Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

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.


hamlet said...

great job, earl sleek!

spade-in-victorhell said...

nice chart...

i think though if we play our forechecking game and get some production off the PP we wont lose. Sitting weight who refrses to play the duck game of forechecking is a start in the right direction. i think carters return will help also...him and marchant can swap 2nd and 4th line center duties...use carter to win face-offs at critical times etc.

weight should be on the fourth line period. end of story...put carter on the wing if u have to.

Earl Sleek said...

I'd rather have Dead-Weight scratched than on the fourth line, to tell the truth. Perhaps that is the best strategy (once Carter's back)--let's separate Weight's shoulder so he can lift the cup with his heart (btw, no phrase has made me hate Weight with more passion than that one).

karpa rules said...

Interesting. Playoffs seem to be lower scoring and more defensive - conditions in which the Ducks seem to do well. I wonder how that chart looked last year for the Ducks playoff opponents?

Bryan said...

It all depends if the fairly consistent playoff losers can turn it around. SJ and Dallas have not shown the ability to play well in the playoffs in a while. But once again a playoff series can swing one way or another so fast. SJ probably beats Detroit if Holmstrom doesn't score a big goal. The Ducks series with Detroit is obviously very different if Niedermayer doesn't score his goal. Obviously, I would rather Ducks play against any team in the Northwest division instead of Dallas, but aside from SJ and Detroit, the Ducks should not lose to anyone they play.

I'm just glad I knew Weight sucked from the moment the trade was announced, that way I was never disappointed.

Earl Sleek said...

Karpa Rules (that's an awesome screen name, btw). Last year I only did goal differential and special teams stats, but generally the rule was that the Ducks did better against the top teams in the west than any other western team. In other words, it was a bit of a predictor.

Still, I'm not discouraged that the Ducks aren't at the top of this list this season; like I said, there's enough explainers (Niedermayer, Selanne, Perry, Pronger, plus things like hangover and London) that I think the regular season understates this year's Ducks squad.

I don't think Anaheim's a clear favorite by any means, but I'll take this squad and see how the dice roll.

Earl Sleek said...

Bryan--while Weight may very well suck, I'd still make that deal each and every time.

You just have to keep the right mindset about the whole thing. It wasn't a McDonald-for-Weight trade.

Rather, it was McDonald for Weight plus the right to play Scott Niedermayer plus the right to keep Matty Schneider plus the room to sign Teemu Selanne. Weight would have to suck to an unbelievable degree to make that a bad trade.

Even a sucky Weight has his salary advantages. (You're probably not even picking on the trade itself, but I had to say it anyway.)

Kirsten said...

Dude, I bow down to your stats amazingness.

I'm really excited for the playoffs, but I can't decide how nervous I am/should be. If we play Anaheim, the karma might favor us...but we've only played one game against Nieds this season, so I don't consider the season to be an accurate guess of how the playoffs would go. The Wild can either be a really good team, or a really, really bad team if they get into a slump, so we'll just have to see.

I'm much more worried about playing Calgary at this point in time, though.

Mr. Plank said...

Awesome job Earl.

Your point about not having key guys is a good indicator of what your team can do. The Ducks seem to be deadly when they're running on all cylinders. karpa rules also made a solid point about flourishing in low scoring, physical games.

Question: Do you know when Perry is projected to come back? Obviously the playoffs may speed up the process, but I heard he's still about a month away.

spade-in-victorhell said...

the gorilla head "RC" said middle of the first round..so I guess that means game 3.

Carter this weekend..

and earl your right that stupid cup commercial with bearded dead weight....was lamo

i agree scratch would be preffered...i just for some reason think da gorilla will play him cuz of "veteran" prescense..I hope not

keep sutherby in..at least he can play pk

p.s. will the stache even play a single playoff game? IMO only if we play the wild....discuss people

Earl Sleek said...

p.s. will the stache even play a single playoff game? IMO only if we play the wild....discuss people

Oh, I'm prepared for Parros to be a playoff regular, pretty much no matter the opponent (maybe not Detroit, but even then I'm flexible). Remember, it's a much better Parros than we had last year--he's a guy that doesn't burn my eyeballs with rage when he's stuck on the ice, and he can be a semi-useful player.

He'll probably end up scratched as bodies return to the lineup (Carter, Perry), but even then, I'd probably assume that some other forward gets hurt as the playoff grind wears on (provided the Ducks advance), and he'll probably have a spot in the lineup throughout.

I'll say I'm not too bothered by that notion, not to the extent I would have been bothered last year. Plus the ANA crowd loves him, and that's still something.

Morbo said...

In honor of Karpa rules, I'm thinking about changing my name to Trashcan Trnka.

I agree with Spade. I love the way Sutherby is playing, his forechecking is generating good chances for that 4th line, and i like how he isn't afraid to just charge the net ala Perry.

With Carter back soon, only way Weight makes it in the lineup when the other team has no heavyweight and Parros is scratched. And even then, he should be limited to the 2nd pp unit.

Heather B. said...

Earl, would it be a ton of work for you to throw together a similar chart for the EC for posting... I don't know, somewhere EC-y?

Earl Sleek said...

Sadly, Heather, you've caught me at a rough time computer-wise; I'm still waiting for my new laptop to arrive for my new job.

The loaner laptop I've got now not only doesn't have my usual spreadsheets on it, but it doesn't even have wireless--I have to sit by the damn cable modem tonight.

So, long story short, it actually would be a little work right now (as it was for the west), but when I get up and running on the new laptop (within a week, I hope!) I'll make an eastern version plus an updated one for the west.

spade-in-victorhell said...

they play hockey in the east?...or wait...its defense they dont play...I forget

Heather B. said...

We play something that at least vaguely resembles hockey in the East. Defense is a little more questionable.

Earl, no problem! Don't hurt yourself or anything :-D