February 02 2013 10:09AM
Colby Cosh breaks down the impact of randomness and luck in the 2013 season:
...The final league table this year will be more a product of randomness than of talent.
We should be aware that predictions about standings for this shortened season are not much good. The very best teams will be ranked high, and the very worst low: but for teams anywhere near the cutoff for the playoffs, the chances of making it into the postseason will be a lot closer to 16 out of 30, a pure crapshoot, than our lifelong experience of hockey might lead us to think.
I looked at how randomness can impact individual performances over a 48 game season in "Luck Can Dominate A 48 Game Schedule":
Brian Elliott's 2011-12 season was nothing short of stunning. His .940 save percentage was four percentage points higher than his career .901 save percentage. Ken Hitchcock was credited with saving Elliott's career and inflating his number's with a keen defensive system. But that isn't likely. What is more likely is that Elliott experienced the luckiest streak of his career, saving 38 more shots than pre-2011 Brian Elliott would have. Those 38 goals account for 6 wins, which in a 48 game season can mean the difference between 1st and 10th in the conference!
Cosh's piece is outstanding - click through to read the entire thing at Maclean’s: "Randumbness? The new NHL is less predictable than you think"