Western Conference Playoff Race Analysis

Western Conference playoff race
ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - MAY 21: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly presents the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl to the St. Louis Blues after defeating the San Jose Sharks in Game Six with a score of 5 to 1 to win the Western Conference Finals during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Enterprise Center on May 21, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The Western Conference playoff race is a hotly contested affair. No less than 11 teams are vying for eight spots and the honor of going to the playoffs. There must be a rating system to evaluate which teams will make it and which won’t. Hockeyrefenence.com lists a prediction module which it states will be generated on a daily basis until the end of the regular season. The probabilities are empirical estimates based on simulating the remainder of the season 1000 times.

Western Conference Predicted Playoff Teams

Let’s go through each team and using a weighted point system see what we get. Here’s the system:

  • Two points awarded for each home game remaining, one point for each road game.
  • Games remaining against potential playoff teams: 9=5pts, 11=4pts, 12=3pts, 13=2pts, 14=1pt.
  • Number of points each team presently possesses: 88=9pts, 85=8pts, 81=7pts, 80=6, 76=5pts, 74=4pts, 73=3pts, 72=2pts, 71=1pt.
  • Games remaining: 18=4pts, 17=3pts, 16=2pts, 15=1pt.

Now that we have the point system defined, here is the present NHL standings as of today, March1, 2019 before any games were played.

Central
W L OTL PTS ROW HOME AWAY GF GA L10 STRK
STL 39 17 10 88 37 23-6-5 16-11-5 213 184 7-2-1 W7
COL 39 18 7 85 38 17-9-5 22-9-2 221 172 7-2-1 W6
DAL 37 21 7 81 35 19-10-2 18-11-5 177 168 6-2-2 L2
Pacific W L OTL PTS ROW HOME AWAY GF GA L10 STRK
VGK 36 22 8 80 33 21-10-4 15-12-4 215 198 8-1-1 W8
EDM 34 23 8 76 32 16-10-5 18-13-3 204 201 5-3-2 W1
VAN 34 24 6 74 31 20-7-4 14-17-2 211 199 4-5-1 L2
Wild-card W L OTL PTS ROW HOME AWAY GF GA L10 STRK
CAL 33 26 7 73 27 14-12-4 19-14-3 198 206 5-4-1 L2
NSH 32 24 8 72 29 16-13-4 16-11-4 204 204 6-3-1 L1
WPG 33 28 6 72 30 17-14-3 16-14-3 201 198 4-5-1 L1
ARI 32 27 8 72 27 17-12-4 15-15-4 187 178 5-4-1 W1
MIN 32 25 7 71 30 18-10-5 14-15-2 203 202 6-3-1 W3

 

Breaking Down the Western Conference Teams

Teams Currently in Playoff Spots

Teams NOT Currently in Playoff Spots

Using the point system example displayed above, here’s how all the teams stand:

Home Games vs Road Games
  1. Colorado – 28 points
  2. Dallas – 27 points
  3. Edmonton – 27 points
  4. Calgary – 27 points
  5. Nashville – 26 points
  6. Minnesota -26 points
  7. Arizona – 23 points
  8. St. Louis – 23 points
  9. Vegas – 22 points
  10. Vancouver – 22 points
  11. Winnipeg – 22 points
Games Remaining Against Potential Playoff Teams
  1. St. Louis – 9 for 5 points
  2. Minnesota – 11 for 4 points
  3. Dallas – 11 for 4 points
  4. Edmonton – 12 for 3 points
  5. Colorado – 12 for 3 points
  6. Calgary – 13 for 2 points
  7. Vegas – 13 for 2 points
  8. Arizona – 13 for 2 points
  9. Nashville – 14 for 1 point
  10. Vancouver – 14 for 1 point
  11. Winnipeg – 14 for 1 point
Number of Points Each Team Possesses
  1. St. Louis – 88 for 9 points
  2. Colorado – 85 for 8 points
  3. Dallas – 81 for 7 points
  4. Vegas – 80 for 6 points
  5. Edmonton – 76 for 5 points
  6. Vancouver – 74 for 4 points
  7. Calgary – 73 for 3 points
  8. Nashville – 72 for 2 points
  9. Winnipeg – 72 for 2 points
  10. Arizona – 72 for 2 points
  11. Minnesota – 71 for 1 point
Games Remaining
  1. Nashville – 18 for 4 points
  2. Vancouver – 18 for 4 points
  3. Minnesota – 18 for 4 points
  4. Colorado – 18 for 4 points
  5. Edmonton – 17 for 3 points
  6. Dallas – 17 for 3 points
  7. Calgary – 16 for 2 points
  8. St. Louis – 16 for 2 points
  9. Vegas – 16 for 2 points
  10. Winnipeg – 15 for 1 point
  11. Arizona – 15 for 1 point

Final Tallies

  1. Colorado – 43 points
  2. Dallas – 41 points
  3. St. Louis – 39 points
  4. Edmonton – 38 points
  5. Minnesota – 35 points
  6. Calgary – 34 points
  7. Nashville  Р33 points
  8. Vegas – 32 points
  9. Vancouver – 31 points
  10. Arizona – 28 points
  11. Winnipeg – 26 points

Final Predicted Wild-Card Standings

Central Division

  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Dallas Stars
  • St. Louis Blues

Pacific Division

  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Vegas Golden Knights
  • Vancouver Canucks

Wild-Card Teams

  • Minnesota Wild
  • Calgary Flames

Missing the Playoffs

  • Nashville Predators
  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Winnipeg Jets

Final Analysis

This is not rocket science, but it does weigh some integral statistics at the present time. Don’t forget things change every day. If we were to examine this same weighted system a week or two down the road, a different result would ensue.

Things that can’t possibly be taken into consideration would be injuries, schedule, and coaches’ game decisions. Still, the results were very fascinating to evaluate. The predicted Western Conference playoff race standings don’t vary much from the current standings as far which teams may or may not get to the playoffs. The order they finish in is a bit different. One may not agree that the Edmonton Oilers will overtake the Vegas Golden Knights for first in the Pacific Division. Or, that the Nashville Predators will miss the playoffs. The biggest surprise has got to be that the Minnesota Wild will emerge as the first wild-card team.

It won’t be long before we know which eight teams will be battling it out to win the Western Conference championship for this 2019-20 season.

Will your team be one of them?

Main Photo:

Embed from Getty Images

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