January 29, 2008

Eastern Playoff race - 2008

We're at the point in the season where winners and losers become clear and the playoff teams and non-playoff teams become quite obvious. Before I start, I should note that these are expected results, if any one team goes on a great run or on a long losing streak results can be quite different.

Due to the nature of the eastern beast, I have decided not to include the South East division in the first part of the discussion, simply because they're special.

So for starters who's in:
Senators, Flyers, Canadiens, Devils, Penguins.

These teams have been playing well so far and now only need a 40% winning percentage (plus the free OT points) to make the playoffs

Bubble - Race
Bruins, Islanders, Sabres, Rangers. Two of these teams should make it in (the remaining Playoff team will come from the South East).

Why they'd make it:
Bruins: Bruins don't score many goals, so they're where they are because of goaltending and defense. (Chara, Wideman)
Islanders: DiPietro
Sabres: Balanced team, nothing stands out
Rangers: Lundqvist

Why they wont:
Bruins: -8 since the begining of December. And they should be a little more careful (injuries)
Islanders: Struggled recently, not sure if they'll get going any time soon.
Sabres: Things are looking quite bad for the Sabres. January they only have received two wins.
Rangers: Once they can score I might be able to say a ittle more.

It's hard to pick any two of the above teams, just because they're all struggling and if they keep that up there will be room for a second South East team.

Sadly, there is only one team outside the South East who is out of the playoff picture already, for those who don't know: Maple Leafs


Anonymous said...

The Rangers expected goal differential is quite good relative to their record. If I'm not mistaken, this was also the case last season.

Are they a good team that's experienced some awful luck in the last two seasons or is there something else at work here?

JavaGeek said...

There's something strange going on with New York's numbers (in terms of expected goals). I thought I had already adjusted out those effect, but they're still coming up. But, their luck level has stabilized since the start of the season. So things may be working properly.

The problem is that the New York score sheet people record the distances as too short (eg. they call a 15' shot a 12' shot). Aft finding this out last season I adjusted the numbers (substantially), but even with those adjustment New York has been unlucky this season (which may actually be the case).