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NHL Week 16 (Saturday, 12 January): What Have We Learned?


With 21 of 30 Playoff Qualifying Curve (PQC) calls made and 25 of 30 teams at or beyond Game 45 (G45), our attentions are well focused on G50 calls.

The NHL As A Whole

1. Due to several distractions, our rundown of West Versus East dominance through Saturday, 12 January is below after three weeks’ layoff. Compared to our last analysis, the Eastern Conference has improved from 84 –100 – 29 / 46.2% to 118 – 114 – 31 / 50.8%. The Atlantic (46 – 51 – 16 / 47.8% to this week’s 61 – 58 – 17 / 51.1%) and Metro (38 – 49 – 13 / 44.5% to this week’s 57 – 56 – 14 / 50.4%) Divisions both improved over that time to Winning Percentages (W%) above .500. The only Western Division any Eastern Conference Division still wins less than 50% of the time against is the Metro Division against the Central Division at 27 – 30 – 4 / 47.5%, a greater than 6% gain over the three-week span.

2. The current OT/SO percentage was at 25.5% of all games on 21 December and now rests at 26.1%. Games decided in OT versus a SO continue to climb from 39.3% to 41%.

3. Washington replaces Pittsburgh as the PP leader at a 25.5% effectiveness rate. The team holding down the cellar continues to be Florida with only a 10.1% rate, down from 10.7% three weeks ago. Vancouver is the top PK team at 89.1% and the Islanders remain at the bottom of the league with a slightly improving 74.1%.

4. And also, the average W% continues to improve in the Eastern Conference’s favor as both Conferences converge on the mean statistic. Three weeks ago, the East was at a 52.3% mark. Their W% after games played this Saturday is 54.3% with seven teams at or above that mark. The slipping West is down from 60.8% to 58.8% this week and a similar, seven teams at or above that 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 Saturday, 12 January’s games:

NHLeast11JAN

Notes reference G50 maximum calls:

1. At G50, Five (up from four) Eastern Conference teams have a chance at a CS call. Four have already been made and remain so unless conditions are reached to make a Shot Off The Post (SotP) call.

2. Two (up from no) teams can earn a Sharpening Skates (SS) call as we look toward G50.

3. Two (down from four) teams cannot be better than In The Curve (ITC) by G50.

4. No (down from one) teams are a possible Dusting Off Clubs (DoC) at G50.

5. And the same, named, seven Eastern teams remain at a Tee Time (T2) heading toward G50.

6. ‘If The Playoffs Started Today’ shows the Top 8 teams and who their opponents project to be. There were three changes from our last blog update three weeks ago:

  • PHI has switched places with WSH, rising to the No. 4 seed while dropping the Caps to No.5.
  • Based on TOR’s cumulative losses, DET rose to the No. 7 Wild Card seed from No. 8.
  • And also based on TOR’s record and their own winning ways, the NYR have climbed up to the No. 8 Wild Card slot

This marks the first time since October that there have been four projected 2014 Playoff teams from each Eastern Conference.

7. PQC breakdown (with new, CS or T2 calls in bold text):

19 October 2013, First Niagara Center, Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Sabres have been called at 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 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 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 CS, 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 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 CS, or the seventh team called IN the 2014 Playoffs.

5 December 2013, Centre Bell, Montreal, QC – The Montreal Canadiens have been called 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 T2, or the seventh team called OUT of the 2014 Playoffs.

7 December 2013, Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, QC – The Ottawa Senators have been called at 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 CS, or the tenth team called IN the 2014 Playoffs.

31 December 2013, PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC – The Carolina Hurricanes have been called at T2, or the twelfth team called OUT of the 2014 Playoffs.

8. The G50 Projection Schedule is (with Atlantic Division teams in bold font):

SAT., 18 JAN – NJD, NYI, NYR, TOR

SUN., 19 JANTBL

MON., 20 JAN – PHI

TUE., 21 JAN – CAR, FLA, OTT, WSH

WED., 22 JANDET, MTL, PIT

THUR., 23 JAN – BUF, CBJ

SAT., 25 JAN – BOS (the last G50 PQC call)

The Western Conference

Our Western Conference chart below indicates their PQC projections through Saturday, 12 January’s games:

NHLwest11JAN

Western notes:

1. At G50, eight (up from four) Western Conference teams have a chance at a CS call. Six calls have already been made and remain as stated unless we reach conditions to make a Shot Off The Post (SotP) call.

2. No teams can earn a Sharpening Skates (SS) call as we look toward G50.

3. Two (down from four) teams are an In The Curve (ITC) by G50.

4. No (down from one) team projects as a DoC call for G50.

5. And four Western teams remain at a Tee Time (T2) heading toward G50.

6. There was only one adjustment to the ‘If The Playoffs Started Today’ Top 8 teams in the Western Conference since our last blog posting. Anaheim, after winning an amazing 16 of their last 17 games, has moved up to the No. 1 slot while St. Louis slipped to No. 2.

7. PQC breakdown:

24 October 2013, TD Garden, Boston, MA – The San Jose Sharks have been called CS, or the first team called IN the 2014 Playoffs.

25 October 2013, Pepsi Center, Denver, CO – The Colorado Avalanche have been called CS, or the second team called IN the 2014 Playoffs.

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

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

16 November 2013, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames have been called at 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 CS, or the fifth team called IN the 2014 Playoffs.

3 December 2013, Honda Center, Anaheim, CA – The Anaheim Ducks have been called 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 T2, or the eighth team called OUT of the 2014 Playoffs.

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

27 December 2013, MTS Centre, Winnipeg, MB – The Winnipeg Jets have been called at T2, or the eleventh team called OUT of the 2014 Playoffs.

8. The G50 Projection Schedule is (Central Division teams are in bold text):

THUR., 16 JAN – MIN (the first G50 PQC call)

FRI., 17 JAN – ANA, CHI

SAT., 18 JAN – NSH, VAN, WPG

MON., 20 JAN – CGY, LAK, SJS

TUE., 21 JAN – DAL

WED., 22 JAN – PHX

THUR., 23 JAN – EDM, STL

FRI., 24 JAN – COL

Our next blog will be posted on Friday, 17 January after Thursday, 16 January’s first G50 game is complete…

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