Are bad teams really defying expectations?

Discussion in 'National Hockey League Talk' started by abo9, Oct 22, 2018.

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  1. abo9

    abo9 Registered User

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    So lately there have been a few threads about teams that look pretty bad on paper (montreal, ottawa for example) that play better than they look.

    I thought about this and is it really surprising? The NHL is a league with a lot of parity, so any team is able to beat any other one on a given night. I'd say it is even more true for the top half, then the second half of the standings.

    I'll take the East as an example (sorry I don't have much exposure to the Western teams), but I think we can even divide the Conference in 3

    Tier 1: Tampa, Pittsburgh, Boston, Toronto, Washington are clearly the top teams with multiple star/elite players on them,

    Tier 2: Philadelphia Columbus, Carolina, New Jersey, Florida, New york Islanders are bubble teams that can surprise in both a good or a bad way.

    Tier 3: Buffalo, Montreal, Ottawa, New York Rangers, Detroit were pretty much penciled for bottom 3 of the league before the season.

    Now, we know how big the parity is in the league, teams in tier 3 are able to compete to a certain level with teams from tier 1 during the regular season and teams from tier 3 compete with teams from tier 2(on paper though, they look pretty worst).

    If we think about it, it would not be so surprising to see a team from tier 3 (maybe even 2 teams) to squeeze a spot in the playoffs, or be in the playoff race until the end.

    I wonder then, can we call it a "surprise" if tier 3 teams do "better than expected"? They can't do below expectations, and one of these teams will finish AT LEAST 12th, if not higher.
     
  2. LeafFever

    LeafFever Registered User

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    This happens every year though. Many "Bad Teams" do better early.
     
    Duke749 and I am not exposed like this.
  3. AfroThunder396

    AfroThunder396 [citation needed]

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    No one should be surprised at parity in the HL, that was clearly the goal from 2005 on.

    People also shouldn't be surprised that the internet dogpile mentality causes every minor flaw to get exaggerated beyond all reality.
     
  4. Howie Hodge

    Howie Hodge I Am The Walrus

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    Again, being 8 games (or less) into the season hasn't separated the bad teams from the good teams from the mediocre teams yet.

    By the 20 game mark I think most teams will level off and show what level they're actually at....

    But yes, surprised by Montreal and Ottawa even at this early junction of the season.
     
  5. EchoesoftheEighties

    EchoesoftheEighties Oilers 2018

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    The Penguins were 10th or 11th in the East on January 1 2018. There's a lot of hockey left to be played.
     
  6. NyQuil

    NyQuil Not Steve Yzerman

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    What's surprising is how bad people actually think NHL calibre teams will be.

    As has been said, parity is a hell of a thing.

    You likely won't see expansion type seasons from the 90s ever again. Look at Vegas last year.

    That still doesn't mean that any of those early teams could finish at the bottom in the end.

    It's fun to see some interesting storylines right from the beginning of the season though.
     
  7. BillNy

    BillNy Registered User

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    Hockey has a lot of parity and variance. It's also REALLY early. To put things in perspective: the Canucks and Senators are both on pace for 100+ points. Ottawa has one OT win, Vancouver has two. Both of those teams can think, y'know, if they had one bad luck goal against, one shot in any of those games go differently, the game doesn't go to overtime, and they're on pace for 82 points which isn't really close to the playoffs. It's still REALLY early, and there are plenty of teams that look good at various parts of the season before it falls apart. Like, two years ago there was a point in January/February even that we were getting ready for the Blue Jackets/Wild Stanley Cup finals. My general belief: the Senators and Canucks are still garbage. The Sabres are probably not awful, but still aren't a playoff team. The Habs, I am not sure on, but sorta think they might be at least a little for real. I could be wrong about any of them, but that's pretty much what I think, and by that I mean: this is almost exactly what I would've said a month ago.
     
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  8. girlfriend haver

    girlfriend haver Registered User

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    Last year:
    Vancouver was 6-3-1 in it's first ten games (Started 14-10-4)
    Ottawa was 5-1-4 in it's first ten games

    Bad Teams can put up a non terrible record over 10 games and still be very bad
     
  9. easton117

    easton117 Registered User

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    Ya throw out the first 20 games.

    Teams that went deep in the playoffs the year before always seem to struggle a bit before they right the ship.

    Teams that heard about how bad they are all summer seem to run out of momentum around that time and regress to the norm.

