2016-17 Playoff Predictions

Christiaan Conradie
April 12 2017 12:12PM

It's the most wonderful time of the year. The regular season is over and five Canadian teams made the playoffs. Quite the change from last year, when none made it. Just like last year, however, the Washington Capitals won the President's Trophy and are a hot pick to win the Stanley Cup. 

Do the numbers have a different prediction? In this article I'll look at shot and goal differentials to separate the pretenders from contenders. 

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Why the Stanley Cup is one team's to lose

Shawn Reis
April 12 2017 10:01AM

Several teams check off some of the boxes of a true Cup contender. But usually, the winner of the Cup checks off all of them. It's why so many people had Pittsburgh winning the Cup last year, and Chicago before that, and Los Angeles before that, and so on. This year there's only one team that checks off all of those boxes, and it's the Washington Capitals.

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A NAHL Playoff Primer

Megan Kim
April 11 2017 04:02PM

NAHL Primer

Here it is, folks!

The NAHL playoff primer that none of you asked for, but are getting anyway.

If you're not familiar with the NAHL -- and it's okay if you're not, most people aren't -- here's the rundown: The North American Hockey League is the only USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier II Junior A league in North America. (In terms of talent, it's fair to say that the top NAHL players would be perfectly capable of competing in the USHL.) The ceiling for the majority of NAHL players is a good NCAA career, although it isn't uncommon for NAHL alumni to go on and play professionally. 

With over 1000 NCAA commitments in the past five years, the NAHL is genuinely a terrific route to take if you want to play college hockey. 

Recently, the NAHL has garnered some interest for being a goalie development hotbed -- shoutout to Connor Hellebuyck and Anthony Stolarz, who have both played in the NHL this year, and to Latvian goaltender prospect Mareks Mitens (we'll get to him soon).

Now that I'm finished sounding like an advertising reel for the NAHL, we can get to business. Because available statistics are limited and the integrity of said statistics vary from team to team depending on the off-ice officiating crew, take everything with a grain of salt. 

As Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney once said, the NAHL be a little bit "off the beaten path," but there's good hockey to be had, and the playoffs are as good a time as any to check in on a league you haven't watched before.

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NHL First Round Playoff Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks

Cam Lewis
April 11 2017 03:00PM

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© Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

This is part of a playoff preview series based at NHLNumbers.com

Here it is. The Edmonton Oilers are in the playoffs. Connor McDavid will get his first opportunity to show the hockey world that he is, in fact, the best player around. The first test will be the San Jose Sharks, who are on the opposite side of the spectrum. The Sharks are old and tired, and this is probably their final shot at the Cup with this group, while Edmonton is just on the cusp of something great. It's a passing of the torch in the Pacific Division. But is San Jose ready to give it up? Or will Edmonton have to wait another year? 

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NHL First Round Playoff Preview: Ottawa Senators vs. Boston Bruins

Scott Maxwell
April 11 2017 12:00PM

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© Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

This is part of a playoff preview series based at  NHLNumbers.com

Looks like we got a battle of analytics vs. eye test right here. On one end, we have the Boston Bruins, who lead the league in score adjusted Corsi For%, and under performed for a good chunk of the season, due to a low shooting percentage, and poor goaltending from the backup position. On the other end, we have the Ottawa Senators, the worst playoff team in score adjusted Corsi For%, and over performed because, well, they have a god on their team. A beautiful, Swedish god by the name of Erik Karlsson. And some average goaltending.

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