Archive for the ‘Playoffs’ Category

Explanation of what this is.

Last Post’s Results 

Twelve games remain for the Plymouth Whalers and they are fighting to make it to the playoffs for their final season in the OHL. Evidence that this team has not given up can be seen last Saturday where the team won the faceoff and broke the tie with 5.3 seconds remaining in the third.

The Whalers continue their Home-Home-Away against Sarnia tonight looking to gain ground on slumping Saginaw. Let’s look at tonight’s games.

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

  • Matchup | Ideal Result | Actual Result | Playoff % Effect
  • Ottawa @ Windsor | Ottawa Reg. Win | *** | ****%
  • Sarnia @ Plymouth | Plymouth Reg. Win | *** | ****%

Plymouth Whalers Playoff Chance

  • Before Games: 5.4%
  • After Games: ****%
  • Change: ****%

Explanation of what this is.

Yesterday’s Results 

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

  • Matchup | Ideal Result | Actual Result | Playoff % Effect
  • Sudbury @ Plymouth | Plymouth Reg. Win | xxxx | +0.4%
  • Guelph @ Saginaw | Guelph Reg. Win | xxxx | +0.7%
  • Kitchener @ Windsor | Kitchener Reg. Win | xxxx | +0.2%

Plymouth Whalers Playoff Chance

  • Before Games: 2.7%
  • After Games: xxxx%
  • Change: xxxx%

Explanation of what this is.

Yesterday’s Results 

Friday, January 16th, 2015

  • Matchup | Ideal Result | Actual Result | Playoff % Effect
  • Windsor @ London | London Reg. Win | London 5 – Windsor 2 | +0.3%
  • Sudbury @ Saginaw | Sudbury Reg. Win | Saginaw 4 – Sudbury 1 | -0.4%
  • Plymouth @ Sarnia | Plymouth Reg. Win | Sarnia 5 – Plymouth 2 | -1.2%
  • Oshawa @ Kitchener | Oshawa Reg. Win | Kitchener 3 – Oshawa 2 | -0.2%

Plymouth Whalers Playoff Chance

  • Before Games: 4.7%
  • After Games: 2.7%
  • Change: –2.0%

Explanation of what this is.

Yesterday’s Results 

Sunday, January 10th, 2015

  • Matchup | Ideal Result | Actual Result | Playoff % Effect
  • Kitchener @ Guelph | Guelph Reg. Win | xxxx | +4.0%

Plymouth Whalers Playoff Chance

  • Before Games: 3.9%
  • After Games: xxxx%
  • Change: xxxx%

I saw this in the Detroit Red Wings subreddit and thought it would be perfect here. Here’s the idea:

The Standings Game is something I put together every day for this subreddit so we can keep track of our race to a playoff berth. It is essentially a list of the most ideal results for all NHL games (with respect to Detroit’s position in the standings) on a given night. I will only assign ideal outcomes to games that affect the Eastern Conference standings.

I will also make a note of which games are most important to our current situation in the standings. These will mostly be divisional games, however they can also include games where a team is threatening to remove us from a Wild Card position, or games with a significant statistical impact on Detroit’s playoff chances.

At the end of each night’s schedule, I will update the list with the actual results, as well as indicate how the game affected our statistical probability of making the playoffs. Games that have an insignificant or near-zero effect on our standings will be denoted with a +/-0.0% value. Games regarding teams that have already clinched a playoff berth or been statistically eliminated will not be listed, unless their opponent is of relevance to Detroit’s standings.

Please note that there might be some numbers that don’t quite make sense, or percentages that may change in the middle of an evening of games. I’ll do my best to update and explain these, but if anything seems off or confusing, feel free to ask!

Note: all ideal results are assumed to be regulation victories, unless otherwise noted.

So I will consult Sports Club Stats and try to show who we should root for as the Whalers try to dig out of the hole that they are in and make the playoffs for a 24th straight year.

