shuffled positions. St. Louis moved up from No. 3 to No. 1; Los Angeles from No. 4 to No. 2; Chicago slid from No. 1 to No. 3; and Anaheim from No. 2 to No. 4
  • The No. 5 and No. 6 seeds were no change, but the Wild Card teams switched places with Vancouver now at No. 7 and Phoenix at No. 8

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

7 December 2013, Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, QC – The Nashville Predators have been called at Tee Time (T2), or the tenth team called OUT of the 2014 Playoffs.

7 December 2013, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles Kings have been called Chasing Stanley (CS), or the ninth team called IN the 2014 Playoffs.

8. The G40 Projection Schedule is (Central Division teams are in BOLD Text):

SUN., 5 JANCHI, EDM, WPG (the first G40 PQC calls)

TUE., 7 JAN – ANA, MIN, VAN

THUR., 9 JAN – LAK, NSH, SJS

SAT., 11 JAN – CGY, COL

SUN., 12 JAN – DAL

MON., 13 JAN – PHX

TUE., 14 JAN – STL (the last G40 PQC call)

Our next blog will be posted on Sunday, 22 December after Saturday, 21 December’s games are completed…

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