NHL Playoffs: The Conference Semifinals ‘seed’ advantage
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
The next round of the NHL playoffs begin tonight as the first of the four Conference Semifinals will have Phoenix and Nashville facing off in Phoenix. The matchups for the Conference Semis:
No. 2 St. Louis vs. No. 8 Los Angeles
No. 3 Phoenix vs. No. 4 Nashville
No. 1 NY Rangers vs. No. 7 Washington
No. 5 Philadelphia vs. No. 6 New Jersey
Since we have each of the eight seeds (No. 1, No. 2 through No.8) represented in the second round, how well has each seed done in previous Conference Semifinals? Following are the series records of each seed in the second round from 1994-2011. (The playoffs in 1994 was the first year the league ranked eight teams from each of the two conferences No. 1 through No. 8, the current playoff format.) Notice how the No. 2 seed has the best series record since 1994; also notice how well the No. 6 seed has performed in the second round.
Series Record (series won/lost) of Seeds in Conference Semifinals
No. 1 Seed… 17-8 .680
No. 2 Seed… 14-5 .737
No. 3 Seed… 9-13 .409
No. 4 Seed… 11-11 .500
No. 5 Seed… 4-8 .333
No. 6 Seed… 7-5 .583
No. 7 Seed… 4-11 .267
No. 8 Seed… 2-7 .222
Let’s take it a step further. Here are the actual seed matchups from the second round from 1994-2011
Conference Semifinals Matchups (by seed) 1994-2011
No. 1 vs. No. 4: Series tied at 2-2; No. 1 vs. No. 5: No. 1 has won five series and lost two; No. 1 vs. No. 6: No. 1 has won two series and lost three; No. 1 vs. No. 7: No. 1 has won eight series and lost one.
No. 2 vs. No. 3: No. 2 has won nine series and lost two; No. 2 vs. No. 4: No. 2 has won one series and lost two series; No. 2 vs. No. 5: series tied at 1-1; No. 2 vs. No. 8: No. 2 has won all three series.
No. 3 vs. No. 4: No. 3 has won five series and lost three; No. 3 vs. No. 5: No. 3 lost the only series; No. 3 vs. No. 8: No. 3 has won both series.
No. 4 vs. No. 6: Series tied at 1-1; No. 4 vs. No. 7: series tied at 1-1; No. 4 vs. No. 8: No. 4 has won two series and lost one.
No. 5 vs. No. 6: No. 5 has lost only series; No. 5 vs. No. 8: No. 5 has lost only series.
No. 6 vs. No. 7: Series tied at 2-2.
Did you know? The higher seed has won the 64.7 percent of the NHL Conference Semifinals series from 1994-2011.
As mentioned above, each of the eight seeds (No. 1 through No. 8) have a team playing in the second round. This is the fourth time this has happened in the second round of the playoffs since 1994 (1995, 1999, 2006 and 2010). The No. 2 seed in 2010 and 2006 won the Stanley Cup that year… could this bode well for the St. Louis Blues?
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