After game 41, the Wild were exactly halfway through the season with a record of 20-18-3 (43 points) in 11th place in the conference. Curious as to how teams in a similar position have fared in the second half in the past, I created the graph below which plots second half points as a function of first half points (this represents the Western Conference in the four seasons post-lockout – average of 46 points in both the first and second half).
What can we learn from this? Teams with 50 points in the first half are almost guaranteed to get 95 points (only 2 of 19 teams failed to do so), so we can pretty much put these teams in the playoffs based on their first half performance.
- San Jose (59 pts)
- Chicago (59 pts)
- Calgary (53 pts)
- Phoenix (53 pts)
- Colorado (52 pts)
- Nashville (51 pts)
The teams with 40-49 points in the first half are almost impossible to predict (this season that applies to – Vancouver, Los Angeles, Detroit, Dallas, Minnesota, and St. Louis). 10 of 30 teams ended up with less than 83 points, 9 of the 30 ended up with more than 95 points. If those trends hold, it would seem at least 2 of those 6 teams mentioned above will surpass 95 points. That means it’s going to take 95 points or more to reach the post-season. The Wild need to pick up 52 points in the second half to reach 95, that’s 1.27 points per game (leaving out their 0-5 road trip the Wild have been earning 1.19 points per game). An interesting point is that the team in 11th place after 41 games has made the playoffs in the last two seasons (Dallas last year and Anaheim two years ago) so the Wild are practically guaranteed a spot.