Monday, July 28, 2014
Latest Headlines
Home » Featured » Which Teams Best Resemble Past Stanley Cup Champions?
Which Teams Best Resemble Past Stanley Cup Champions?

Which Teams Best Resemble Past Stanley Cup Champions?

936306_371528102956766_2067625873_n

Designed By: Tyler Jenkins

The regular season is now over and it’s time for the greatest sporting spectacle in the world – the NHL playoffs. For 2 months, players will leave it all on the ice, the blood, the sweat, and the tears. It’s the greatest thing in the world. And it’s here now. Can you tell I’m excited? Today, we’ve got an interesting spin on how to “predict” who will win the Stanley Cup. This is our 2nd annual “Stanley Cup Predictor” article, so let’s get started.

Background:

Here at Hooked On Hockey, we decided to go back through the annals of hockey history and take a look at the statistics of each Stanley Cup champion dating back to 1967-1968, the first year of NHL expansion. Last year, we created a formula that we thought would work to predict the Stanley Cup Champion. We checked it, and it predicted the Stanley Cup champion correctly 11 of the previous 15 seasons. Then, the Los Angeles Kings came along and wrecked everything we worked on, finishing 9th in our predictor model, but going all the way to win the Cup. So this season, I went back to the drawing board, tinkered with our formula, and removed a lot of the “ultimatums” to hopefully create a better formula. We decided to scrap the champions from 1967 to 2000, and we have now focused on just the champions we have had since the league expanded to 30 teams (2000-2001 season). We looked at each of the champions, and came up with a cutoff value and a cutoff ranking. These cutoffs were derived by taking the average value and rank of each of the past 11 Stanley Cup Champions. Screenshots of the Excel spreadsheets are shown beneath the descriptions of the statistics. We then looked at the statistics for every team in the league this year and compared them against those cutoffs to see how each team stacked up. Our key statistics include:

Goals For (Rank): 3.06 (7th) –> A team scores 3.06 or more goals per game. 1 point will be given for scoring 3.06 goals or more per game and another point will be given for ranking 7th or higher in goals per game.

Goals Against (Rank): 2.44 (7th) –> A team gives up less than 2.44 goals per game. 1 point will be given for giving up less than 2.44 goals per game and another point will be given for ranking 7th or better in goals against per game

PP% (Rank): 18.1% (13th) –> A team with a PP% of 18.1% or better will earn 0.5 points. 0.5 points will also be given to teams that rank in the top 13 in PP%.

PK% (Rank): 84.5% (9th) –> A team with a PK% of 84.5% or better will earn 0.5 points. 0.5 points will also be given to teams that rank in the top 9 in PK%.

Even Strength Goals For/Against: 1.24 (6th) –> A team with an Even Strength F/A of 1.24 or higher will earn 2 points. A team that ranks in the top 6 will also earn 2 points. Throughout history, this statistic has proven to be the best indicator of Stanley Cup success. Only 1 team in Stanley Cup history has ever won the Stanley Cup with a ratio of less than 1.00 and that was the Los Angeles Kings from last season.

1st Half Points Percentage: 66.6% –> A team that earned 66.6% of the possible points in the 1st half of the season will earn 1 point.

2nd Half Points Percentage: 65.7% –> A team that earned 65.7% of the possible points in the 2nd half of the season will earn 1 point

Points Percentage at Home: 70.4% –> A team that earned 70.4% of the possible points at home will earn 1 point.

Points Percentage on the Road: 62.0% –> A team that earned 62.0% of the possible points on the road will earn 1 point.

Total Playoff Games Played Previous Season: 12 –> A team that played 12 or more playoff games the previous season will earn 2 points. After reviewing the statistics, 31 of the 44 champions we tracked played in at least 10 playoff games the season before they won the championship.

Points Percentage Against Playoff Teams: 63.5% –> A team that earned 63.5% of the possible points against playoff teams during the regular season will earn 2 points

Shots For (Rank): 31.4 (6th) –> A team that averaged 31.4 shots or more will earn 1 point. A team that ranked 6th or better in shots on goal will earn 1 point.

Shots Against (Rank): 27.0 (9th) –> A team that averaged 27.0 or fewer shots against per game will earn 1 point. A team that ranked 9th or better in shots against will earn 1 point.

Shot Differential: 4.4 –> A team that had a shot differential of 4.4 or greater will earn 1 point.

