#1 in the fourth, the latter two from behind t von lebaobei123 12.03.2019 03:47

Each year, I take a relatively simple mathematical look at each series, using shots on goal and goaltender save percentages to determine which team might be expected to win the series. Since Im the first one to emphasize that overall statistics (or standings) are not necessarily representative of the current value for a team, especially with respect to injuries, these statistics merely provide a baseline for the series, perhaps providing an idea what a team needs to do in order to emerge victorious. In some cases, teams can keep on keeping on; in others, they might need better goaltending, fewer power play against, fewer shots against, more shots for -- just something -- to provide better expected results in a seven-game series. In last years projections, for example, the St. Louis Blues were projected to come out ahead of the Los Angeles Kings in a close series, but the end result wasnt that close at all, partly because Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who had a .902 save percentage during the regular season, had a .944 save percentage in Round One against the Blues. This points out the obvious limitations of forecasting a seven-game series -- its short enough that a player, particularly a goalie, running hot for a short period of time can easily shift the outcome. The expected goals for each team in the series are determined by taking each teams shots for and against over the course of the season and splitting the difference. So, for example, Boston had 31.9 shots on goal per game and Detroit allowed 29.3 shots on goal per game; the average of those two numbers, 30.6 shots, is the number that is then multiplied by (1 - the opposing goaltenders save percentage) to determine an expected goals per game for the Bruins. Finally, the number is multiplied by seven to indicate an expected goal total for a seven-game series. Theres no guarantee that scoring more goals in a series will result in winning four games first, but the odds certainly favour the team that scores more. Team SF SA Goaltender SV% Expected GF/Series Boston 31.9 29.1 Tuukka Rask 0.930 19.28 Detroit 30.0 29.3 Jimmy Howard 0.910 14.48 Verdict: The Bruins are not only one of the leagues top possession teams, ranking fourth in Fenwick Close, but they also have the odds-on favourite to win the Vezina Trophy, Tuukka Rask. This doesnt mean there is no hope for Detroit -- the Bruins were similarly favoured against Toronto in Round One last year and needed a near-miracle to escape with a win in Game Seven -- but plenty will have to break right for the Wings if they are going to get the upset. First, they need goaltender Jimmy Howard at the top of his game. Howard has played well in his last handful of starts, but his .910 save percentage this year marked only the second time in five seasons that he posted a save perentage under .920 in a season. Even if Howard can close the goaltending gap with Rask, the Red Wings will need to get a better handle on puck possesssion, which isnt an outrageous goal considering that most of the Wings top possession players didnt play full seasons in Detroit, either due to time in the AHL or injury. Ultimately, though, the Wings need a lot to break right and the Bruins need a lot to go wrong for the first-place Bruins to end up going out early.. Team SF SA Goaltender SV% Expected GF/Series Pittsburgh 29.9 28.8 Marc-Andre Fleury 0.915 16.36 Columbus 29.6 30.8 Sergei Bobrovsky 0.923 17.37 Verdict: For much of the year, the Pittsburgh Penguins were considered a viable Eastern Conference contender alongside the Bruins. As injuries mounted, however, the Penguins became more and more vulnerable and their shot differential is far from outstanding. Take Evgeni Malkin away from that and suddenly the Penguins need breaks to go their way and coming into the playoffs, its not easy to put a lot of faith in goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, even though he had a fine season, because his last four playoff appearances have resulted in a combined .880 save percentage, which is frightening for any team, let alone one that doesnt dominate territorially. What works in the Penguins favour is that the Blue Jackets dont fare that well in shot differential, though their Fenwick Close is above average, and the Blue Jackets have some injuries to deal with up front, as Nathan Horton, Nick Foligno and R.J. Umberger are all hurt as the playoffs begin. For the Blue Jackets to get their forecasted upset, though, they