The best way to get a sense of percentage at a glance is subtract regulation losses from wins. Below you'll see this tracks with points percentage ranking, only instead of having to do division and carry the decimal out to three places in your head, you do glance-subtraction and you know who's ahead of whom instantaneously.
CHI +12 (.676) (21-9-x)
DET +11 (.672) (21-10-x)
STL +10 (.656) (19-9-x)
MIN +10 (.643) (20-10-x)
VAN +9 (.636) (21-11-x)
SJ +7 (.617) (17-10-x)
DAL +7 (.609) (19-12-x) NSH +5 (.576) (17-12-x)
PHX +4 (.561) (17-13-x)
LA +1 (.515) (15-14-x)
CGY 0 (.500) (15-15-x)
COL -1 (.485) (16-17-x)
EDM -2 (.470) (14-16-x)
ANA -10 (.348) (9-19-x)
CBJ -11 (.333) (9-20-x)
(color represents the best percentage by division for top 3 seeds)
The only other wrinkle to remember is when teams have the same difference in wins and regulation losses, if they're in positive territory the team who's played fewer games has the better percentage. In the case of STL and Minnesota, they're both +10 but Minnesota's played 3 extra games, so you know when the percentage comes out the Blues have the edge. This only works in positive territory – when teams are tied with a negative number the team with more games has a better percentage.
One usefulness of this method is you can see at a glance who you want to lose for separation. kittensmasher's sense that Nashville was an important loss tonight is correct for this reason. You can see that 8/9 right now is NSH & PHX, and then there's some separation again down to LA at 10.
Another thing to keep in mind is that at the end of the season you add 82 to whatever number you see. 82 +10 is 92. Teams +10 at the end of the season have 92 points ALWAYS. In this sense you can look at the Blues' number as a race to get in the playoff safe zone, which is certainly +15. No team with +15 has ever missed, even last year, which saw an unusually high +13 miss. Dallas was 42-29-something and had 95 points, or 82+13. They missed. 95 is almost always in, however. +13 is usually safe. It missed one other year (06-07) when Colorado was +13 with 95 pts (44-31-something) but otherwise has always been in. +14 has never missed, though if Dallas last year had had one regulation loss been an OT loss it would have, and if Colorado that year had done the same Calgary would've missed at +14.
So, the Blues are competing with other teams but they're also competing just to get to +15 and stay at or above that number if the goal is just to get into the playoffs. Being +10 32 games into the season bodes well. A quick regulation losing streak can take you right off the pace, however. It's why the OT point is so crucial. A regulation loss means you have to win a whole game just to get back to where you were. At least the OT point helps you tread water in the critical wins/regulation losses spread.
Last edited by PocketNines: 12-20-2011 at 11:43 PM.
DET +12 (.654) (25-13-x)
SJ +11 (.649) (22-11-x)
VAN +12 (.646) (25-13-x)
STL +11 (.638) (23-12-x)
CHI +11 (.634) (24-13-x)
MIN +7 (.585) (21-14-x)
DAL +6 (.577) (22-16-x) NSH +6 (.575) (21-15-x)
LA +6 (.573) (20-14-x)
COL +5 (.560) (23-18-x)
PHX +2 (.524) (19-17-x)
CGY -1 (.488) (18-19-x)
EDM -5 (.438) (16-21-x)
ANA -11 (.359) (11-22-x)
CBJ -14 (.321) (10-24-x)
Saturday for the teams the Blues are chasing:
–Vancouver at Boston (1pm EST)
–Detroit at Toronto (7pm EST)
–Washington at San Jose (10:30pm EST)
Saturday for teams chasing the Blues:
–Edmonton at Dallas (2pm EST)
–Carolina at Nashville (8pm EST)
–Columbus at LA (4pm EST)
–Colorado at the Blues (8pm EST)
While unlikely, this is one of those rare occasions when, if things go right, the Blues could lead the West in BOTH points percentage and raw points at the end of the day.
Obviously, the Blues must win (reg, OT, SO) ... PLUS
For STL to have the best points percentage
–Detroit has to lose in regulation; and
–Vancouver has to lose in regulation; and
–San Jose has to lose.
For STL to have the most raw points
–Vancouver has to lose in regulation; and
–Detroit has to lose.
Overall at the halfway mark, the race looks like five teams all bunched around the same record for the top of the conference (SJ lags in raw points but have tons of games in hand on the field). Unfortunately, three of those teams are all in the same division, setting up a realistic possibility of a first-round series between the two strong Central teams who don't win their division.
Then there are five more teams at the moment pushing for those final three spots to visit the division winners in the first round. Colorado has made a huge push to go from 12th to 10th in percentage, and Minnesota's injury-riddled free fall has sent them down to 6th and dropping. Minnesota could even be on the outside of the playoff spots by the end of Saturday. Dallas, LA and Nashville are each home against the dregs while Minnesota's on the road playing a team that just got humiliated.
We'd have had a game in hand with same points, which would've had Blues atop the West in the way the standings are listed. Even if Vancouver and Blues had been tied, would've been same ROW, Blues hold head to head edge having won a game in both buildings.
San Jose won, so they would've held a better percentage regardless.
Blues were out of the race pretty much the whole year IIRC. They started out really hot but then faded quick, pretty sure they were never ahead of 6th past October.
The record last year was pretty much the same as this year at the end of December. Then I think they only won 2 games all January. So...yeah, they were still a realistic playoff contender at Christmas time, but things deteriorated quickly.
If you look at the league-wide standings (ignoring divisions) the Central has 3 of the top 4 teams IN THE LEAGUE as of tonight (I'm using points, with win percentage as the tie-breaker, or games in hand if you'd rather.)
Not really a WC game of importance but since the Sabres are coming to St. Louis Saturday and they're playing the Blackhawks, holy crap has that team quit. 5-0 against the Wings, 6-2 against the Hawks (and counting) tonight. That situation is devolving so rapidly. The owner comes in with all this money and begins pampering everyone with luxury accommodations (this never works with a team that hasn't proven anything btw) and swears many, many times the GM/coach are safe for years into the future no matter what, it is getting crazy ugly for that team. When they play the Blues all the Blues have to do is come out hard in the first period and get a couple goals and they will lie down.
On thread topic, it doesn't matter what happened yesterday with San Jose, Detroit winning, Vancouver getting a point and Chicago winning tonight, Blues still have best percentage in the conference. They are going to fall behind 2-3 in games played to everyone except San Jose by the time they're back from the All-Star break. I always stand by percentage (in a points percentage league) no matter who has the games in hand because even at the end of the season, percentage order is an exact finish order.