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

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Western Conference Goal-Differential Grid

Well, I was so inspired by BoA-Matt’s 60-minute and opponent-result tables that I decided to make a neat table of my own.

Below is a goal-differential grid for the top 9 teams in the western conference. Home teams are in blue along the left and road teams are in red across the top. For each intersection, it shows home goals-per-game in blue (counting OT and empty-net goals, but neglecting shootout wins), road goals-per-game in red, and the home team differential-per-game in black.

(click image to enlarge)

For example, when Nashville hosts Anaheim this season it has scored 4 goals per game and allowed 2 (differential = 2). When Anaheim hosts Nashville this season it has scored 3 goals per game and allowed 1 (differential = 2). The fact that both goal differentials are positive means that on average, the home team has been dominant in the season series.

What is this table good for? Well, looking at potential playoff opponents, I suppose. Who this season has your team matched up well against? Who this season gives them fits? Also it ignores results against the less-relevant eastern conference or non-playoff teams, so as to make results a little more applicable to the upcoming playoffs and the qualifying opposition (how does your team perform against the relevant playoff teams around it?).

This is not perfect by any means (there aren’t that many games that make up each cell, and ultimately one of these teams won't even qualify), but it does give a flavor of what we might see in the western conference from different home and road teams this spring. Then again, it might all turn to rubbish, but still, I made it anyway.

  • Anaheim is the dominant home team against this field, followed by Nashville, Detroit, and Calgary. The Ducks in particular have outscored each of these opponents at the Honda Center this year.
  • On the other side of the coin, Vancouver, Minnesota, and San Jose don’t seem to have strong home records against qualifying opponents. The Sharks might actually be the worst, as they are being outscored at home against five of the eight possible opponents.

  • Overall, the best road teams appear to be Anaheim, San Jose, and Minnesota, although each of these has opponents it might like to avoid (Anaheim hasn’t done well in Nashville or Calgary, San Jose has troubles in Nashville and Anaheim, and Minnesota probably dislikes Detroit).
  • Conversely, Detroit, Calgary, and Nashville have road issues, especially with teams towards the upper end of the standings.
Sorry if this bores or confuses any of you. If you have any questions or comments, let me know. If this sort of stuff gives you headaches, I’ll make you a cartoon instead next time.


RudyKelly said...

Nice work, Boss. Here's a question: do you want Minnnesota to catch Vancouver so you can play the Canucks (because you guys have done well against them this season), or would you rather play the Wild (since Manny Fernandez hasn't been great and Roberto Luongo is terrifying)?

Earl Sleek said...

Short answer: no. The Canucks out of all those teams have given the Ducks the most trouble at home (which I'm hoping is our bread-and-butter), so I'd probably prefer to see the Wild. Also, we won in Vancouver twice in November, and that's a while ago now.

But I think I'm running out of on-ice reasons to prefer one team to another; I'm starting to care more about off-ice issues (like the fact that my friend is a Canucks fan, or that our blog covers the Sharks). Like I said in the earlier playoff-preview post, it's a pretty tough field out there; I'm sort of scared of everybody.

Anonymous said...

Just one question, Sleek. How did you get the sums for the last column and row? I did addition and averages, but I'm not getting your numbers and I can't wrap my head around that. :|

Earl Sleek said...

Oh yeah, good question. The last column/last row values are weighted averages. In other words, to get the home values for Nashville (3.9 - 2.8), that involves:

2 games vs. Anaheim
2 games vs. Vancouver
3 games vs. Detroit
2 games vs. San Jose
1 game vs. Dallas
2 games vs. Minnesota
2 games vs. Calgary
2 games vs. Colorado

Basically, there is more weight to in-division foes than on non-division opponents, and is still dependent on how many games have been played.

Clear enough?

Anonymous said...

Ahh, makes sense now. Thanks for the brain exercise. Btw, how long does it usually take to come up with one of your numbers posts (i.e. compiling stats and presenting them in a nice table)?

Earl Sleek said...

Not terribly long, but I'm pretty reliant on a game-by-game spreadsheet I've been keeping up the last two seasons. It enables (among other things) to track how teams do over set periods of time, or H/R, or against specific opponents, or OT/SO, etc.

Probably more time gets spent making tables, especially if I'm feeling generous enough to put it into html code.

But generally, not too long. In fact, I've got another grid coming today.