It's time for my weekly installment looking at the downward spiral of bad Eastern Conference teams:
Most of the chart statistics are self-explanatory. "BWL" is "Bettman Wins and Losses" - a team's record after regulation. The 'B' can stand for something else if you want. "PW%" is a team's Pythagorean Winning Percentage, based on goals for and goals against.
All but five teams in the East are at serious risk of missing the playoffs - continued play at their current levels, combined with bad second half luck in OT and the SO could put any of them on the golf course in April. There are no longer any significant over-achievers in this group - Montreal's regulation record trails expectations by the largest amount, while Philadelphia is a close second. We'll see what impact Andrei Markov's return has on a lackluster team: even at three wins per season, the Habs wouldn't have been much better than 9-16-12 had Markov not been injured. If we regress their Pythagorean Winning Percentage 35% to the mean, assume .500 play in OT and the SO, and give them +2 wins for getting Markov back, they're still looking at 88 points on the season. Ottawa, Boston and Atlanta figure to be much better teams with a much higher likelihood of making the playoffs.