Friday, November 16, 2007

Where we sit
Is it time for a playoff race yet?

Eastern Conference

/82 Gdif
1 Ottawa 17 30
145 1.35
2 Carolina 19 25
108 0.79
3 Philadelphia 18 23
105 0.61
4 Montreal 17 23
111 0.65
5 NY Rangers 19 23
99 0.37
6 NY Islanders 15 18
98 -0.13
7 Boston 17 20
96 0.12
8 Tampa Bay 18 19
87 0.28

Toronto 20 19
78 -0.55

Pittsburgh 19 17
73 -0.26

New Jersey 18 16
73 -0.61

Atlanta 18 16
73 -0.94

Florida 20 17
70 -0.50

Buffalo 17 13
63 -0.41

Washington 18 13
59 -0.50

Western Conference

/82 Gdif
1 Detroit 18 27
123 1.11
2 Colorado 17 23
111 0.59
3 San Jose 20 24
98 0.55
4 Minnesota 18 22
100 0.33
5 Columbus 18 21
96 0.28
6 Nashville 18 21
96 0.06
7 Chicago 19 21
91 -0.05
8 St. Louis 15 16
87 0.13

Anaheim 20 21
86 -0.25

Dallas 18 18
82 -0.11

Vancouver 17 17
82 -0.35

Los Angeles 18 17
77 -0.22

Calgary 18 17
77 -0.33

Phoenix 17 14
68 -0.88

Edmonton 19 15
65 -0.95

We're starting to see some balancing out now, with teams like San Jose, Anaheim, Atlanta and Nashville all starting to push into the playoff positions.

Other clubs, like the Central Division's equivalent of the Three Stooges, are sliding, and it's really going to be over the next 20 games or so where we'll see if they can hang in the playoff race. My guess is only one of Columbus/Chicago/St. Louis will be in the hunt come February.

For the teams right at the bottom, however, it's probably time to panic. Or at least soon.

Buffalo's on pace for a 63-point season, and Pittsburgh and Calgary haven't been much better. It's interesting that so far the eighth playoff spot is a pretty reachable 87 points, something that's skewed by the fact Ottawa and Detroit have been gobbling up all the points.

Washington, Phoenix and Edmonton are essentially out of the mix at this point, barring a sudden five-game win streak. Florida needs to start winning some games, and New Jersey is going to be lucky to squeak in with the problems they've had defensively under Brent Sutter.

Things are starting to get interesting.


At 2:21 p.m., November 16, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One interesting thing to note right away: no Western Canadians teams in the top 8 right now. Overall, only 2 of 6 (Ottawa and Montreal) are in. Edmonton seems out of it already. Probably only 1 of Calgary and Vancouver will make it. And Montreal (despite their fast start) and Toronto will both be in tight to make it.

At 3:38 p.m., November 16, 2007, Anonymous Anshu said...

Toronto has played more games than any team ahead of them in the East, so that skews their position somewhat (they are actually further behind than their 9th place ranking would suggest).

At 4:10 p.m., November 16, 2007, Blogger Bruce said...

It's interesting that so far the eighth playoff spot is a pretty reachable 87 points, something that's skewed by the fact Ottawa and Detroit have been gobbling up all the points.

I would say it has more to do with the the teams league-wide not gobbling up the points, specifically the loser points. As I pointed out near the end of the thread "984 games to go" a few days ago:

One interesting trend in the early season is the high percentage of games that have been decided in regulation. After 246 games just 39, or 15.8%, have awarded the "bonus" a.k.a. "bogus" point. By way of comparison, in 2006-07 there were 281, or 22.8%, three-point games. Put another way, the league-wide "winning" percentage -- and I agree with sakshab that points percentage is a much better way of stating it -- is .540, compared to .557 at last seasons' end.

Or put another way, sets the ever-fluctuating ".500" line around 88 points, compared to 91 last year. Roughly speaking, a statistical mean W-L(OTW-OTL) record of 35-35(6-6) instead of 32-32(9-9). The 8th of 15 teams in a conference should be somewhere very near that level. (Last year the mean was 91.4 points; Islanders with 92 made the playoffs, Leafs with 91 did not. Unlucky Colorado was the only exception that did not make the playoffs despite having greater than the league mean in points; there were no counter examples of teams from below that mark squeezing in.)

I do expect those points percentages will increase throughout the balance of the season, as they did last year, but as they do the projected eighth spot using your methodology should rise with it.

At 5:26 p.m., November 16, 2007, Blogger chris said...

its odd that although carolina is number two in the eastern conference, i almost never hear you say anything about them.

there is alot to say about the team this year. good and bad.
but exciting none the less.

i would like to make a friendly request to show more equal attention.

basically ive been dying to read what you think about the hurricanes right now, and you never budge.

this may be an odd request but why not.

-chris from (you guessed it) nc

At 5:55 p.m., November 16, 2007, Blogger Menzies said...

Anshu, the ranking is based on projected points, so based on the games remaining and how many points TO currently has is how that ranking has been judged.


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