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Thursday, December 23, 2010

December 23rd's In The NHL

The NHL has a penchant for the Christmas Eve, Eve (CE2) schedule. Tonight for example, there are 13 games/26 teams on the ice for your pre-Christmas viewing pleasure. But how well have teams fared since the Lockout when they can smell the Christmas turkey in the oven?

The Eastern Conference on 23 December

Where an OTL/SOL counts as one-half of a Win, the Eastern Conference overall has a .524 winning percentage on 23 December. In order with percentages, they stack up like this:

WSH 1.0
ATL .800
PHI .750
BOS, OTT .600
CAR, NYI, PIT, TBL .500 (2-2)
BUF .500 (1-1-1)
FLA, NYR .375
MTL, NJD, TOR .250

Eastern teams on the road for CE2, however, stack up differently with an overall .516 winning percentage. Individually:

PHI, WSH 1.0 (2-0)
TBL 1.0 (1-0)
ATL .750
OTT .600
CAR, NJD .500 (1-1)
BUF .500 (1-1-1)
BOS .333
MTL .250
NYR, TOR .000 (0-1)
FLA .000 (0-1)
NYI, PIT No road games on 23 DEC through 2009/10 season

So the Eastern Conference is pretty consistent at a bit over .500 on CE2. The above would imply tonight that:

ATL has a better than average chance of beating BOS
WSH is likely to take down PIT
TBL can beat the NYR
NJD, notoriously bad on CE2, may win against NYI tonight for the coaching change intangible
If MTL smells the plane’s seat leather, they will lose to CAR
BUF has a decent chance of beating FLAAnd OTT might not beat NSH as they are .600, but have lost on the road the last two seasons

The Western Conference on 23 December

The Western Conference overall has fared a bit better than their Eastern Conference brothers at a .550 winning percentage for CE2. Western overall percentages are:

MIN 1.0
SJS .833
DAL .800
COL, NSH .750
STL .700
DET, PHX, CHI .625
CGY .600
LAK .333
EDM .250
VAN .167
ANA .000 (0-3)
CBJ .000 (0-5)

Western teams on the road for CE2, however, perform significantly worse on the road for CE2 when compared to their Eastern brethren with a combined .322 winning percentage. Individually, they are:

DAL 1.0
DET .750
NSH, STL .667
CGY .500
LAK .333
PHX .250
CHI, COL .000 (0-1)
CBJ, VAN .000 (0-2)
ANA, EDM .000 (0-3)
MIN, SJS No road games on 23 DEC through 2009/10 season

So the Western Conference overall is over .500 on CE2, but win less than one-third of the time on the road. So tonight’s possibilities include:

A virtual toss-up for VAN at CBJ
DET might have a slight advantage at STL
As we said above, NSH has a slight, potential edge over OTT
DAL should defeat CGY
COL will have a close, possible win over MIN
The LAK are the likely victor over EDM
And SJS gets the nod over visiting, Bryzgalovless PHX


So tonight, the West’s winning dominance over the East it is likely to continue with a NSH victory over OTT. All other games are intra-Conference, with the home team holding a slight statistical advantage and likely to take eight of 12 other contests.
Just some fun facts for tonight as we all remember going into the holiday season to give thanks for Hockey!

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