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A Look at the Charts, 11/22/09 November 23, 2009

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

For those who haven’t seen it, take a look at the Magic Numbers Chart. A couple of surprises are on there, and a couple of non-surprises, as well.

Biggest surprise as of right now is that I actually have numbers to track before we even carve the turkey–thank you, San Jose. I knew the Sharks were going to be running roughshod over the Western Conference, but come on–36 points before Thanksgiving?! I seriously want to see the fine print on that contract Sharks GM Jim Goddard must have signed with Satan–and I mean Beelzebub, not Miroslav–to have the Sharks doing this well.

But for 36 to be trackable, somebody’s top line has to be down at or below 136. And all teams start with a top line of 164. So two teams–Toronto and Carolina, I’m looking at you–have already bled 28 points off their top line scores, in not even two months. If San Jose doesn’t slow down, and Carolina and Toronto keep losing like this, those two teams could be within an ace of President’s Trophy elimination before we get our long-range weather forecast from a woodchuck.

There are also a couple of big differences between what the standings say and what the math says. Pittsburgh currently stands 2nd overall in the East, but mathematically, they’re in the 6 spot. The Caps may in fact have the points lead in the East right now, but mathematically, they’re two spots below that. And good golly Miss Molly, would you look at where the Kings are: 5th on the NHL standings, but 10th over here because of more games played and more losses taken. Detroit (no surprise) and Nashville (big surprise) have a lot more room on the top line than where they stand officially. How the Red Wings will fare now that Kronwall is out for some time remains to be seen. Meanwhile, the bloom may be starting to come off the rose in Colorado: they’re three spots below their official standing, which might portend a lower official standing before too long.

A cursory look at the schedule and the Head to Head table shows no series “in color” on the docket this week. There might be a series or two that could be settled with a regulation win, but it’s getting late and I need to get to bed before Chicago and Vancouver get too far into their game.

Carolina and Tampa Bay are now tracking with magic numbers under 100. In the East, I expect I’ll be tracking the Habs and Fishermen by the end of the week, and possibly even the Rangers if they lose a lot and the Sharks continue winning a lot. Out West, Minnesota, Anaheim, and Edmonton will likely come onto the board this week, and I’ll have a number for San Jose.

And before anyone asks why Carolina and Toronto are tracking and San Jose isn’t: I only look at the next potential event for a team in computing the numbers. And the only inter-conference comparison involving the President’s Trophy right now is who’s going to lose it. The Sharks can’t win the President’s Trophy until they’ve beaten everyone else in the West, so they have to clinch 14 West, then 13 West, and so on, before I can worry about them clinching the President’s Trophy. As of now, they’re over 100 from the 14 West spot, and thus off the board. Toronto and Carolina, on the other hand, could be out of President’s Trophy consideration before they’re mathematically eliminated from 1 East. So that’s why the bottom two spots in the East currently have a number against the Sharks, but the Sharks don’t have a number compared to the East. San Jose needs to worry about 14 West first, and that’s not in range as this goes live.

Looking forward to seeing the game at the Phone Booth on Wednesday night. Hosting the inevitable contingent of Buffaslug hooligans, not so much.



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