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Western Conference Goal-Differential Grid

Well, I was so inspired by BoA-Matt’s 60-minute and opponent-result tables that I decided to make a neat table of my own.

Below is a goal-differential grid for the top 9 teams in the western conference. Home teams are in blue along the left and road teams are in red across the top. For each intersection, it shows home goals-per-game in blue (counting OT and empty-net goals, but neglecting shootout wins), road goals-per-game in red, and the home team differential-per-game in black.

(click image to enlarge)

For example, when Nashville hosts Anaheim this season it has scored 4 goals per game and allowed 2 (differential = 2). When Anaheim hosts Nashville this season it has scored 3 goals per game and allowed 1 (differential = 2). The fact that both goal differentials are positive means that on average, the home team has been dominant in the season series.

What is this table good for? Well, looking at potential playoff opponents, I suppose. Who this season has your team matched up well against? Who this season gives them fits? Also it ignores results against the less-relevant eastern conference or non-playoff teams, so as to make results a little more applicable to the upcoming playoffs and the qualifying opposition (how does your team perform against the relevant playoff teams around it?).

This is not perfect by any means (there aren’t that many games that make up each cell, and ultimately one of these teams won't even qualify), but it does give a flavor of what we might see in the western conference from different home and road teams this spring. Then again, it might all turn to rubbish, but still, I made it anyway.

HOME TRENDS:
  • Anaheim is the dominant home team against this field, followed by Nashville, Detroit, and Calgary. The Ducks in particular have outscored each of these opponents at the Honda Center this year.
  • On the other side of the coin, Vancouver, Minnesota, and San Jose don’t seem to have strong home records against qualifying opponents. The Sharks might actually be the worst, as they are being outscored at home against five of the eight possible opponents.

ROAD TRENDS:
  • Overall, the best road teams appear to be Anaheim, San Jose, and Minnesota, although each of these has opponents it might like to avoid (Anaheim hasn’t done well in Nashville or Calgary, San Jose has troubles in Nashville and Anaheim, and Minnesota probably dislikes Detroit).
  • Conversely, Detroit, Calgary, and Nashville have road issues, especially with teams towards the upper end of the standings.
Sorry if this bores or confuses any of you. If you have any questions or comments, let me know. If this sort of stuff gives you headaches, I’ll make you a cartoon instead next time.