Thursday, January 20, 2011

Setting the Pace

As of Thursday, January 20th, here is the pace each team in the Western Conference is on as we head into the final two months of the regular season. Obviously teams won't end up with a fraction of a point, so you can round up if you like but this is based on their current records. The number in parenthesis is the team's points per game average (PPG)so far this season. Remember, it's the final point totals that will determine the top 8 teams that will advance to the playoffs. Wins/losses, head-to-head, one game playoff and any other tie-breaking procedure only comes into play if two teams are tied with the same number of points. So, it is possible for a team with fewer wins to advance to the playoffs if they've earned more points then a team behind them in the standings (a result of points earned in overtime and shootout losses). For instance, Seattle (18 wins) is ahead of both Kamloops (21 wins) and Chilliwack (20 wins) in the standings because they've earned 9 pts in OT/SO losses.

This will change as each team wins or loses so we will update often. Not all teams have played the same number of games. The teams are listed in the order they currently occupy in the standings, 1 through 10.

1. Spokane is on pace to finish with 99.81 pts (1.38)
2.* Vancouver is on pace to finish with 76.7 pts (1.065)
3. Portland is on pace to finish with 95.47 pts(1.32)
4. Tri-City is on pace to finish with 98.79 pts(1.37)
5. Kelowna is on pace to finish with 78.54 pts (1.09)
6. Prince George is on pace to finish with 75.2 pts (1.044)
7. Seattle is on pace to finish with 70.43 pts (0.978)
8. Kamloops is on pace to finish with 66 pts (0.916)
9. Chilliwack is on pace to finish with 72 pts (1.00)
10. Everett is on pace to finish with 67.2 pts. (0.933)

* The first place teams in each division are guarenteed the top two playoff spots in the first round. Vancouver is currently in first place in the B.C. Division.

If, and that is a big IF, all teams were to continue on the current pace then Chilliwack would leap frog both Kamloops and Seattle and finish in 7th place. The T-Birds would fall to 8th but still make the postseason. Kamloops and Everett would be the two non-qualifiers. But failing to earn points in any game drops you PPG average. As an example, if the T-Birds fail to earn a point Friday against Kelowna their PPG average would fall to 0.957 and they would then be on pace to earn only 68.93 pts. But, if they win then their PPG average would increase to 1.00 and they would be on pace for a 72 point season. Overtime and shootout games also affect a team's PPG and pace. Should the T-Birds lose Friday in OT or a SO, their PPG average would be 0.9787 and they would be on pace for 70.46 pts. As you can see, that's not hit, it actually improves their PPG average, so if you are going to lose, better to do so in OT or a SO. Now you can see how important all those OT and SO games the first half of the season are to the T-Birds.

One caveat to all this; I'm not a mathematician and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

1 comment:

  1. Also have to keep in mind what the upcoming schedule looks like.

    Everett has the third worst winning percentage on the road of an WHL team and worst in the Western Conference. In fact, they are the ONLY U.S. division team under .500 on the road sitting at .357. Eleven out of the last 15 on the road is going to hurt this team.