April 18, 2007

Rangers @ Atlanta

I wasn't sure what to expect from this series, but for a few weeks before the playoffs I was shocked by the graph below (Blue = expected goal differential based on shots for and against, black = goals prevented by goaltender, green = luck or the difference between expected goals for and actual goals for [should be 0]). The graph plots those three variables over vs. game number in the season for the New York Rangers.

What surprised me most was the consistent positive slope in the blue curve for the last half the season [+50] (not sure why the Rangers didn't do well in the first half). To put that blue curve in context a team that performs at that level over the course of an entire season should get about 123 points. This of course was combined with terrible luck [-50]. Leaving them about even for the last half of the season plus a little goaltending taking them to their actual goal differential of +20. They were able to continue the expected goal dominance in this series posting a difference of +9 in 4 games.

I wasn't sure how good these indicators were and of course they still might not mean much, but the New York Rangers are looking extremely dangerous. That being said Atlanta wasn't the toughest opponent to see in the first round as they got most of their points in the first half of the season and looked extremely average or even below average before the playoffs.

Good luck next round to any team that meets New York in the next round they're going to need it.

Did a sweep surprise me, not really. Then again hind sight is 20-20.

Game 1:31.691.744.881.3
Game 2:11.995.624.594.7
Game 3:01.584.174.4100
Game 4:23.291.943.793.8
Series [0-4]68.290.81717.492.7

This image displays the two team's records and goals for (GFA) and goals against (GAA) rates against only teams who made the playoffs. In addition I added my 'trademarked' estimated team value rating (I sum up all my estimated worth[$'s] of the current lineup) to give an idea about how good the lineup is in relation to the performance over the year. You can see the season series below that, and a small number in the bottom right is the number of penalties per game in the season series. The big percentage are the likelihood, based on a simplistic prediction model, of the team to win the series. The percentages are updated after every win or loss. F,D,G represent Forwards, Defense and Goaltending respectively, and are just my best guesses. If you think they're wrong tell my why and I'll likely change them.

Even Strength
Power Play

The winner column displays the dominant team in that category. The more pictures of the team's logo the more dominant the team is in that category

All the non-percentage numbers are scoring rates. For example on the first row, the Atlanta Thrashers have an even strength scoring rate of 2.71 goal for per hour. [GF = goals for, GA = goals against Exx = expected xx, SV% = shot quality neutral save percentage].

In the power play section in order to calculate the expected scoring rates I multiplied the goals for rate of one team and the goals against rate of the other and divide by the league average in order to get the expected rate for these two teams combined. So for example, the Atlanta Thrashers have a power play goals for rate of 6.31 and the New York Rangers have a penalty killing goals against rate of 6.06. So 6.31*6.06/6.5=5.88 [league average is 6.5].

Outperforming expected goals for is a sign of a lucky team. Outperforming expected goals against is a sign of either a good goaltender or luck as well.

Each category listed has a different importance to winning, so be careful how you read these. Being able to score short-handed isn't going to win a lot of hockey games.

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