There are approximately 30 games remaining for the majority of the teams left in the playoff chase, so let’s take some time on this off-day for the Calgary Flames to examine their chances in greater depth.
I spent my evening looking through each team’s remaining schedule.
Here’s the gist.
|San Jose||30 (15)||27||61||.567|
|Los Angeles||32 (13)||21||54||.574|
- Strength of Sked is based on the average points percentage of each team’s remaining opponents. In this sense, the Flames are in a fairly good spot, as nobody has an appreciably easier (or harder) schedule. Vancouver’s is slightly easier, Winnipeg and Dallas’ slightly harder, but nothing hugely significant.
- Another way of looking at it is how many games each team has against the NHL’s best teams – those with points percentages north of 65%. Dallas has 12. Winnipeg and Minnesota have 10 each. Los Angeles has 9. Calgary has 8. San Jose and Colorado have 7 each. Vancouver has 6.
- On the flip side, most teams still have dates with the NHL’s bottom-dwellers (Carolina, Arizona, Edmonton and Buffalo): Calgary has the least with just 2, as does Winnipeg. Everyone else has either 4 or 5.
Based on this, if you forecast out each team’s opponents points percentage of opponents and use it to project out what points they should earn from here on out, here’s where the standings go…
IN THE PLAYOFFS: Vancouver (2nd Pacific), San Jose (3rd Pacific), Calgary (1st Wild Card) and Winnipeg (2nd Wild Card)
NOT IN THE PLAYOFFS: Colorado, Los Angeles, Minnesota and Dallas
Of course, the simplified projections ignore many factors, such as Minnesota’s excellent goaltending, various teams getting run down with injuries, the role of Calgary and San Jose’s impending long road trips, voodoo and other such things.
As such, don’t take these as predictions, merely as projections with the appropriate amount of salt.