For the end of October, we here at OGA are finding some interesting things in terms of the Playoff Qualifying Curve (PQC) and Non-Traditional team play.
The October 2010 PQC…
While not yet at Game 10 (G10) for all teams, in all years since the Lockout, OGA averages six PQC calls by the end of October. (For G10, it is 6.8.) This October, OGA has two PQC calls, both of Chasing Stanley, and IN the 2011 Playoffs, for MTL and TBL. By G10, we will have NO calls of teams at Tee Time – eliminated from 2011 post-season play – and only a maximum of four Chasing Stanleys. For October, that’s a two-third’s drop in total G10 calls from the average. For G10 if two more teams make Chasing Stanley, that’s a decline of one-third.
Why the negative trends in total calls made? It is what the NHL has been seeking. That word synonymous with drama – PARITY. Truly, on any night, any team can and has been winning. Many examples abound:
FLA defeating MTL at Le Centre Belle the night after MTL is dubbed Chasing Stanley.
TOR from one OTL through G10 last season to a combination of 5.5 wins to open this season.
LAK’s best opening home record in more than two decades…
This all means our job of determining who will be IN or OUT of the playoffs as early as possible is going to be much more difficult.
Look for more drama in the G20 spread. We should be at 14 PQC calls made and are interested to see how far off the average we are going to be.
The Non-Trads At October’s End
Where do the 11 non-traditional teams stand after the conclusion of October 2010? From highest to lowest and as of games completed on 30 October, we rank them for their end-of-season potential as follows:
TBL, LAK, NSH, SJS, CBJ, DAL, ATL, CAR, PHX, FLA, ANA
Out of these 11, the actual 30 October standings would indicate TBL, LAK, NSH, CBJ, DAL and ATL, or just over half, would be in the Playoffs if they began today. Our power rankings projected out to Game 82 indicate the same six above plus SJS would be amongst the teams qualifying for the playoffs.
There are obviously many more games to go this season. But a projection of 7-of-16 or 43.8% of Playoff teams coming from the Non-Trad markets is a good justification to continue playing Hockey ‘down south.’ After all, it is the southern markets that hold a better chance of growing the sport than in Canada where Hockey is already practically religion.
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