Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The playoff push: 95 points or bust

UPDATED w/ Tuesday's games.

Here's a look at the record each team needs to attain that projected point mark and (essentially) guarantee a playoff berth:

Western Conference (95 points)
  1. Nashville - Guaranteed as of Mar. 8
  2. Detroit - Guaranteed as of Mar. 9
  3. Anaheim - Guaranteed as of Mar. 11
  4. Vancouver - Guaranteed as of Mar. 21
  5. San Jose - Guaranteed as of Mar. 22
  6. Minnesota - Guaranteed as of Mar. 22
  7. Dallas - Guaranteed as of Mar. 24
  8. Calgary - Guaranteed as of Mar. 31

  9. Colorado - 2-1-0
  10. St. Louis - Eliminated (max 85)
  11. Columbus - Eliminated (max 75)
  12. Chicago - Eliminated (max 75)
  13. Edmonton - Eliminated (max 73)
  14. Los Angeles - Eliminated (max 70)
  15. Phoenix - Eliminated (max 69)

Eastern Conference (93 points)

  1. Buffalo - Guaranteed as of Mar. 3
  2. New Jersey - Guaranteed as of Mar. 15
  3. Ottawa - Guaranteed as of Mar. 18
  4. Pittsburgh - Guaranteed as of Mar. 18
  5. Atlanta - Guaranteed as of Mar. 31
  6. N.Y. Rangers - 0-1-1
  7. Tampa Bay - 0-1-1
  8. Montreal - 1-0-1

  9. Toronto - 2-0-0
  10. N.Y. Islanders - Eliminated (max 92)
  11. Carolina - Eliminated (max 90)
  12. Florida - Eliminated (max 87)
  13. Boston - Eliminated (max 80)
  14. Washington - Eliminated (max 72)
  15. Philadelphia - Eliminated (max 60)
What is this?
It's the return of the playoff push. To the chagrin of hockey-stat junkies everywhere, consider this the most basic standings watch you'll see anywhere. (Here's what it looked like last season at the end of the year.)

It's all based on the premise that, if you get 95 points in the standings, you'll make the playoffs. There's a chance you can sneak in with 93, maybe even 92, but beyond that, it's going to be pretty unlikely under the NHL's kooky everybody-gets-a-point system.

Labels:

58 Comments:

At 8:01 AM, February 08, 2007, Anonymous Lyle Richardson said...

Nice to see you're continuing the chart again this season, James. It's a great way to track the progress of playoff contenders. Keep up the good work! I'll be checking this regularly.

 
At 10:19 AM, February 08, 2007, Anonymous Dennis Prouse said...

Great thread, James! Looking at it this way always puts the situations of the various teams in pretty stark context. Being ten points out may not look that bad when you see the standings, but when you look at what kind of overall record your team will need in order to ultimately make it, it gets a lot more sobering.

At present, I have the cut off at 92.4 (let's say 93) in the West, and 89.3 (let's say 90) in the East. This is just based on taking the current point per game rate of the respective 8th place teams, and projecting them out over 82 games. Given that we are already two-thirds of the way through, you would think that these numbers would hold up reasonably well.

Therefore, while your 95 point guarantee looks good in the West, I think that 92 will almost certainly do it for the East. Based on that, five teams in the West have already been de facto eliminated from the hunt. (Anyone think the Coyotes can go 21-5 down the stretch? Me either.) Steve Yzerman can quite safely start scouring the rosters of LA (of course), and also Columbus, Chicago, St. Louis and Phoenix. I would argue also that Edmonton had better get their act together quickly, or you can add them to the list of dead teams walking.

A lot fewer teams in the East are completely out of it, although Florida and Washington are awfully close even with the more generous 92 point threshold.

 
At 11:05 AM, February 08, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great chart, it would seem the teams below Colorado are more than likely not going to make the playoffs, and the teams below Carolina will also have a tough time.

 
At 4:34 PM, February 08, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

That's awesome that Philly is already clinched out. Stupid Flyers.

 
At 6:38 PM, February 08, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comment for Dennis Prouse: I would rank the teams by Point Percentage first, then project the 82-game point total for the 8th ranked team. For the East this will increase your Playoff Cutoff to 91 because Carolina (89) is projected to have less points than Toronto (91).