Faceoff Percentage (Rank): 51.4% (8th) –> A team that won 51.4% or more of its faceoffs during the regular season will earn 1 point. A team that ranked in the top 8 in faceoff percentage will earn 1 point

Total Points Possible = 25

Shown below is our database of statistics on the Stanley Cup champions since 1967-1968:

 

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Here are 10 interesting notes on the previous Stanley Cup champions:

1. 39 of the 44 Stanley Cup champions ranked in the top-10 in goals for.

2. 40 of the 44 Stanley Cup champions ranked in the top-10 in goals against.

3. 42 of the 44 Stanley Cup champions ranked in the top-10 in Even Strength For/Against.

4. 35 of the 44. Stanley Cup champions had an Even Strength F/A of 1.20 or greater.

5. Of the past 11 Stanley Cup champions, only one has earned fewer than 60.0% of the points possible at home, and that was the Los Angeles Kings…who earned 59.8%.

6. Of the past 11 Stanley Cup champions, every single champion has earned at least 58.5% of the possible points in the 2nd half of the season.

7. Of the past 11 Stanley Cup champions, only one played less than 6 playoff games in the previous seasons (2005-2006 Carolina Hurricanes)

8. The 2011-2012 Los Angeles Kings were the youngest team to win the Stanley Cup since the 1989-1990 Edmonton Oilers.

9. Of the past 14 Stanley Cup champions, only 1 has had a negative shot differential (2008-2009 Pittsburgh Penguins).

10. Since 1997-1998, only two teams have won the Stanley Cup without winning at least 50.0% of their faceoffs during the regular season (1999-2000 New Jersey Devils, 2008-2009 Pittsburgh Penguins).

And below is the spreadsheet of this teams from this year. 

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

So without further ado, I will rank each of the 16 playoff teams based on the number of points they earned from our metric (Max Score = 25).

1. Chicago – 19 points 

2. Pittsburgh – 15 points

3. Boston – 13 points

T-4. Los Angeles – 11 points

T-4. Anaheim – 11 points

6. Montreal – 10 points

T-7. New York Rangers – 9 points

T-7. San Jose – 9 points

9. St. Louis – 7 points 

T-10. Washington – 5 points

T-10. Ottawa – 5 points

12. Detroit – 3.5 points

13. Minnesota – 3 points

14. New York Islanders – 2 points

T-15. Vancouver – 1.5 points

T-15. Toronto - 1.5 points

Ok, so before everybody jumps on me about taking all of this time just to show you that Chicago and Pittsburgh are the two best teams, hear me out. These ratings only indicate which teams best resemble our last 11 Stanley Cup Champions. Below, I’m going to list what each of the past 11 Stanley Cup Champions rated on our metric so you can see what scores our previous champions have had.

2011-2012 Los Angeles Kings – 5 points

2010-2011 Boston Bruins - 13 points

2009-2010 Chicago Blackhawks - 21 points

2008-2009 Pittsburgh Penguins - 7.5 points

2007-2008 Detroit Red Wings - 23.5 points

2006-2007 Anaheim Ducks - 13 points

2005-2006 Carolina Hurricanes - 8 points

2003-2004 Tampa Bay Lightning - 8.5 points

2002-2003 New Jersey Devils - 16 points

2001-2002 Detroit Red Wings - 20 points

2000-2001 Colorado Avalanche - 18 points

So on average, our past champions had a score of approximately 14 points. However, we’ve had four champions finish with scores less than 9. We’ve never had a champion finish with less than 5 points, so I will go ahead and eliminate Detroit, Minnesota, Vancouver, Toronto, and the Islanders. That leaves us with the following 11 teams:

1. Chicago - 19 points 

2. Pittsburgh - 15 points

3. Boston - 13 points

T-4. Los Angeles - 11 points

T-4. Anaheim - 11 points

6. Montreal - 10 points

T-7. New York Rangers - 9 points

T-7. San Jose - 9 points

9. St. Louis - 7 points 

T-10. Washington - 5 points

T-10. Ottawa - 5 points

Now, let’s look at some other statistical trends that apply to almost every Stanley Cup champion as we attempt to narrow down the field.

