Saturday, October 21, 2006

What if preseason counted...

During the preseason, Colby Cosh posited a time-honoured question on The Battle of Alberta: "Do the standings in the preseason really mean anything?"

Ultimately, the Coshian one concluded that, in fact, those standings were — somewhat surprisingly — a decent indicator of how well teams would go on to perform in the coming season.

Skipping a few steps in the 'that makes sense' portion of this post, here's a look at the NHL standings if the exhibition games did count (and we are in fact 12-16 games into the season instead of 5-8).

But first, let's note — top three teams in preseason: Chicago, Buffalo and Colorado; those teams' rank in the regular season so far: 12th, 1st, 13th. Bottom three teams in preseason: St. Louis, Carolina and Philadelphia; those teams' rank in the regular season so far: 25th, 21st, 30th.

I'd call that a correlation.

NHL standings (including preseason)
Eastern Conference
  1. Buffalo (12-1-0) 92.3%
  2. Atlanta (8-5-1) 60.7%
  3. Washington (5-3-4) 58.3%
  4. N.Y. Rangers (8-6-0) 57.1%
  5. New Jersey (7-6-1) 53.6%
  6. Toronto (7-6-3) 53.1%
  7. Montreal (6-6-2) 50%
  8. Pittsburgh (5-5-3) 50%
  9. N.Y. Islanders (5-5-2) 50%
  10. Tampa Bay (5-5-3) 50%
  11. Boston (6-6-1) 50%
  12. Ottawa (7-8-0) 46.7%
  13. Florida (6-8-2) 43.8%
  14. Carolina (4-8-1) 34.6%
  15. Philadelphia (2-11-2) 20%

Western Conference
  1. San Jose (12-3-0) 80%
  2. Chicago (11-4-0) 73.3%
  3. Edmonton (10-4-0) 71.4%
  4. Anaheim (8-2-5) 70%
  5. Minnesota (9-4-0) 69.2%
  6. Colorado (8-3-2) 69.2%
  7. Detroit (9-4-3) 65.6%
  8. Nashville (8-4-1) 65.4%
  9. Dallas (9-5-0) 64.3%
  10. Los Angeles (7-5-2) 57.1%
  11. Columbus (6-5-1) 54.2%
  12. Vancouver (6-8-2) 43.8%
  13. Calgary (5-7-2) 42.9%
  14. Phoenix (5-9-0) 35.7%
  15. St. Louis (3-8-2) 30.8%
Let's just say that a lot of the teams that have been bad early on have been bad since before the season started.

4 Comments:

At 12:15 PM, October 21, 2006, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

What is with Anaheim and all the OT? It really stands out when you include the pre-season.

 
At 1:27 PM, October 21, 2006, Blogger Doogie said...

Over the course of 82, I an see things eventually straightening out a bit more, but eight games into the season, that's actually not all that surprising. While individual games might not be indicators, if you suck ass all preseason, you're likely to suck ass early in the season until you get it together.

 
At 2:37 PM, October 21, 2006, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

Jeez, an Oilfan's griping about Anaheim's OT?

Why, you thought you had the OT market covered? Must come with Pronger, I guess.

The problem with preseason is it's a mixed bag. The Ducks in the preseason played 4 games in 4 cities in 4 days, and essentially played 2 different 20-man squads for 2 apiece. I'd assume other teams did something similar?

 
At 1:57 PM, October 23, 2006, Blogger Marky Narc said...

Wow, it really puts the Capitals in a different light...

 

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