 
At 8:00 PM, February 08, 2007, Blogger JavaGeek said...

I think you should give every team a couple extra OTLs (2-3 OTLs rather than 0-1) due to the fact that the occur about 11% of the time. If you got 28 games remaining that's 3. This would lower the required wins to make the playoffs.

 
At 11:46 PM, February 09, 2007, Blogger Mike said...

All right, let's go Kings!

 
At 12:47 AM, February 10, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Los Angeles at Nashville on Saturday...

I suspect the Western Conference is about to have its first elimination.

 
At 2:09 AM, February 10, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Large gap forming between 8th (MIN) and 9th (EDM) place in the West. In the East, the gap doesn't form until 12th place (WAS)

 
At 2:11 AM, February 10, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OTLs are closer to 20% this year (169 in 829 games).

 
At 1:49 PM, February 10, 2007, Anonymous donald S. cherry said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:31 PM, February 10, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

Large gap forming between 8th (MIN) and 9th (EDM) place in the West. In the East, the gap doesn't form until 12th place (WAS)

To me, this is an indication that it's probably going to take fewer points in the West than the East. When you have a bunch of teams clustered right around 8th place, it's likely that 2-3 of them will significantly outtperform a .500 record, while 2-3 of them will significantly underperform. You don't know which ones, but someone is going to do it, and proceed to push the number of points necessary. In the East, everyone from Montreal to the Rangers is capable of pushing at 95.

It's different in the West. There aren't a bunch of teams that might push the point totals by getting hot; it's two teams: Edmonton and Colorado. If neither of those teams get hot, then we already know who the eight playoff teams are, and/or it isn't going to take 95 points to get in. If those two teams play around .500, then it will take one of the teams above them going cold to make it interesting, and you'll end up with fewer points needed.

Note: When I say it will take x number of points to make the playoffs, I'm not saying that that's what the #8 team will finish with. The minimum number of points necessary to make the playoffs is one more than the #9 team finishes with. That's what it will take.

 
At 5:58 PM, February 11, 2007, Blogger Matthew Macaskill said...

Ohh boy. According to your calculation, Montreal better get their butt in gear. Hehe

 
At 1:42 AM, February 12, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With Calgary losing again, that Wednesday game between Canucks and Wild will be HUGE (that is, until their next game).


That game will be on TSN, btw.

 
At 9:16 AM, February 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colorado is shockingly close to being out of the hunt. 19-7 down the stretch is an awfully tall order for a team that has struggled to stay above .500 for 2/3rds of the year.

 
At 1:54 PM, February 13, 2007, Blogger PJ Swenson said...

Los Angeles needs to go 24-0? Lol.

At least they weren't they only so-cal team screwed by the waiver wire. If Leighton can string together games like that for Philadelphia, just think would he could do for a normal roster.

 
At 6:22 PM, February 13, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

How coincidental that both of last year's Cup finalists are in ninth spot in their respective conferences.

 
At 11:57 PM, February 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yah, if one was fond of misusing the term ironic, one might even call it ironic.

 
At 1:54 AM, February 14, 2007, Anonymous David Johnson said...

I don't think it will take 95 points to make the playoffs, especially in the east. As of today Montreal and Carolina are both 6 points above .500. Is it really reasonable to expect them both to play their remaining 23 or 24 games at a pace of 7 points above .500? If you assume they play the remainder of the year the same as they have played up to now those 2 teams are on pace for 90-91 points.

In the west Minnesota is on pace for 95 points but the Oilers are only on pace for 86 points so it is unlikely the Wild actually need 95 points to make the playoffs.

 
At 2:10 AM, February 14, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

I've said it already, but 95 points is the mark where you'll guarantee a playoff spot.

I'm not predicting where teams will actually finish, at least not yet.

 
At 7:57 PM, February 14, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think a radio host in buffalo stole your formula on monday night and passed it off as his own.

 
At 5:30 PM, February 18, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

>> Yah, if one was fond of misusing the term ironic, one might even call it ironic. <<

Hey, that's exactly why I used the word "coincidental"! Didn't want to get on any pedant's people-to-kill list, alongside Alanis Morissette.

Looks like Montreal's in trouble, but there's still plenty of time left. Edmonton's cooked though.

 
At 11:28 AM, February 19, 2007, Anonymous Dennis Prouse said...