need Sergei Bobrovsky to stand tall in net. Over the past couple seasons, Bobrovsky has been one of the best and if that holds in the playoffs, then maybe Columbus second trip to the postseason will be more memorable than their first. Team SF SA Goaltender SV% Expected GF/Series Tampa Bay 29.8 29.2 Anders Lindback 0.891 15.53 Montreal 28.4 31.0 Carey Price 0.927 21.97 Verdict: Based on the season overall, it would be natural to favour the Tampa Bay Lightning, who overcame a lot, including the loss of their best player for months, but going into this series with Montreal presents such a massive difference in goaltending that its difficult to come back to the Lightning. If Anders Lindback and Carey Price are true to this seasons form, the series is no contest, but the Lightning can take some encouragement from Lindbacks last three starts of the season and hope that is a sign of things to come -- he had allowed at least three goals in eight of the previous nine starts though, so theres reason to be skeptical. If Lindback can give the Lightning decent goaltending, though, then they have a chance because Tampa Bay has been the better possession team by a decent margin. The other alternative for the Lightning would knock Carey Price off his game and that has happened in the playoffs before. In 30 career playoff game, Price owns a .905 save percentage and hasnt played more than seven playoff games since his rookie season of 2007-2008. Team SF SA Goaltender SV% Expected GF/Series N.Y. Rangers 33.2 29.4 Henrik Lundqvist 0.917 18.53 Philadelphia 30.4 30.6 Steve Mason 0.917 17.37 Verdict: While historically it would be easy to favour the Rangers over the Flyers based on the relative merits of goaltenders Henrik Lundqvist and Steve Mason, their numbers this season were very close, so the Blueshirts end up favoured based on notably better shot differentials (and, incidentally, possession stats). The Rangers have been a relatively strong team even without much contribution from trade deadline addition Martin St. Louis, so that gives them another proverbial bullet to fire, if St. Louis could get back to the form that has seen him score 68 points in 63 career playoff games or leaves him as the second-leading scorer over the past four seasons. If you click through on that St. Louis link, though, youll see that Flyers centre Claude Giroux is the leagues top scorer over the past four years and Giroux led the Flyers resurgence, finishing this year with 86 points after starting the year with seven points in the first 15 games. If Giroux puts the Flyers on his back, and can shake Rangers defenceman Ryan McDonagh, then that could easily be enough to swing the series in Philadelphias favour. This should be a close enough series that, any out-of-the-ordinary performances can make the difference, but the edge going in goes to the Rangers. Team SF SA Goaltender SV% Expected GF/Series Anaheim 31.3 28.7 Frederik Andersen 0.923 17.49 Dallas 31.7 30.4 Kari Lehtonen 0.919 16.28 Verdict: This isnt a particularly lopsided matchup for what is, effectively, a 1 vs. 8 matchup. The Ducks have mediocre possession numbers, but their overall shot differential is solid. Thing is, what has driven their success this season is scoring on an absurd 10.7% of their 5-on-5 score-close shots -- Colorado is second-best at 8.6% -- and percentages that far above the norm are really tough to bank on. The other factor is the Ducks goaltending. Based on their hesitance to use Jonas Hiller down the stretch, its entirely conceivable that the Ducks will put their playoff fate in the hands of rookie Frederik Andersen and John Gibson, who have been really good, but have combined for 31 career NHL starts. The task for the Stars, then, is to somehow get the Ducks finishing to fall into more normal range (or, if it falls below, even better), which means goaltender Kari Lehtonen will have to be sharp. That practically goes without saying though. A lower-seeded team is likely going to need good goaltending, but if the Stars get it from Lehtonen, that can level the ice pretty quickly. Then it might be a matter of the stars. Can Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry get the better of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin? Team SF SA Goaltender SV% Expected GF/Series Colorado 29.5 32.7 Semyon Varlamov 0.927 18.22 Minnesota 26.6 27.7 Ilya Bryzgalov 0.909 15.15 Verdict: This is the kind of series that could lead to upset, as the underdog Wild tend towards a low-event game -- no playoff team has fewer shots (for and against) in