Schedule Handicapper

What lies ahead?

A question often on the minds of hockey fans as they look ahead at their team's schedule while examining the current NHL standings.

Is the club's schedule a tough one? Easier than most? Or smack dab in the middle? will try to add reason to this subjective future by assigning some mathematical certainties to an ever-changing mystery.

The Math:

The graphs to the right are the result of an analysis based on the following assumptions.

Each team's home schedule, road schedule and therefore overall schedule is measured by the average winning percentage of the teams they will play.

For simplicity, each NHL team is grouped into one of four groups defined by their position in games over or under .500. These groups include; Elite, Contender, Average and Poor.

For this exercise we find a break point between each group to provide a break down of roughly 5 elite teams, 5 contending teams, 10 average teams, and 10 poor teams.

Each of these groups is then further split by their home and road winning percentages.

The level of difficulty of each teams' home schedule is then calculated by finding the product of the summation of the frequency of each group (games) times this groups' average winning percentage.

The graphs sort the upcoming schedules for each team from easiest to hardest, which can be seen as the winning percentage for the opposition of each club increases.

Check back for updates as this analysis is always changing - each game each team plays takes a game off the upcoming schedule, plus teams are always moving from group to group based on their play.

Also provided in the white box on each graph is the average for that analysis (home, away or overall) to help gauge the difference between the team in question and the norm.

Finally, the table at the bottom supplies the reader with the break down of remaining Calgary Flames games left on their schedule split by the caliber of opposition as well a summary of division and conference opponents.

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