Hockey is back, and that means that all of the obligations and responsibilities of my normal life are about to fall by the wayside. Let's celebrate together by complaining a lot about the team's performance in the comments.
Based on last years's final regular (full-length) season rankings, I'm going to make some projections regarding what the rankings will need to look like this time around in the shortened season, and just how many points a team will need to slip into a playoff spot.
I'm calling these projections "junk stats" because they're based on so much speculation and are the subject of too many variables to ever be taken seriously. But you see this kind of trash all of the time because when you're proven wrong all you have to do is claim "hey, this stuff is too unpredictable and a lot of intangibles went into play."
Here's the points-based rankings from last season. Since it was a full 82-game season, and teams get two points for each win, the total number of possible points available to each team was 164 (of course this would require a perfect season, which isn't going to happen). This table includes the percentage of points available that each team received.
|Western Conference 2011-12||Eastern Conference 2011-12|
|Team||Pts||% of Pts Available (164)||Team||Pts||% of Pts Available (164)|
|1. Vancouver||111||67.68%||1. N.Y. Rangers||109||66.46%|
|2. St. Louis||109||66.46%||2. Boston||102||62.20%|
|3. Phoenix||97||59.15%||3. Florida||94||57.32%|
|4. Nashville||104||63.41%||4. Pittsburgh||108||65.85%|
|5. Detroit||102||62.20%||5. Philadelphia||103||62.80%|
|6. Chicago||101||61.59%||6. New Jersey||102||62.20%|
|7. San Jose||96||58.54%||7. Washington||92||56.10%|
|8. Los Angeles||95||57.93%||8. Ottawa||92||56.10%|
|9. Calgary||90||54.88%||9. Buffalo||89||54.27%|
|10. Dallas||89||54.27%||10. Tampa Bay||84||51.22%|
|11. Colorado||88||53.66%||11. Winnipeg||84||51.22%|
|12. Minnesota||81||49.39%||12. Carolina||82||50.00%|
|13. Anaheim||80||48.78%||13. Toronto||80||48.78%|
|14. Edmonton||74||45.12%||14. N.Y. Islanders||79||48.17%|
|15. Columbus||65||39.63%||15. Montreal||78||47.56%|
If we take the above very real numbers and extrapolate, we can come up with some very nonsense numbers to irresponsibly build our expectations around. Using the percentages above, we can determine how many points the 8 playoff teams from each conference will need to obtain this 48-game season (out of a total possible of 96):
|Western Conference||Eastern Conference|
|Rank||% of Pts in 2011-12||Equivalent Pts in 2013||Rank||% of Pts in 2011-12||Equivalent Pts in 2013|
All point values are being rounded up to the nearest whole numbers. So, assuming that all teams perform identically to last season (which of course is a perfectly reasonable assumption, right?) the bare minimum to slip into the playoffs this season out West would be 56 points. That's 28 wins (or whatever crazy combination of wins and 1-point overtime losses that you see fit).
Let's hope that win number one comes for the Ducks tonight.