The push for the playoffs is on and with the extremely unabalanced schedules it becomes important to look at which teams have the more favourable schedules between now and the end of the season to see who has the best chance of making the playoffs. So what I did was look at how many points a team has as of games through last night and compare that to the difficulty of their schedule so far and then based on the number of games and the difficulty of their remaining schedule make a prediction on how many points they should get. From that, here are the predicted final standings for the eastern and western conferences.
Eastern Conference Predicted Standings
|Pos||Team||GP||Pts||Schedule Strength||Future GP||Future SchedStr||Pred Pts||Total Pts|
Western Conference Predicted Standings
|Pos||Team||GP||Pts||Schedule Strength||Future GP||Future SchedStr||Pred Pts||TotalPts|
Of course the Rangers would get the #3 playoff seed in the east. Overall there isn’t really much change from the current standings but there are some interesting things to note.
1. If everything goes according to what one would expect from the above analysis there really won’t be much of a playoff race in the eastern conference. Tampa and Montreal would end up tied for the final 2 playoff spots a full 8 points ahead of the NY Islanders who push their way into 9th based on a very easy remaining schedule.
2. The playoff race in the west will be a bit closer with Edmonton and Los Angeles tied just 3 points ahead of 9th place Anaheim and 5 ahead of 10th place San Jose. One must also consider than San Jose has played better since the Joe Thornton trade so they should be able to close the gap even further.
3. Most importantly we must remember that things never happen according to expecations and that all of the above predictions are subject to change depending on what trades teams make or what injuries teams suffer. And don’t assume that all trades for good players are for the better. Nashville has been pretty mediocre since picking up Sillinger and Carolina has been no better either since the Weight trade. Weight has so far contributed very little (8 games, 1 point, -4).
I’ll post updated predictions every week or two so you can all keep up to speed on how your team is doing and it’s playoff outlook.