The sweet spot in an NHL season starts at around the 30-game mark. That's when the gap in predictive power between analytics and traditional analysis begins to reach its widest point. We can use that advantage to determine which of this year's disappointing teams are showing the strongest signs of an imminent recovery.
How can analytics figure this out? Some teams have been playing far better than their record indicates but haven't been able to catch a break. Perhaps that's due to critical injuries, puck luck or bad bounces at critical moments in close games. Each of these factors can be measured analytically to help determine which teams are in the best position to turn things around.
Getting hot is a relative term, of course. It means something different for a bubble team than it does for a lottery draft contender. This analysis studied all the teams in the lower half and ranked them by what their performance could be the rest of the way relative to what it has been thus far.
Which teams are the likeliest to go on a tear? Let's begin.