If this was election night, I think you could almost "call" the Western Conference playoff race as being over right now. Barring a miracle run by either Colorado or Edmonton, we know who the eight teams will be in the West -- it's just a matter of where they finish. The only caveat I would add is that Edmonton plays Minnesota five more times before the year ends - they'll have to take at least four of those to have any prayer.

 
At 2:36 AM, February 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ray Ferraro on the Team 1040 out of Vancouver this afternoon says the Playoff 8 have been decided in the West. All that's left is jockeying for position. He pretty much said Oiler fan needs to wake up: it's over.

 
At 4:50 AM, February 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has there ever been a time when the previous season's two Stanley Cup finalists failed to make the playoffs the very next year? We could very well be looking at that this year.

 
At 12:35 PM, February 20, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Nope — that has never happened in the NHL's history. Carolina's still right in the hunt, but the Oilers are looking more and more like they aren't going to sneak in.

 
At 2:24 PM, February 20, 2007, Blogger PJ Swenson said...

Are the playoff matchups going to follow those seedings?

Calgary and Dallas are two teams I would not want to see in the first round.

 
At 12:14 PM, February 21, 2007, Anonymous Jeff said...

Isn't Vancouver ahead of Dallas and SJ now in the standings? Time to bump the 'Nucks up! :)

 
At 1:38 PM, February 21, 2007, Blogger Eric said...

Mathamatically philly can't even reach buffalo, I love it...

 
At 1:06 PM, February 23, 2007, Blogger Ciavarro said...

Where's the update!

 
At 2:59 PM, February 28, 2007, Anonymous Dennis Prouse said...

Rigor mortis is now setting in regarding Edmonton and Colorado's playoff hopes. Not only has Edmonton auctioned off their leading scorer, but the Western cutoff looks to have risen to 97 points, which is the pace at which Calgary and Minnesota are currently at. I guess this is good news for Steve Yzerman in helping him narrow his search for Team Canada possibilities.

 
At 4:19 PM, March 04, 2007, Blogger J.R. Hippe said...

"11. Edmonton - 14-1-1"

:(

Youtube search: Oilers 2006 playoff run.

:)

 
At 11:18 AM, March 05, 2007, Blogger Stu Smallwood said...

I truly think it will be boston that makes it.

Should be neat to see.

 
At 12:22 PM, March 05, 2007, Anonymous Scott said...

Through much of the '70s and '80s, Detroit was often the only Original Six team to miss the playoffs. However, if the current (March 4th) standings hold, they'd be the only one of the six to qualify. Only twice have four of the six missed out, in 2000 and 2001.

Things could change, as the four eastern teams are still in the mix, but it's not looking good for the Original Xix.

 
At 11:03 AM, March 09, 2007, Blogger Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11:05 AM, March 09, 2007, Blogger Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

Damn, James, what will it take for the Canadiens to win?

Here's my article on their misery
http://onveutlacoupe.blogspot.com/2007/03/my-thoughts-on-mockery-that-hockey-has.html

 
At 9:16 PM, March 11, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

Good blog bb&r ... that's a cool photo at the top ... I only have one thing to add:

GO LEAFS!

 
At 11:46 PM, March 11, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a sad day to be an Avs fan today ;(

 
At 4:23 AM, March 18, 2007, Blogger Robert L said...

Neither of the last two teams qualifying in the east will manage 90 points!

 
At 10:52 AM, March 18, 2007, Blogger JavaGeek said...

Robert L:
There are 5 teams chasing 2 spots, so the team who gets the spot will have to do better than their average in order to make the playoffs, so a strict average generally underestimates the cutoff point.

I presently have 8th place at 91 and 9th place is sitting at 90. 92 will likely guarantee a spot in the East 93 will certainly guarantee a spot.

 
At 11:49 AM, March 18, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Neither of the last two teams qualifying in the east will manage 90 points!

How much are you willing to wager on that?

 
At 2:46 PM, March 18, 2007, Blogger Robert L said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:49 PM, March 18, 2007, Blogger Robert L said...

James, may I rephrase that?

The word "more" went missing, LOL!

I meant to state that the two final teams will not exceed 90 points. In other words, one team will hit 90 and the team above will get possibly a point or two more. Neither will hit 95 and both won't reach 93.

