Welcome to another edition of Stats Update! In case you’re wondering, I’ll get this off my chest real early. No, the Oilers are not projected to make the playoffs anymore, or come close. But, I’m glad you’re out of your coma. I hear those things can be very refreshing.
Here are my model’s projections for each team’s final regular season point total:
And here is my model’s rankings, based only on projected point % remaining. Think of this more as a power ranking, than a standings projection.
The Oilers are projected to finish 27th, or 5th last in the overall NHL standings, which means that they’re getting back to doing what they do best: Winning lotteries. I wouldn’t go so far as to predict that Jack Hughes is going to be an Oiler, but if your local jersey cresting shop is having some kind of insane deal right now, it’s probably not a terrible move to get his name on the back of a blank Oilers jersey.
Meanwhile, things are going really well down on the farm, in Bakersfield.
Below are projected final points percentages for AHL teams, sorted by division:
It looks like Bakersfield is going to be in a dog fight with the San Jose Barracuda for supremacy of the Pacific Division, until the end of the regular season. But, San Jose is also an AHL super team. Whoever wins that division will likely have home ice advantage throughout the western conference playoffs, and possibly i the finals as well, depending on how the Charlotte Checkers finish out the season, and how they do in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Right now Bakersifeld trails San Jose slightly in points %, but my model projects them to finish first in both their division and the entire league, by the slightest of margins.
Finally, here are all AHL teams sorted by projected remaining points percentage, according to my AHL model:
Bakersfield ranks first in this AHL power ranking. They may not have built up as big of a lead on the field as Tampa Bay has in the NHL, so home-ice is far from a given, but, based purely on team strength, relative to the rest of the league as a whole, Bakersfield is this season’s AHL equivalent to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Their (ongoing) 15-game win streak has vaulted them to the top of the AHL, and, for the first time this season, I can confidently say that the Condors are, in my book, the favourites to win the Calder Cup.
Moving on to individual stats. Here’s how I project the Art Ross trophy race, if the current top 18 scorers maintain their current seasonal shot and primary assist rates, but with their shooting % and primary-to-secondary assist ratio of the past three seasons:
Next, here’s how the Art Ross race will play out (among the current top 18 scorers), if each player scores points at the same rate that they’ve maintained over the past three seasons, for the remainder of this year:
It was news to me, but Nikita Kucherov now has a higher points-per-game rate since the start of the 2016-17 season than Connor McDavid does.
Now, let’s take a look at how the current top-18 scorers will finish if I take the average of the two point projection methods described above:
Finally, here’s the one that makes Draisaitl and McDavid look really good, while making the Oilers as a whole look really bad. Here are the league’s top 18 scorers, sorted by the percentage of their teams’ goals on which they’ve recorded a point.
Kane seems like a one-man team on Chicago sometimes, but he’s still nowhere near McDavid’s level, in terms of his team’s total dependence on him. Also, Leon Draisaitl, who’s not even currently among the league top-10 point scorers, sneaks into the third spot, ahead of Kucherov, on this list.
Of course, I’m not showing this as a way of arguing that Draisaitl and Kane are better than Kucherov. It’s really hard to score a point on over 40%of your team’s goals when they’re actually scoring at a high rate when you’re not on the ice. But still, can we imagine how much McDavid could score if he and Kucherov swapped places. It’s a fun (or some might say depressing) hypothetical, to which I don’t really have an answer. But, I guarantee the rest of the league would not want to find out.