their games than the 54.3 averaged by the Wild and reducing those opportunities can undermine skills chances of winning in a short series. Furthermore, the Avalanche are missing leading scorer Matt Duchene (and possibly puck-moving defenceman Tyson Barrie), so they may currently be less than the sum of their overall parts this season. Where the edge really goes to the Avalanche is in net, where Semyon Varlamov has been great. The Wild might be a reasonable upset pick if you have faith in their goaltending but this is a team that goes into the playoffs with Ilya Bryzgalov between the pipes. Bryzgalovs track record over the past couple seasons makes it difficult to project him outdueling Varlamov head-to-head, which means that the Wild will need to better control play. Admittedly, thats possible since the Avalanche have the worst Fenwick Close of any playoff team and two of their top three score close possession players (Duchene and Barrie) are hurt. Team SF SA Goaltender SV% Expected GF/Series St. Louis 29.3 26.4 Ryan Miller 0.918 16.41 Chicago 33.1 27.2 Corey Crawford 0.917 17.08 Verdict: For much of the season, the St .Louis Blues were rolling along and looked to have the possession game to compete with the best in the league, but they stumbled down the stretch as injuries dotted their lineup and now they are blessed with a first-round matchup against the defending champs, a team that has stellar possession numbers and might be a touch healthier at this point; at least thats the expectation with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews apparently ready for the postseason. If the Blues arent healthy enough to ice a credible lineup, then it wont much matter how well goaltender Ryan Miller plays but, when he was acquired, Miller was supposed to be a difference-maker for the Blues. After a .903 save percentage in 19 games with St. Louis, though, its asking for a leap of faith to believe that Miller gives the Blues any kind of significant advantage over Corey Crawford. The angle for the Blues may be to lean more on their defence, which might be the leagues best group, one through six, and if Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Kevin Shattenkirk and company can control play or at least limit the extent to which the Blackhawks control play, then it will give the Blues a chance. Its not as good a chance as they would have expected a month or two ago, but injuries can strike at inopportune moments and its looking like that could be the Blues undoing this year. Team SF SA Goaltender SV% Expected GF/Series San Jose 34.8 27.8 Antti Niemi 0.913 18.15 Los Angeles 31.6 26.2 Jonathan Quick 0.915 18.09 Verdict: We finally come to the elite matchup of the first round, with two bona fide Cup contenders squaring off, and look at how close the forecasted numbers have the series. Its a coin flip, close enough that whichever goaltender plays well should be enough to tip the balance. Over the past two seasons, Quick has played more playoff games than any other, while posting a .940 save percentage so, even if his numbers were average during this season, he might get the edge over a similarly-mediocre Niemi. If the result is going in the Sharks favour, though, they may have a deeper group of forward, particularly with Tomas Hertl (and possibly Raffi Torres) coming back from injuries. The biggest difference in the series could be the status of Kings defenceman Drew Doughty, who is expected to be ready when the series starts, but if hes not, the Sharks have the forwards that can take advantage of that absence. Ultimately, this is such a close forecast that one bounce, one deflection, one call, could make the difference. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy Sports on Facebook. Asics Outlet Store Online .com) - The surging Montreal Canadiens will try to match their longest winning streak of the season when they visit the Florida Panthers for Saturdays clash at BB&T Center. Cheap Asics Shoes Online ., climbed from seventh to fifth spot in womens competition Sunday at the ISU world junior figure skating championships. http://www.cheapasics.net/. Napoli hit two home runs, Jonny Gomes and prized rookie Xander Bogaerts also connected, and the Red Sox kept up their dizzying scoring spree at Yankee Stadium by bashing New York 13-9 Saturday for a fifth straight win. Asics Shoes Discount Online . - Joao Plata scored twice in the final 24 minutes, including the winner in stoppage time, to help Real Salt Lake remain unbeaten with a 3-2 victory over the winless Chicago Fire on Saturday