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Western Conference Regulation Record Grid

I've been meaning to put together a stats table to show all the potential western conference playoff participants, similar to the tables I built last year, and here it is. This table shows regulation records (the record at the end of 60 minutes) for the top ten teams in the west playing against the top ten teams in the west, all carrying some level of playoff aspiration. I've turned that regulation record into a winning percentage, and included GF and GA stats as well (note: GF and GA do include OT goals, mostly because I'm lazy). Basically, you can pick a team along the left column and follow it across to see how that team has fared against each of the nine potential future opponents, to see where a particular match-up seems favorable or not.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Some takeaway notes, briefly:
  • From the Ducks' perspective, I'm not a huge believer on what this table tells us. A lot of the games used in creating this table were played without Niedermayer and Selanne at first, then Pronger and Perry later. It's tough to draw any hard conclusions on how a more complete team would have fared over the course of a season. Still, it's worth noting that the Ducks have the worst offense of any of these teams (against this opposition), and that even though the Ducks don't rate that well against their likely first round opponent in the Dallas Stars, it's still better than their regular season performance against Minnesota or Vancouver.

  • As for winners from this table, it's hard not to like Detroit, San Jose, and Dallas, the three teams that show winning regulation records against the best of the west. Of the three, Detroit dominates the other two, though, and has strong records against nearly all other contenders (except Anaheim and perhaps Nashville). Perhaps Detroit's two main hopes should be that some other team eliminates the Ducks and somehow the Predators avoid finishing eighth, but generally, they've played this field very well.

  • Among the teams still fighting for a spot, Calgary probably really wants the sixth seed the most, and Colorado wants to avoid falling to eighth the most. Vancouver appears to be in some trouble; even if they do qualify for the postseason they project to go up against a first round opponent that's dominated them during the regular season.
Anyway, I know that today's supposed to be all pranks and merriment, but I thought I'd throw out a statistical glance at the coming postseason. Read into it what you will (and I'll take any responses in the comments), but I think it offers a quick glance at what opponents each team finds more or less desirable for the prolonged fight to the cup finals. Once the standings gets a little more locked in, I'll delve a bit more into the emotional side; I'm quite new at this "defending" gig, and in that sense, it's a playoff year like I've never experienced before.

Until then, Go Ducks.