I wanted to know what was the best stat to look for when determining playoff bound teams. I dug up team stats for the last 3 seasons and broke them down. What I found was not surprising but very intriguing. Defense, defense, defense.
Over the last 3 seasons GAA has been the biggest determination of who made the playoffs.
07-08 13/16 lowest GAA made playoffs
06-07 15/16 lowest GAA made playoffs
05-06 13/16 lowest GAA made playoffs
So basically if you are in the top 16 teams in goals against you have an 85% chance of making the playoffs. Also, out of these 48 playoff teams only 4 teams had a higher GA than goals scored per game.
3 seasons ago 16th place GAA was 3.07
2 seasons ago 16th place GAA was 2.98
1 season ago 16th place GAA was 2.73
At this rate to be in the top 16 GAA this year your team will need to be around 2.6 or lower. (Although hopefully we don’t see scoring go down any more this year)
What this all boils down to is that teams that want to make the playoffs should concentrate on locking up star defenseman and a top goalie.(Unless you can get your forwards to buy into defense first) It seems like your money would be better spent at these positions and then use your balance for some average forwards.
So much for scoring superstars.