FanPost

Contenders from Pretenders


The ToS is fond at times of using the metric of PP% + PK% to gauge the overall special teams is well known here with a total of 100 indicating a efficient Special Teams corp.

A few other indicators can help separate Real Contending Teams from Pretending Teams, and here are three I like using.

SRS (Simple Rating System)

This can be found on Hockey-Reference.com. It is the sum of Strength of Schedule(Average Goal Differential of teams played) with average Goal Differential of the team concerned. A Positive SRS indicates an above average team, with the more positive score, the stronger the Team Play.

DRS (Differential Rating System)

This is something I came up with and you will not find it used anywhere else. It is formula that adjusts Goals For Average, Goals Against Average, and Goal Differential Average with SOS, compares each team to the rest of the league, turns each category into a percentile for each team, then sums the three scores for the DRS. A 3.00 is a perfect score and 0.00 is horrendous and 1.50 being the mean for the league. Above 1.50 indicates better then average Team Play.

GF-GA-L

Another scoring system I came up with that can be quickly figured out. It is what it says, take the Season totals of Goals For minus Goals Against minus Loses (not OTL or SOL) for the score. A positive number indicates strong team play. The higher the number the stronger the Team Play.

SYSTEM ACCURACY

Like any rating system in sports, there will be teams that are hell bent on bucking the trend, but on the whole most teams tend to follow suite, and can be used as a fairly decent gauge to if a team is overachieving, underachieving and/or a real playoff or Cup contender.

GF-GA-L

Since the 2002-2003 season every team with a final season score higher then -10 has reached the playoffs. No team with a score lower then -41 has ever reached the playoffs.

Here is the Max, Min and AVG score by seed in the NHL since the end of the 02-03 season.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Max 82 46 38 41 50 24 18 4 -10 -16 -20 -41 -58 -62 -74
Min 4 -9 -27 -26 -45 -31 -41 -41 -57 -75 -97 -96 -111 -117 -160
AVG 47.4 16.3 1 9.81 -2.5 -9.8 -22 -22 -34 -44 -54 -68 -83 -92 -111

The 4th seed tends to be higher since it is the first non-divisional winner in seeding and as it indicates usually has a better score the the worst division winner. The progression down in scores coincides very well in Max, Min and AVG for each place 1-15.

Also since the 02-03 season this is the scoring of SC Winners, losers and those that made the Conference Finals.

52 58 60
-3 -24 -39
27.25 7.875 13.91
SC Winner SC Runner Up Reached the CF

As can be seen the SC Winner on Average has a score that would generally make them 1-2 seed, while the runner up 2-4 seed. Also most teams that reach the CF also have a score that would place them as from the top 4 seeds on average. But the Min score does show teams with weaker scores do at times make good runs, but no SC Winner finished with a score that would place them much below 5th seed on average (-3 to -2.5 AVG).

This data does show a VERY strong correlation of scores to teams who make deep playoff runs.

SRS

Since the 07-08 campaign only 5 of the 64 playoff teams have had a SRS of less then 0.00 (08 BOS/WAS, 09 NYR, 10 MTL/OTT).

When SRS is ranked 1-16 for the NHL, SRS had the playoff teams 55 of the 64 times (86% accuracy). The lowest SRS to ever reach the playoffs was OTT in 2010 at -0.22, also lowest rank at 21st. The highest to NOT make the playoffs was MIN in 2009 at 0.22 the highest rank to not make the playoffs was the Blackhawks in 2008 8th in the NHL at 0.16.

SC Winners and runner ups had SRS scores of

DET 08: 0.93 - PIT 0.24

PIT 09: 0.28 - DET 0.62

CHI: 10 0.77 - PHI 0.08

BOS 11: 0.56 - VAN 0.87

Teams that reached the Conference Finals since 08 had the following SRS rank (4 seasons)

1st = 2 appearances

2nd =4

3rd =3

4th =1

6th =1

12th and greater = 5

11 of the past 16 CF teams have been in the top 6 in NHL SRS. The lowest to ever make it was MTL at 20th in 2010 vs PHI.

Again a strong correlation between SRS and Deep Playoff runners and playoff teams can be seen with SRS.

DRS

DRS has the same accuracy as SRS in predicting 55 of the 64 playoff teams since 2008. Since that time 9 of the 64 teams have had a DRS lower then 1.50 with Boston in 08 at 0.90 being the lowest. This makes sense since 16 of the 30 teams make the playoffs, just over half the league which would mean some with a lower then mean score would advance to the post season. The highest to NOT make the playoffs was the Blackhawks in 2008 with a score of 2.00.

SC Winners and runner ups had DRS scores of

DET 08: 3.00 - PIT 2.21

PIT 09: 2.07 - DET 2.35

CHI: 10 2.83 - PHI 1.79

BOS 11: 2.59 - VAN 2.97

Teams that reached the Conference Finals since 08 had the following DRS rank (4 seasons)

1st = 3 appearances

2nd =4

3rd =1

4th =1

5th =1

7th=1

12th and greater = 5

11 of the past 16 CF teams have been in the top 7 in NHL DRS with 7 of the 16 being 1st or 2nd. The lowest to ever make it was MTL at 21st in 2010 vs PHI.

Again a strong correlation between DRS and Deep Playoff runners and playoff teams can also be seen with DRS and with SRS.

FINAL

These are three sets of scoring systems that can be used to break Contenders from Pretenders, regardless of their Points ranking. Some good teams may be buried in the points rank my losing many close games while also winning many by large amounts. So if you want to see who the real Contenders are, I suggest using these to help clear up the picture and see who is really faking they are good and who is about to pounce and turn heads.

If you would like a spread sheet that computes all this for you automatically let me know in the comments.

Hawks Rankings as of 15JAN2012

SRS=7th at 0.31

DRS= 8th at 2.034

GF-GA-L =7th at 3 on pace for a 5.5 on the season.

ADDED:

Spreadsheet that daily calculates SRS, DRS and GF-GA-L

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