Journalists and magazines everywhere are publishing their NHL projections for the 2013-14 season, so what makes ours different?
This year's projections come exclusively from a new system created in my latest book, Rob Vollman's Hockey Abstract. It uses a two-step process to objectively project the standings.
Since no personal opinions are involved, it doesn't always follow the mainstream consensus, which can lead to some interesting results.
Here's how it works:
1. Take last year's standings, and remove all the temporary and somewhat random variables that can affect the standings. That includes things like injuries, team records in overtime and shootouts, and unusually high or low shooting and save percentages. For more insight on this step, play with the Hockey Abstract Team Luck tool.
2. Next, all the personnel changes are taken into account, both additions and subtractions. This includes any trades made late in the previous season, and any offseason free agent signings.
In the end the standings wind up squished together, leaving it to the fortunes of the hockey season to spread them out by the usual margin.
Keep in mind that this novel new approach is best used in conjunction with picks made in the traditional fashion, not as a stand-alone replacement. It can help confirm some projections, while bringing others into question for a closer look. Like, for example, the rather unexpected selection for the President's Trophy, the Ottawa Senators.
All advanced statistics are via writer's own original research unless otherwise noted.