1. As I mentioned previously, only 1 team in NHL history has ever won a Stanley Cup with an Even Strength F/A of less than 1.07 and that was the Los Angeles Kings. I’m going to say that the likelihood of that happening again is slim to none. Therefore, I will eliminate: Ottawa, St. Louis, and, San Jose. 

Chicago - 19 points 

Pittsburgh - 15 points

Boston - 13 points

Los Angeles - 11 points

Anaheim - 11 points

Montreal - 10 points

New York Rangers - 9 points

San Jose - 9 points

St. Louis - 7 points 

Washington - 5 points

Ottawa - 5 points

2. Next, dating back to the 1997-1998 Detroit Red Wings, every Stanley Cup champion earned at least 53.5% of the possible points in games against playoff teams from that season. Therefore, I will eliminate: Washington and the New York Rangers. 

Chicago - 19 points 

Pittsburgh - 15 points

Boston - 13 points

Los Angeles - 11 points

Anaheim - 11 points

Montreal - 10 points

New York Rangers - 9 points

Washington - 5 points

Ok, we’re down to our final 3 teams from each conference now, with Chicago, Los Angeles, and Anaheim from the West, and Pittsburgh, Montreal, and Boston from the East. Time to get a little pickier with our elimination criteria.

3. Dating back to the 1992-1993 season, every Stanley Cup champion has killed at least 81.2% of the penalties it took. Therefore, I will eliminate: Pittsburgh and Montreal.

Chicago - 19 points 

Pittsburgh - 15 points

Boston - 13 points

Los Angeles - 11 points

Anaheim - 11 points

Montreal - 10 points

4. This one may seem surprising, but since 2000-2001, 10 of the 11 Stanley Cup Champions have won at least 50.0% of their faceoffs. Therefore, I will eliminate: Anaheim.

Chicago - 19 points 

Boston - 13 points

Los Angeles - 11 points

Anaheim - 11 points 

5. Since 2000-2001, every Stanley Cup champion earned at least 56.1% of the possible points on the road. Therefore, I will eliminate: Los Angeles.

Chicago - 19 points 

Boston - 13 points

Los Angeles - 11 points 

So there you have it. My Stanley Cup battle will consist of Chicago vs. Boston. The Stanley Cup champions from 2010 and 2011 square off. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Boston win this battle, but Chicago has so thoroughly dominated the NHL that it is hard to pick against them. But who knows? That’s why we love the NHL playoffs. It’s the most unpredictable event in all of sports. We can use all the statistical voodoo we want, but chances are we’ll never find a great way to predict who wins. However, here at Hooked On Hockey, we are more than willing to try. Tune in throughout the playoffs as we collect more data and offer more predictions!

 

Got any questions about what you saw here? Follow me on Twitter @iyer_prashanth 

Prashanth Iyer

Prashanth Iyer

Prashanth is a third year doctor of pharmacy student at the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy in Chapel Hill, NC. Prashanth is studying to be an infectious disease pharmacist, but in his spare time, he watches any hockey game he can catch. He was born and raised just outside Detroit, Michigan and hence is a big Red Wings fan. He is always willing to hear any and all debates pertaining to his articles, so feel free to contact him.
Prashanth Iyer
Love Reading About Hockey?
Subscribe to keep up-to-date with the latest and most interesting hockey news!
We hate spam just as much as you
1 comments
navoner
navoner

Gonna do this article for this year?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Which Teams Best Resemble Past Stanley Cup Champions? | Hooked On Hockey Magazine This thing is a bit long, but is worth the read if you have the time. For the Kings last season the keys were defense, balanced scoring, and a great PK. I'll cut to the chase for you. The formula correctly predicted three of the final four teams, and the final two. The article was written on April 29, 2013, right before the playoffs started. BTW, this guy correctly eliminated the Blues in his first cut base on lack of offense, and then the Penguins based on their not-so-great PK. Where do the Kings need to improve the most for next season? They need to be better on the road. [...]

  2. […] to predict who will win the Stanley Cup. Last year, the formula ran for the very first time and it correctly predicted 14 of the 15 Stanley Cup matchups, failing only in the Finals. After a year of optimization with the help of the fantastic Nick Biss, […]

Read previous post:
Lightning Fade against Florida in Finale, St. Louis Wins Points Race
Lightning Fade against Florida in Finale, St. Louis Wins Points Race

At the age of 37, Martin St. Louis is the oldest player in National Hockey League history to lead all...

Close