Quality of Stanley Cup Playoff Competition
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09-19-2012, 04:51 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Tonnes of possible pitfalls. Have to account for home ice advantage, and have to account for the fact that some teams play better/worse against others, often defying "predictions" of game outcome based on relative rankings in league standings, etc. There is no "average team" in the playoffs; just one team that either matches up well against the other, or not, and the impact of playing more/less games at home (which I think is a pretty well established "advantage", despite not being able to guarantee a win). Head-to-head results in the regular season would be important, imo, but then again lots of teams change their look by the time the trade deadline rolls around.
In the end, though, I can't imagine that any rigorous study accounting for many variables is going to come any closer to successfully painting the picture than a simple comparison of average seed of team still alive in each round. Keeping with the Roy theme, for example, in 1986 the Habs' faced the #8 seed to get to a pool of 9.4 average seeded "opposition", then faced the #11 seed to get to a pool of 10.7, then faced a 14th seed to get to the Final against the #6 seed. That's a lot easier than, say, last year's Kings facing the #1 seed to get to a pool of 7.3 average, then the #3 seed to get to a pool of 7.0, then facing #8 for the Cup.
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