night. Asics Shoes Wholesale . There was little fanfare, though, when the Yankees captain was taken out of his final regular-season Subway Series game in the eighth inning. Jeter watched the last four outs from the bench, pulled off the field during a double switch Thursday night as the Yankees held off the Mets 1-0.NEW YORK -- Carmelo Anthony was really sharp when he was in, and the New York Knicks were even better after he went out. Good enough to be mistaken for one of the NBAs best. "I thought we were playing against the Spurs," Denver guard Ty Lawson said. "They know they pass to one side, kick, kick, and it opens 3s. It was just a tough night for us." Anthony scored 31 points in three quarters, then watched from the bench as the Knicks ran away from his old team in the fourth for a 117-90 victory over the Nuggets on Friday night. J.R. Smith added 10 of his 13 points in the fourth. He also threw the pass of the game during the decisive spurt when he went behind the back to Jeremy Tyler, who scored while being fouled. Amare Stoudemire finished with 17 points for the Knicks, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Tyler had 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Knicks shot 56.5 per cent from the field, one of their best performances of the season. "Everybody played their part tonight," Anthony said. "It was a great team win and we want to build off that." The Knicks were 13 of 20 for 34 points in the final quarter and shot 64 per cent while scoring 67 points in the second half. It was a surprisingly easy victory during a difficult season for the Knicks, who figured they would be competing for championships by now when they paid a heavy price to acquire Anthony from the Nuggets three years ago this month. Instead, they are only 20-30, currently outside the playoff picture and giving Denver hope that the first-round pick the Knicks still owe them this summer from that Anthony deal could be in the lottery. Lawson scored 24 points for the Nuggets, who had their two-game winning streak stopped and fell back to .500 at 24-24. They committed 24 turnovers that led to 27 points. The Knicks latest slump had sparked renewed reports that coach Mike Woodsons job could be in jeopardy, and he spent most of his pregame news conference repeating his confidence in himself and his team. He still believes the Knicks can be a playoff team, a thought only imaginable because theyy reside in the Eastern Conference.dddddddddddd But they showed Friday how effective they can be when they get balanced scoring beyond Anthony, which has happened infrequently this season, and by the end of the night Woodson was talking about how his Knicks would be difficult for powerful Oklahoma City to handle on Sunday. Then again, they lost to the league-worst Milwaukee Bucks this week, so nothing is certain. "You know what, you cant change the past," centre Tyson Chandler said when asked if he was frustrated that the Knicks couldnt play like this more often. "So I would say more so that it gives us the opportunity to rally, because we see what its going take for us to win. Weve just got to put more nights like this together." Leading by seven in the third quarter, New York began to open a gap when Anthony made a jumper, Chandler scored and Anthony nailed a 3-pointer to make it 62-48 with about 8 1/2 minutes remaining in the period. Tim Hardaway Jr. made a 3-pointer and Anthony converted a three-point play for a quick six points in the final minute as the lead grew to 83-66. Smith had three straight baskets in the fourth, the latter two from behind the arc, to push the lead to 102-77. The Knicks helped hand the Nuggets a 26-20 lead after one, committing eight turnovers that led to 14 points. But the much-maligned Raymond Felton scored all of his nine points in the second, and New York scored the final nine points of the period for a 50-44 halftime lead. "I think at the end of the second quarter, when it was 44-44, we got five turnovers in a row and couldnt get a shot up and that kind of pushed their lead," Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried said. "They got the lead and after that I guess it was curtains." Felton also had eight assists. NOTES: The Knicks visit to Oklahoma City for a nationally televised matchup features Kevin Durant and Anthony, the NBAs top scorers. Anthony missed the Thunders Christmas Day rout of the Knicks with a sprained ankle. ... The Knicks shot a season-high 57.1 per cent against Brooklyn on Dec. 5. ' ' '

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