Sure it is early in the season. Only five games in, right? No need for anything close to panic.
Or is there? If you have been following On Goal Analysis’ (OGA’s) PQC for the last several seasons, you will know that OGA's proporietary measuring stick has called 34 of a possible 150 teams either IN (Chasing Stanley) or OUT (Tee Time) of the playoffs by G10. Yes, all of these games count – just read several comments that have been posted lately from coaches, GMs and even The Hockey News about how important a good start is. (Just like we have been telling you since the end of the Lockout.)
So where are we at G5, conference by conference? A quick look is telling…
The Eastern Conference
Overall, the average of the 15 Eastern Conference teams’ PQC is above the G5 PQC. It is, however, below the post-Lockout Conference average. This is due in part to the Eastern Conference’s winning percentage of .538 so far this season and that their record after games on 21 OCT against the West is only 12-12-3.
From last year, this conference displayed eight PQC increases at G5, and seven decreases. Of the decreases, BUF, NJD, OTT, PHI and PIT all were playoff teams last season and all but PHI had a PQC that was 50% or less of 2009/10’s total. The largest drop off was BUF who’s G5 PQC this year is 1/3 of last season’s. And the largest gain was Toronto at nine times better than last season’s G5, the largest leap in the NHL at G5.
Division averages against the PQC in order from highest to lowest are Southeast, Atlantic and Northeast. This is something of a reversal of fortunes as the Southeast is not normally the leader. But four of the five teams in the Division are in the Top 10 of their conference standings. While the Southeast and Atlantic Division PQCs are above normal, the Northwest’s is below average despite the play of BOS and TOR.
We also know at this time that eight of the 15 teams will not be called Chasing Stanley – IN the playoffs – by G10. If you want to know who they are immediately, subscribe to OGA’s Daily Tip In Report.
The Western Conference
Overall, the average of the 15 Western Conference teams’ is above average in terms of both the PQC and the Conference average. The West’s .587 average winning percentage after games on 21 OCT is a primary reason for this occurrence.
From last year, this conference displayed seven PQC increases at G5, and eight decreases. Of the decreases, CHI, COL, PHX and SJS were the playoff teams with a PQC drop off. Unlike back East, no Western Conference team had a PQC that was 50% or less of last season’s total. The largest degradation was EDM who’s G5 PQC this year is .571 of last season’s. The biggest Western gain was Minnesota at 2.5 times better than last season’s G5.This all points to a higher winning percentage against Eastern Conference teams and the possibility of another tight race in the West for playoff positions.
Divisions against the PQC in order are the Central, Pacific and Northeast. While the Pacific Division traditionally leads the West, this is not too far out of character. The note here is that the Central and Pacific are above average while the Northwest is below.
We also know at this time that nine of the 15 teams will not be called Chasing Stanley by G10. This is due in some measure to their higher G10 PQC requirement. Again, you can find out who they are immediately by subscribing to OGA’s Daily Tip In Report.
And that’s your G5. Stand by for updates as CHI hits G10 on Saturday, 23 October so the first PQC call of the season is coming right up.