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4th Annual DRW Playoff Bubble Watch Thread

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NHL playoff format:

- Wings are in the Eastern Conference

-  16 teams in the conference; 8 qualify

- How do the 8 qualify? Top 3 in each of the 2 divisions in the conference, plus 2 wildcards. So theoretically one division can have up to 5 teams while the other has only 3

- Can the Wings finish top 3 in the Atlantic division? Highly unlikely. Entering Thursday's play, the Wings had 79 points with 12 games to go. 3 division teams  are comfortably ahead of them: Florida 87pts, 12 GR (games remaining); Boston 85 points, 11 GR; and Tampa 85pts, 12 GR.  Still wroth cheering against Tampa for awhile longer though, at least until we see the result of their head to head game next Tuesday.

- What about the 2 wildcard spots? The Wings are currently chasing 2 Metro teams. So essentially down to 3 teams for 2 spots. PIttsburgh has 82 points with 13 GR, Philadelphia has 80 points with 13 games to go.

- Anyone else behind the Wings we need to worry about? Not really. Carolina, New Jersey and Ottawa are 4-6 points behind the Wings and if any of them catch the Wings that would mean the Wings didn't put up enough points to catch Philly or Pitt so it's likely irrelevant

- What are the tiebreakers? 1st one is ROWS which stands for Regulation or Overtime Wins, in other words wins other than those from a shootout. Going into Thursday's play Pittsburgh had 34 ROWS, Detroit and Philly had 2 ROWS

- Why should we be pessimistic about the Wings' chances? They're boring, one of their top defenseman (albeit having a bad year) Nik Kronwall is injured for a few more games, they have a negative goal differential (have given up 10 more goals this year than they've scored), and they're slumping while Philly is hot.

- Why should we be optimistic? Schedule is reasonable. Detroit and Philly are both mediocre teams so a decent chance the Wings' recent slump and the Flyers' recent hot streak won't continue. One of Pittsburgh's 2 best players, Evgeni Malkin, is injured and out for rest of the regular season.

 

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I want to believe.  But this team makes it really tough most days.  Yet, you see how close they are to being a Top 3 and despite all the doom and gloom about the future, and how awesome the other teams are, the Wings are right there with everyone else.  But you watch some of these games, the pathetic power play, the unfathomable giveaways, the lack of anyone stepping up to take charge and the lack of urgency and it seems like their luck has ran out.  They seem to be playing with the "We're the Red Wings" attitude as though they're entitled to a playoff spot as opposed to going out and earning it.  They've just made me crazy this season. They seem to have individual talent but can't put it together as a team. 

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So entering games of Saturday March 19, the Wings are in marginally better position than they were 2 days ago, thanks to their win over Columbus.

If the Wings could put a few wins together we wouldn't necessarily have to consider Boston and Tampa out of reach. Thanks to regulation losses since Thursday morning, Boston is only 5 up on Detroit with the Wings having a game in hand, while Tampa is 4 up on the Wings with same number of games played.

The Wings have 1 game remaining this season against each of Tampa, Boston, Philly and Pittsburgh.

Better to cheer for Pittsburgh than Philadelphia in the matinee game going on right now, but he worst result would be one in which they both get points with an overtime.

Wings play at the Florida Panthers tonight. Kronwall is expected to be back, hope he is not rushing it.

In the unlikely event that a Wings win tonight is coupled with a Tampa regulation loss tonight in Arizona, the Wings would be able to catch Tampa with a regulation win against the Bolts in Tampa on Tuesday night.

The Bruins have only 4 home games left this season and are in LA to face the Kings tonight in a finish to a tough back to back.

So still everything to play for.

 

P.S. A Leafs loss tonight or a win by either Philly or Detroit today will officially eliminate Toronto from playoff contention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So that was an action-packed day and productive from the Wings' perspective.

I don't put  much weight on that playoff predictor, except as a fun guideline, but the Wings are now at a 66.6% chance by the model's calculations:

http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/Eastern/Atlantic/Detroit.html

The Wings' win over Florida was huge. Also helpful were regulation losses by Philly, NYI and Boston. Pittsburgh won, but that was the preferred result since their opponent was Philly. Tampa won, but that was expected since their opponent was Arizona.

So as far as making the playoffs, the Wings now have a slight edge on Philly, as the Wings are 3pts up (incl. 2 more ROWS than Philly) with Philadelphia having played 2 fewer games.

Importantly if the Wings wish to avoid the Capitals, looking above them there are 4 teams in sight, although the Wings would be an underdog to catch any of them. The Wings still have games against Tampa and Boston though. Pittsburgh and NYI still have games against Philadelphia, so as long as "3 point OT games" are avoided there would at least be a silver lining to any Flyers victories over them.

Tampa - 87 points, 10 Games Remaining (GR)

Boston - 86 points, 9 GR

Pittsburgh - 86 points, 11 GR

NYI - 85 points, 12 GR

Detroit - 83 points, 10 GR

-----------------------------------------

Philadelphia - 80 points, 12 GR

Carolina - 76 points, 10 GR

Ottawa - 76 points, 9 GR

New Jersey - 75 points, 10 GR

 

One more thing to keep in mind. Ok, it's probably far-fetched to think the Wings will go 8-2 the rest of the way. Although equally mediocre Philadelphia did have an 8-1-1 stretch before yesterday. But IF the WIngs were to go 8-2, it's not far-fetched to think they could still win the Atlantic division, as Florida is only 6 points ahead. If the Wings went 8-2 and Florida was no better than 5-5, Tampa was no better than 5-4-1 and Boston was no better than 6-3 then the Wings could come 1st.

Today is a light day for DRW playoff implications. Pittsburgh uses their game in hand, hosting Washington this evening.

