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Playoffs: What it would take

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Could this team make it to the post-season? What would it take to get there?

The fundamental problem for the Thrashers is that they continue to get out-shot nearly every game. Yes, you can win while being out shot--the Thrashers did it last night versus the Hurricanes--but to win while being out shot you must:
  1. Finish scoring chances at a higher rate than other clubs.
  2. Prevent goals on shots at a higher rate than other clubs.
  3. Both of the above.
Right now the Thrashers are being out shot 454 to 533 so far this season. Should we expect this to improve dramatically? If you look at the Shots For and Shots Against for the first 16 games that is a strong pattern.
31-43 = -12
33-39 = -6
26-26 = 0
25-35 = -10
37-30 = +7
33-38 = -5
33-46 = -13
32-33 = -1
24-31 = -7
29-33 = -4
20-32 = -12
31-21 = +10
27-27 = 0
26-32 = -6
22-37 = -15
25-29 = -4

The Thrashers have been out shot if 12 of the 16, they tied in two game and won the shot battle just twice. I have no strong reason to think that will suddenly change. So if we assume the team will continue to be out shot to the tune of 28-33 each night--what would it take for them to stay in the playoff race?

Let's assume the Thrashers are able to keep their current Shot Percentage all season 10.3% (Which ranks 8th in the NHL) what sort of goal tending performance would it take? Roughly a 91.0% Save Percentage would keep them in the playoff race. A 91.0% Save Percentage is basically league average (14th). So there's your answer--average goal tending plus above average shooting (8th) would give them a shot at the post-season.
Right now though the Thrashers have above average shooting (8th) and below average puck stopping (20th).

Other scenarios that would keep this team in contention while being outshot include the following.
  • Amazing shooting 12.5% (1st) and poor SV% .893%(20th)
  • Great shooting 10.3% (8th) and average SV% .910% (14th)
  • Average shooting 9.9% (15th) and amazing SV% .916% (9th)
  • A little above average in both, ST% 10.085 (12th) and SV% .915 (11th)
Conclusion: If you're going to be out shot most nights you have to extraordinary at something to get into the post-season.