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Vulgar Statistics: Playoff Power Rankings And My Picks

04/29/13
by

Like the regular season, only better.

The categories:

Last 20 Games – Because What Have You Done For Us Lately:

  • Winning Pct. – This is the playoffs, there are no loser points.
  • Goal Differential
  • Shot Differential
  • Power Play
  • Penalty Kill

Season Long – Because Small Sample Sizes Are For Chumps:

  • One Goal Game Winning Percentage
  • Overtime Winning Percentage
  • Winning Percentage versus other Playoff teams

Editor’s Note: This may have been obvious to some and evident above, but I did not count shootouts in the second set of categories.

Eastern Conference:

#1 Pittsburgh vs. #8 New York Islanders

Why Pittsburgh will win – They’ve been the best team in the NHL all season long and especially in the last twenty games.

Why New York will win – They seem like the worst possible match-up for the Pens, a team of reasonably talented grinding players that will fight Pittsburgh’s skill guys for every puck.

The Pick – Pittsburgh in 6

#2 Montreal vs. #7 Ottawa

Why Montreal will win – They dominated the shot totals in the season series and are substantially more trustworthy in net.

Why Ottawa will win – Few teams have dealt with the sort of adversity Ottawa has.  Aside from their power play, they’ve been solid as of late and fared well in the season series.

The Pick – Montreal in 5

#3 Washington vs. #6 New York Rangers

Why Washington will win – They tore through the latter half of the season to wrap up the Southeast and their power play is clicking at a high rate.

Why New York Will Win – Washington tore through the latter half of the season against bad teams.  They’re used to playing tight, low scoring games.

The Pick – New York in 7

#4 Boston vs. #5 Toronto

Why Boston will win – Can you remember a more lopsided 4-5 match-up on paper?  Toronto is an atrocious possession team.

Why Toronto will win – Boston has been average at best in the latter half of the season.  Their special teams have been horrendous and they may not be able to take as much advantage of Toronto’s possession poorness.

The Pick – Boston in 5

Western Conference:

#1 Chicago vs. #8 Minnesota

Why Chicago will win – They’re the best team in the NHL.

Why Minnesota will win – Their only prayer is to ride a hot goaltender and a hot power-play.  Otherwise this one is done in a hurry.

The Pick – Chicago in 5

#2 Anaheim vs. #7 Detroit

Why Anaheim will win – After Chicago they were the hottest team in the West, flying through the beginning of the season.

Why Detroit will win – With their backs against the wall, the Detroit of old showed up in the latter half of the season, dominating possession to clinch yet another playoff birth.

The Pick – Anaheim in 7

#3 Vancouver vs. #6 San Jose

Why Vancouver will win – They played extremely well to close the season, pulling away from Minnesota to win the division.  Their talent cannot be denied and the Sharks won a lot of games in the shootout and were bad when the pressure was high.

Why San Jose will win – They also played extremely well to close out the season and were a better possession team on paper.  Antii Niemi is on fire.

The Pick – San Jose in 6

#4 St. Louis vs. #5 Los Angeles

Why St. Louis will win – They finished strong.  Their possession numbers were great, their penalty kill was great, and they were good in high pressure situations.  Los Angeles is a contender, but they don’t have last year’s magic.

Why Los Angeles will win – They too played well to close out the season, and unlike St. Louis, their power-play is working.  They are markedly more reliable on defense and in net.

The Pick – Los Angeles in 7

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