April 17, 2011

Playoffs 2011

I have more to say about the Bruins than the rest of the league, so this post will be quick. Here are my WRAP rankings for 2011.

1. Vancouver (1.25)
2. Boston (6.75)
3. Washington (8.50)
4. San Jose (9.25)
5. Philadelphia (9.50)
5. Pittsburgh (9.50)
7. NY Rangers (10.25)
8. Montreal (10.38)
9. Nashville (10.88)
9. Chicago (10.88)
11. Detroit (11.75)
12. Buffalo (12.00)
13. Tampa Bay (12.50)
14. Anaheim (12.63)
15. Los Angeles (12.88)
16. Phoenix (14.25)

Calgary was tied with Phoenix, but besides that these were the top teams in the league. My picks for the first round, and likely every round after this, will be based entirely on these numbers. Other stats are enlightening but mostly supplemental.

Vancouver's numbers are silly good. They're first in goals for, goals against, power play%, and their conference, and second in penalty kill% and save% (and only because Timmy had the league record). That means that on average, they are the best in everything. Their division was terrible and they beat the crap out of them, which inflated their numbers, but their numbers are still out of this world. The best team is rarely under 3; I've never seen a team under 2 at any point in any season. They'd have to have a total collapse to lose, but that's never out of the question for the Canucks.

I was surprised to see the Blackhawks and Rangers battling just to be in the playoffs. They've both been fairly strong teams all year, with good stats in many categories and high goal differential. Chicago is offense-heavy and lacks goaltending; the defensive Rangers would be nothing without Lundqvist. I don't expect either team to win their series, but with different matchups I might. Like I said, Vancouver would have to totally collapse to lose, and Washington is just a better version of the Rangers with untapped offensive upside. Both series should be interesting at the very least.

The Southwest is a joke, and I'm surprised Tampa Bay beat the Penguins at all, nevermind 5-1 in game 2. The difference is that Roloson stopped 35 of 36 shots, while Fleury stopped 16 of 20. That's not how either goaltender played during the regular season, and is not how they'll likely play for the rest of the playoffs.

I can't get too excited about any of these series when the Bruins one has gone like it has. Once they get a win under their belts I'll watch other teams.

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