A college buddy got married last weekend, and travel in and out got in the way of updating the ratings in advance of the final weekend of the regular season.
Having now caught up, let’s take a look at how things shook out.
|Overall||Indexed Rating||Last Rating||Change|
|ECAC||Indexed Rating||Last Rating||Change||Actual Finish|
Conference Ratings Notes: Union, fifth in the power ratings, finished six rating points ahead of the team that claimed the seventh spot, where they finished in the league standings. …Dartmouth had the highest positive differential between where they finished in the standings (tied for fifth) and where they finished in the ratings (eighth).
What does all this mean? For one, even strength goal differential per 60 minutes, which comprises a percentage of each team’s rating proportional to the amount of time a team spends playing even strength hockey, is highly indicative of where a team will finish. The top two teams at even strength were Quinnipiac and Cornell; the two worst were St. Lawrence and Colgate, and look where they both finished.
Harvard had the league’s best power play, pulling a 153.96 rating (indexed to 100), but it wasn’t enough to overcome relatively average penalty killing (98.13) and slightly better than average even strength play (104.83). Yale had the league’s best penalty kill (124.82), which balanced out their league-worst power play (75.19).
At the bottom of the standings, SLU was sunk by an objectively awful penalty kill (62.19) and poor even strength play (83.23), which undercut a middle of the pack power play (99.08). Colgate had the league’s worst penalty kill (61.81), a poor power play (75.20) and was at its’ best at even strength, where the Raiders were still decidedly below average (87.46).
First Round Playoff Matchups:
No. 12 St. Lawrence at No. 5 Dartmouth
St. Lawrence scores 1.636 goals per game on the road and allows 4.09. They lost 4-1 on the road in Hanover on Jan. 25. Hope springs eternal in Canton, but this season, most can’t wait for spring to arrive and melt the snow. Pick: Dartmouth in two games.
No. 11 RPI at No. 6 Yale
Though the standings may not reflect it, RPI improved greatly from last season. Three more points and the Engineers would have been hosting playoff games… but they didn’t get those three points, so on the road they go. Yale has the best PK and RPI’s is above average, but the Engineers are going to need a few PPGs to steal this series… and they haven’t scored on the man-advantage against Yale this year. We’ll see. Pick: Yale in three games.
No. 10 Colgate at No. 7 Union
Colgate is worse than their finish. They don’t take a lot of penalties, averaging about 5.25 minutes on the PK per road game, but they can’t kill penalties when they take them. Rick Bennett’s squad is average or better at even strength and killing penalties and draws close to seven minutes of PP time per home game. Union may not be a great power play team, but they should have no trouble with Colgate. Pick: Union in two games.
No. 9 Princeton at No. 8 Brown
This matchup will come down to special teams – Princeton’s power play (121.57 rating) and Brown’s penalty kill (117.22). But for the Tigers’ PP potting 24 goals, the season in Princeton would have been much worse. Brown put together some big wins this year, including a 4-1 road win at Quinnipiac. Princeton won the last game of the regular season at home against Brown 5-1. If there’s some modicum of playoff atmosphere (and I know, that’s asking a lot) at Meehan Auditorium, Brown will take this series. Pick: Brown in three games.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this and maybe gained some deeper insight into hockey. If you’d like to see all the backing data that went into the ratings and how they’re calculated, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.