Who doesn't love a chart or two?
Well, here at The Globe, we have a new toy that allows us to embed plenty of charts in our articles, and I'm going to put it to good use here this afternoon in breaking down all 16 playoff teams by various statistical measures.
Here's an example of the East and West series by goal differential per game, which is often an excellent predictor of team success:
The West, in other words, has the stronger teams overall, with the average playoff team in that conference scoring 0.34 more goals per game than they're allowing.
The East isn't far behind at 0.28 per game, but it has two teams in the Panthers and Capitals that have allowed more goals than they've scored, a rarity for a playoff team. (Don't bet big on either to advance.)
Another interesting category is goaltending, where again the West has the edge with an incredible .918 average save percentage.
Here's how the eight series stack up there:
It's worth keeping in mind that the backup goalies' numbers are included there, which hurts teams like Detroit that had poor performances from their No. 2 this season.
And here's one last one, just for fun, of the number of appearances in the Stanley Cup final by the 16 teams in the playoffs this time around:
The 13 teams listed above have made the finals a total of 89 times in the 95 years the Cup has been won, with Nashville, Phoenix and San Jose as the only teams in the postseason this year that have never made it to the final series.
Maybe this is their year?