In this analysis (and yes, it took a while), I look at team stats of both SCF finalists from 2000-2012 to see if any are good predictors of post-season performance:
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Basically, looking at the averages, there are no stat categories that stick out as good predictors of of a team's ability to make it to the SCF. Finalists were, on average, about 9th or 10th in the league in team stats. They were on average, about 7th in reg. season points, which was the strongest indicator.
Where it got interesting, is when I sorted the teams into playing style: offensive, defensive and balanced. Offensiveness was determined by averaging G/G, PP% and S/G rankings. Defensiveness was determined by averaging GA/G, PK% and SA/G rankings. The highest of these two determined the teams playing style, but if they were close (within 5 of each other), they were deemed Balanced. Here are the finalists' stat rankings grouped into team playing style:
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From this, it appears that for balanced teams there is a strong indication that G/G is a very important stat. On average, balanced teams in the SCF has a ranking of 3.8 in this category. Reg. season points rank was also a strong indicator for balanced teams, with the finalists having an average rank of 3.
For offensive teams, the only important stat was G/G, which is not that surprising. No other stat. seemed to matter that much.
For defensive teams, the most important stat was PK%, with the average finalist having a ranking of 4.3.
Of the SCF finalists, there were 8 balanced teams, 9 offensive teams and 7 defensive teams. Of the eventual Cup winners, 7 were balanced, 3 were offensive and 2 were defensive.
How are the stats looking for the Canucks so far this year? We are 2nd in 5-5 F/A and 4th in GA/G. But, as a balanced team so far, we are 8th and 13th in the two most telling categories: Pts and G/G. Still a lot of games to be played though.
OK, take all this with a grain of salt since it is a pretty small sample size, and NHL is a living changing entity, so past statistics may not be so relevant today.
Edited by Centmo, 17 February 2013 - 12:39 PM.