Now wagers are fun, if you have a suggestion other tha cash, I'm on!

 
At 9:37 AM, March 19, 2007, Anonymous Dennis Prouse said...

Colorado sure is making a push to keep things at least a bit interesting in the West. They play the slumping Flames twice at the end of the regular season, so they have the schedule working for them as well. Does Sutter lose the genius tag if his team manages to blow this one?

 
At 10:21 PM, March 23, 2007, Blogger Jason said...

James, why do you have the Islanders ahead of Carolina and Montreal? At this point, the Isles don't make the playoffs and Carolina/Montreal does.

 
At 10:54 PM, March 27, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

As of the 28th:

Tampa Bay - 3-1-1
N.Y. Islanders - 4-1-1
Carolina - 4-1-1
Montreal - 4-1-1
Toronto - 4-1-1

Wow. Thank God the Leafs stil have games left against the Habs and Islanders.

 
At 12:58 AM, April 01, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big win for habs over sabres... but the leafs just won't die!!

 
At 10:17 AM, April 01, 2007, Blogger PPP said...

Stupid Sabres!

April 7th is looking like the decision maker.

 
At 12:30 AM, April 02, 2007, Anonymous ken said...

Stupid sexy Leafs!

 
At 7:29 AM, April 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

calgary has 96 points, you should change the west. conference mark to 96 ponts.

 
At 10:37 AM, April 02, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

calgary has 96 points, you should change the west. conference mark to 96 ponts.

Yes, but Colorado only has 89 points. The number needed to qualify for the playoffs is not the number of points the eighth place team finishes with; it's one more than the number of points the ninth place team finishes with. Essentially, all the points between those two numbers are wasted, unless regular season records mean something to you.

That last bit isn't snark. Regular season records mean a lot to me, and I wish that we could go back to a world where the regular season title had more meaning than the playoff title, but this isn't that world.

 
At 1:01 PM, April 02, 2007, Blogger Nick said...

James, you may want to add a "current pts, max pts team could achieve" to each team or you might end up with only 6 teams making the playoffs in the east ;)

I know you're working with the 95 or bust list, but the list is going to stop making sense down the stretch.

 
At 1:01 PM, April 02, 2007, Anonymous grace said...

How can you eliminate the Islanders when there's no way toronto's going 3-0-0 in their remaining games? What if Toronto loses one and the Isles win the rest of theirs?

This is seriously pissing me off.

I'd hate to think we sold Smytty for nothing, and, well, for nothing.

 
At 2:35 PM, April 02, 2007, Anonymous pevans said...

grace said...
How can you eliminate the Islanders


He hasn't eliminated them. Not from playoff contention, anyway.

If you look at the chart, all it says is that the Islanders have now been officially eliminated from getting 93 points. Which is true, since they have 84 pts with 4 games left (max 92).

They may well make the playoffs if they run the table and get some help. They've been eliminated from getting 93 points, which James is positing is the playoff cutoff in the East. They've not yet been eliminated from postseason play.

Same thing in the West. Calgary is now "guaranteed" to get 95 points, given that they have 96 already. That's why there are 8 "guaranteed" teams in the West, despite the fact that Colorado is still not mathematically eliminated, in 9th, from an 8-horse race. Colorado could indeed still get to 95 points. It's just that that'll not be enough to make the playoffs in the West.

 
At 4:19 PM, April 02, 2007, Blogger Pension Plan said...

How can you eliminate the Islanders when there's no way toronto's going 3-0-0 in their remaining games?

Why is there no way? They are playing the Flyers, the Islanders sans DiPietro, and the Canadiens. Not exactly a murderer's row of teams.

 
At 1:58 AM, April 05, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the Islanders are eliminated. Even if they get 92 points, or 90, they'll have less wins than any other team they could tie.

 
At 7:52 AM, April 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, the Islanders are eliminated...


LOL, yeah right!!!!

 
At 12:32 PM, April 09, 2007, Anonymous pevans said...

[The Islanders] may well make the playoffs if they run the table and get some help. They've been eliminated from getting 93 points, which James is positing is the playoff cutoff in the East. They've not yet been eliminated from postseason play.

As a Leafs fan, I HATE when I'm right.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

Links to this post:

Create a Link


.

Free Page Rank Checker
eXTReMe Tracker