Points-Blown Standings: will 95 points be good enough in the West?

Recently, I said I thought 98 points was the safe target to make the playoffs in the West. However, I was looking at the numbers over at www.sportsclubstats.com, and noticed that 95 points is good enough to squeak into the playoffs in 95% of the simulations. Last season, I'm pretty sure the 95% threshold wasn't crossed until 96 or 97 points (yes, it's true, I'm too lazy to check the JftC archives). I did do some quick counting though, and discovered that the Western teams are on track for about 12 fewer "loser points" than last season, so that might account for the discrepancy. Last year, the actual, final line in the sand (as opposed to the predicted one) turned out to be 97 points.

KEY:

  • Q is my standings, default sorted by points-blown (explanation of points-blown here).
  • NHL is the official standings, via NHL.COM.
  • PRJ is projected point total for 82 games.
  • TO 95 is the record needed to get to the presumed (by me) playoff-threshold.
  • PB is points-blown.
  • 8th+/- is the distance in points-blown above or below the 8th seed.
  • LA+/- is the distance in points-blown between that team and the Kings.
  • GD is goal-differential.
  • GP is games-played.
  • OSR is "old school record", in which all ties after regulation are treated as ties. One point.
  • OSP is "old school points".
  • Qcl is clustered points, which corrects for variance in games-played and then rounds point totals to the nearest multiple of 5. The idea is to emphasize which teams are bunched together, or, to put it another way, are "more or less tied." It may be useless or annoying. Feel free to ignore.

Click on the headers to sort.

[it is sometimes the case that the site needs to be set to "wide" view in the right margin of the page, in order for the chart not to get mangled]


Q NHL W/L/OTL PTS W% PRJ to 95 PB 8th+/- LA+- GD GP OSR OSP Qcl
1 4 STL 28-12-6 62 0.6739 110.5 14-17-5 30 10 10 23 46 27-13-6 60 65
2 1 DET 31-15-1 63 0.6702 109.9 14-17-4 31 9 9 45 47 27-16-4 58 60
3 3 SJS 26-13-5 57 0.6477 106.2 17-17-4 31 9 9 22 44 20-16-8 48 60
4 5 CHI 28-13-6 62 0.6596 108.2 14-16-5 32 8 8 21 47 24-16-7 55 60
5 2 VAN 28-15-4 60 0.6383 104.7 15-15-5 34 6 6 34 47 26-15-6 58 60
6 6 NAS 27-16-4 58 0.6170 101.2 16-14-5 36 4 4 5 47 24-19-4 52 60
7 7 LAK 23-15-10 56 0.5833 95.7 17-12-5 40 0 0 -1 48 19-19-10 48 55
8 10 DAL 24-19-2 50 0.5556 91.1 20-12-5 40 0 0 -7 45 21-19-5 47 50
9 9 MIN 22-18-7 51 0.5426 89.0 20-11-4 43 -3 -3 -15 47 17-20-10 44 50
10 8 COL 25-21-2 52 0.5417 88.8 19-10-5 44 -4 -4 -13 48 18-23-7 43 50
11 11 PHX 21-19-8 50 0.5208 85.4 20-9-5 46 -6 -6 -4 48 19-22-7 45 50
12 12 CGY 22-20-6 50 0.5208 85.4 20-9-5 46 -6 -6 -20 48 20-23-5 45 50
13 13 ANA 16-22-7 39 0.4333 71.1 26-7-4 51 -11 -11 -21 45 15-25-5 35 40
14 14 EDM 17-25-4 38 0.4130 67.7 26-5-5 54 -14 -14 -16 46 16-26-4 36 40
15 15 CBJ 13-28-5 31 0.3370 55.3 30-2-4 61 -21 -21 -42 46 10-29-7 27 30

Some observations:

  • I don't think Anaheim is going to finish the season 26-7-4 or better. Of course, anything is possible. But I'm crossing the Ducks, Oilers and Blue Jackets off the list of teams that can make the playoffs.
  • The Blues are much better than they appear in the official standings.
  • The Canucks are much worse.
  • 5th through 12th are separated by 12 PB, 6 PB above the 8th seed and 6 PB below. That's a slightly bigger spread of points and slightly fewer teams in contention than in the last few years.
  • That would contribute to the lower projected playoff threshold.
  • The Kings lead the conference in "loser points" with 10. To me, this is a good thing.
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