FanPost

The Benefit of an "Easy" Division

Looking at the final standings, its easy to see that some divisions are much more hotly contested than others.  Only 1 team from the Northwest, for example, even made the playoffs, while every time in the Pacific was in the hunt right up until the end of the final game (or at least until the 2nd period of that game, sorry Dallas fans).  I wondered how the standings might look if the schedule was more balanced, rather than the intra-division war that it currently is.  As a simple first pass estimate, I took the total points each division accumulated, and then just normalized each team's point total.  As you can see below, not much of a change in the East, but it shakes up the standings in the West and even causes Dallas to sneak into the playoffs. 

This is obviously a pretty rough estimate, and the first thing that came to mind for me was that a division that plays a lot of OT games would have an inflated point total, so I tallied up the OTL totals for each division, but it actually just made the Pacific even stronger.  I'd be really interested to see the results if someone can come up with a better method.  Comparing across the conferences will probably be somewhat difficult, since the sample size is fairly small. 

I posted this here because I know its patrons are the masters of NHL statistical analysis.  Any ideas on how to estimate the final standings if each team in the league played each other team twice, once at home and once on the road?

Eastern Conference Standings Div Total OTL Total
Atlantic GP W L OTL Pts Norm. 459 43
 y-Philadelphia 82 47 23 12 106 108
 x-Pittsburgh 82 49 25 8 106 108
 x-NY Rangers 82 44 33 5 93 95
 New Jersey 82 38 39 5 81 83
 NY Islanders 82 30 39 13 73 74
Div Total OTL Total
 Northeast GP W L OTL Pts Norm. 454 50
 y-Boston 82 46 25 11 103 104
 x-Montreal 82 44 30 8 96 97
 x-Buffalo 82 43 29 10 96 97
 Toronto 82 37 34 11 85 86
 Ottawa 82 32 40 10 74 75
Div Total OTL Total
 Southeast GP W L OTL Pts Norm. 453 57
 z-Washington 82 48 23 11 107 108
 x-Tampa Bay 82 46 25 11 103 104
 Carolina 82 40 31 11 91 92
 Atlanta 82 34 36 12 80 81
 Florida 82 30 40 12 72 72
 Western Conference Standings Div Total OTL Total
 Central GP W L OTL Pts Norm. 468 54
 y-Detroit 82 47 25 10 104 108
 x-Nashville 82 44 27 11 99 103
 Chicago 82 44 29 9 97 101
 St. Louis 82 38 33 11 87 90
 Columbus 82 34 35 13 81 84
Div Total OTL Total
 Northwest GP W L OTL Pts Norm. 427 49
 y-Vancouver 82 54 19 9 117 111
 Calgary 82 41 29 12 94 89
 Minnesota 82 39 35 8 86 82
 Colorado 82 30 44 8 68 65
 Edmonton 82 25 45 12 62 59
Div Total OTL Total
 Pacific GP W L OTL Pts Norm. 496 44
 z-San Jose 82 48 25 9 105 116
 x-Anaheim 82 47 30 5 99 109
 x-Phoenix 82 43 26 13 99 109
 x-Los Angeles 82 46 30 6 98 108
 x-Dallas 82 42 29 11 95 105

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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