    There always seem to be an exception to the rule though. Injuries or off seasons for star players happen. We’ll have to wait and see
     
  10. KCC

    KCC Registered User

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    Vancouver, Montreal, habs etc. Young, no expectatations and just go out skate and work hard. Not surprising at all and usually not substainable. But at least they give honest efforts every night and as a fan of those teams that’s all you can ask for.
     
  11. MtlBoxFan

    MtlBoxFan Registered User

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    As a fan from Montreal, I hope the Canadiens return to crap form. They need to stock pile draft picks like all the other clubs that gamed the system over the last couple decades.
     
  12. tucker3434

    tucker3434 Registered User Sponsor

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    Pretty much every year there’s a team or two that’s much better than expected and a team or two that’s much worse than expected. One of the consensus basement-locks will challenge for a playoff spot. The others will likely fall apart before too long.
     
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  13. Penosity

    Penosity Back in Black, Red, and White

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    Bad teams can't sustain past the first few months of the season.

    For example, the Blackhawks were 7th in the NHL last year on this date.
    They finished 25th.
     
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  14. Uberdachen

    Uberdachen Posts Last 5 Minutes

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    Teams are defying really bad expectations.
     
  15. blankall

    blankall Registered User

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    8 games in.....

    Hockey has parity. That means on any given night any team can beat any other team. Therefore, the smaller sample size you have, the more likely luck is going to play a factor.

    Also, consistency is what separates good teams from bad teams. Consistency becomes a greater factor as you play more games.

    Wait until we are 40 games in to judge anything. However, yes, I do think that some teams will defy expectations this year, both good and bad. That happens every year as well. Hockey is very much a team sport that is also dependent on mood and energy. When teams fall out or into a winning cycle, their results can vary dramatically between years.

    Chicago is a great example of this. Last year they had awful results. They, however, still have enough talent to be a top team. Their level of success will depend on how well they put everything together.
     
  16. bouncesonly

    bouncesonly Registered User

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    Kings aren't defying anything.
     
  17. lwvs84

    lwvs84 Registered User

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    Don't young teams usually come out looking really good? They have a lot more energy/enthusiasm at the start while the vets (the teams expected to do well) know it is an 82 game grind and pace themselves. Young guys probably work out more during the off-season as well, while the older players who have some miles on them probably take more of the summer off and rest/recover and take a little longer to get back to form.
     
  18. 42

    42 Registered User

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    Yeah, it's early. Stats are unreliable at this time, both team and individual players. Check again at the 20 game mark.
     
  19. DominicBoltsFan

    DominicBoltsFan Advanced stats are good!

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    Who in their right mind thinks the NY Islanders are a better team than Montreal
     
  20. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Still early days yet, have to see which teams are for real and which teams aren't as the season wears on.
     
  21. Jigger77

    Jigger77 Registered User

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    Personally I think high expectations are a killer. Especially in hotbed markets. I think lowered expectations really help teams play a bit looser. Also you have a lot of guys on those teams that might be fringe NHL guys or getting a second chance etc so you know they'll be working their asses off. Not to mention you have that whole "let's prove everyone wrong" thing going on too. As others mentioned though this tends to wane as the season progresses and the big teams get going.
     
  22. LordNeverLose

    LordNeverLose Registered User

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    The vast majority of people
     
  23. DominicBoltsFan

    DominicBoltsFan Advanced stats are good!

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    Their offensive depth is night and day and the isles don’t have a dman on the level of Petry or Weber, though I do like me some Pulock.

    Edit: not to mention Price is a thing
     
  24. EveryDay

    EveryDay Registered User

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    Do Islanders have better goaltending then MTL? Price/Niemi VS Lehner/Greiss

    A better top6?
    Weber/Petry/Reilly/Juulsen/Mete/Benn VS Leddy/Boychuk/Pulock/Pelech/Hickey/Mayfield

    Better wingers? Drouin/Gallagher/Tatar/Lehkonen/Byron/Armia/Hudon/Shaw VS Lee/Bailey/Ladd/Eberle/Komarov/Beauvillier/Clutterbuck/Martin

    Better Center? Domi/Danault/Kotkaniemi/Plekanec VS Barzal/Filppula/Nelson/Cizikas

    Islanders look better at center because Barzal is amazing and MTL have the worst center squad in the NHL but MTL got the edge for sure in net and on defence.
     
  25. Yatzhee

    Yatzhee Registered User

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    Can't speak to other teams, but the Sabres are right where I expected them, just above .500 hockey battling for a wildcard position.
     

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