 

 

 

 

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I think we can forget about the Penguins. They won their 6th straight yesterday and now have the same record as NYR - both are 5 points up on Detroit. 

 2 games to care about tonight.  Florida, 6 points up on the Wings, plays at NYR. Let's hope they lose. Catching the Panthers is a long shot  (essentially a 3 game swing with 10 to play) but who knows.  If instead the Rangera lose in regulation, the Rangers actually would be closer - albeit not very close - target for the Wings than are the Penguins. 

More critical is Philadelphia at NYI. Needless to say we would like to see the Flyers start sliding,   like sometimes happens when a hot team gets a stream broken. Did the Penguins' decisive win over the Flyers on Saturday burst  Philadelphia's bubble or was it just a  blip? The Flyers then move on to Columbus tomorrow night while the Wings play in Tampa, so maybe the playoff picture will be a little more clear 36 hours from now. I'd be very happy if the Wings could somehow maintain their 3 point lead into Wednesday morning. 

 

 

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Thanks for the updates @lordstanley

I don't have the spare time anymore to keep up with the wings regular season so your summaries have been very valuable. Hopefully they can qualify for the playoffs and give a lapsed fan like me something to watch. 

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Here's a good visualization of the remaining schedule for all the teams:

 

 

Detroit's schedule doesn't look great based on days of rest compared to others.

 

Per hockeyviz we have a 70% chance to make the playoffs, the weekend was pretty good to the Wings:

 

makePlayoffs-conf-East.png

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2 hours ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

The problem with those odds is confidence intervals are so great that they can easily move 30 or 40% over a week. 

I have no clue what this means!

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3 hours ago, Shelton said:

Thanks for the updates @lordstanley

I don't have the spare time anymore to keep up with the wings regular season so your summaries have been very valuable. Hopefully they can qualify for the playoffs and give a lapsed fan like me something to watch. 

Thanks, that's pretty much how I feel about the Pistons and I use Sydney's game threads and Deleterius' playoff thread to get a feel for fans' sentiment.

Interesting difference between the NBA and the NHL, as reflected in the respective threads, is the importance of schedule. Seems like in the NBA and NFL you can look ahead to a team's next 10 games and make a pretty good prediction of how a team should fare over that stretch, whereas in hockey not so much. Likewise, I think NHL and MLB playoff series are harder to predict than NBA playoff series and, to a lesser extent, NFL playoff games (I think NFL playoff outcomes are still pretty hard to predict, largely because of the randomness of 1 game versus a 7-game series). Incidentally:

- Wings' home record: 18-12-6 for 42 points in 36 games

- Wings' road record: 18-13-5 for 41 points in 36 games

 

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29 minutes ago, drownwithyou said:

I have no clue what this means!

It basically means the odds change drastically week by week for anyone near the 8 seed.

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8 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

It basically means the odds change drastically week by week for anyone near the 8 seed.

Is it due to this particular model or is it a small sample size thing?  Sorry if this is a stupid question.

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The probability percentages don't give me much comfort or extra cause of concern. Especially in-game probabilities. I know in my head that if the Wings are up by a goal with 5 minutes to go, even they have been known to cough up leads late the likelihood they'll. win is greater than 90% (say 80%+ of holding the lead for the final minutes, plus say a 50/50 chance in OT if they blow the lead), but doesn't stop me from sweating while watching it as if it could go either way.

 

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2 hours ago, drownwithyou said:

 

Is it due to this particular model or is it a small sample size thing?  Sorry if this is a stupid question.

It is based, I think, that hockey s far too variable to take much significance way from those estimates.

Alternatively, the signal to noise ratio is not strong enough to take anything meaningful away from being 60% odds to make the playoffs with 3 weeks to go.

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NYR beat Florida in regulation.

Philadelphia beat NYI in regulation .

So things have tightened. #2-#9 in the Eastern Conference are separated by 8 points. If the Wings were to win in Tampa tomorrow, the top 4 teams in their division would be separated by 4 points, each with 9 games left after tomorrow. On the other hand, if the Wings were to lose in regulation tomorrow, Philadelphia could pass them with a win over Columbus at the same and still have a game in hand on Detroit.

This could go in many directions.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, drownwithyou said:

The Islanders had one job...

 

15 minutes ago, drownwithyou said:

The Islanders had one job...

Because of a game that was canceled by a snowstorm and needs to be made up, the Flyers and Islanders end their season against each other, a day after everyone else. So imagine this nightmare scenario. The Wings have finished the season with 95 points while the Flyers and Islanders each are on 94 going into that season ending game, plus both NYI and PHI own the ROWS tiebreaker over the Wings. So as long as the game ends in regulation , the Wings make the playoffs. But if the game ends in a tie, the Wings miss the playoffs. Pass the puck around for 60 minutes?

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The Wings are within 3 points of Boston for 3rd place in the Atlantic Division and an automatic playoff berth.

And we have a game at hand on them.

My hope would be we catch them. I have too see who we're both playing the rest of the way.

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  • Matchup | Ideal Result | Importance | Actual Result | Playoff % Effect

  • Montréal Canadiens @ Detroit Red Wings | DET Win | Key Game | DET Win (REG) | +8.8%

  • Florida Panthers @ Boston Bruins | FLA Win | Key Game | FLA Win (REG) | +3.6%

  • Philadelphia Flyers @ Colorado Avalanche | COL Win | Key Game | PHI Win (REG) | -4.5%

  • New Jersey Devils @ Pittsburgh Penguins | PIT Win | Average | NJD Win (REG) | +0.3%

  • Carolina Hurricanes @ Columbus Blue Jackets | CBJ Win | Average | CAR Win (REG) | -0.1%


Detroit Red Wings Playoff Chances

  • Before Games: 52.0%
  • After Games: 60.1%
  • Change: +8.1%
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