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

  • Matchup | Ideal Result | Actual Result | Playoff % Effect
  • Windsor @ Kingston | Kingston Reg. Win |   Windsor 3 – Kingston 2  (OT) | -0.3%
  • North Bay @ Saginaw | North Bay Reg. Win | North Bay 3 – Saginaw 2  | +0.8%
  • Guelph @ Sarnia | Guelph Reg. Win | Guelph 3 – Sarnia 5 | -0.1%
  • SSM @ Plymouth | Plymouth Reg. Win | SSM 3 – Plymouth 0 | -1.2%

Plymouth Whalers Playoff Chance

  • Before Games: 5.5%
  • After Games: 3.9%
  • Change: -1.6%


This weekend we saw the top team in the OHL host our Plymouth Whalers. Plymouth came in knowing that they were the underdog. There were many predictions of a sweep, the Whalers are trying to give Guelph a run for their money.

GAME ONE: Plymouth 2 – Guelph 5
Whalers struck first blood in the series with a Carter Sandlak powerplay goal. Later in the period the Storm tie the game with a powerplay tally of their own. At the first intermission the score was tied, but the shots on goal stat (18-3) showed that the ice was tilted in favor of the Storm.

Then this happened…

What I said on Twitter at the time: 

I think that Rathgeb’s hit looks worse when it is slowed down. I think it was more of a mistimed hit. Had Fabbri not been held up by Ned, the hit would have been along the boards. This game moves fast.

I still hold by that statement. I have been trying to find a clip of the hit, but have been unable to find one.

And this happened….

Now the Whalers are down two players, not just for the rest of the game, but for at least the rest of this round. Rathgeb is out indefinitely pending review from the league. Sandlak is out a minimum of three games according to the OHL Media Notes.

Guelph was able to score a goal in the second period along with another two goals in the third to give them a 4-1 lead. Plymouth was able to pull Nedeljkovic for the extra man and pull the game within two with forty seconds remaining, but Guelph chipped home an empty netter and sealed the win for game one.

GAME TWO: Plymouth 0 – Guelph 3
Plymouth started the game missing both Sandlak and Rathgeb and after 3:25 of play in the first period, they ended up missing Ryan Hartman who was thrown out of the game for arguing with the refs.

Still, being down three players, the Wahlers still made it a close game. Storm goaltender, Justin Nichols, still had to make a number of key saves to keep the Whalers off the board.

After two games, we have seen great goaltending from Nedeljkovc, great shot blocking from the defense, frustration from the Whaler players, and some gritty hockey. As the series now shifts to Compuware Arena the Whalers need to settle down and stop taking stupid  penalties. That will be the key to possibly stealing one of these games.

I really want to do some sort of pun on how the Whalers soundly beat the Attack, but I will leave that for better people than I. Now that the Whalers are in the Western Conference Finals a lot of OHL fans are joining the Whalers bandwagon, for which I welcome. Let us unite, just for this two week period to unseat the defending OHL champion.

First a quick catch up for those that may not know about the Whalers…

Where is Plymouth?

About 20 miles (32 km) west of Detroit, MI

Wait, you’re an American OHL team?

Yep, moving forward.

I don’t think I can root for an American team…

Just go with it… Do you really want to see London in the OHL Final? No? Good! Moving on…

Are the Whalers the underdogs here?

In a sense, yes. I mean they are going up against the New York Yankees of the OHL.

Even after 22 straight seasons in the playoffs?

Don’t let facts ruin a good story.

How did the Whalers get here?

The Whalers finished the season as the top team in the West Division and that places them in the second seed in the Western Conference. They are in the playoffs for the 22nd year in a row. In the first round they swept a struggling Sarnia Sting team and had nine days rest until game one of the second round. The Whalers needed six games against the Owen Sound Attack to move on to the third round of playoff action for the first time since 2007.

How banged up are the Whalers?

With any playoff run any team is going to get some bumps and bruises. Here is a list of the players who have missed games this postseason run:

Wilson – Missed three games in the Semifinal against the Attack, but was back for games five and six.

Hartman – Wrist was cut in game three of the Semifinal round. There is no current timetable for his return.

Curcuruto – Has been out since late in game two of the Semifinal round with an upper body injury. Word is that he is day-to-day.

Sills – Missed a check during a game in Owen Sound and was visibly shaken up both on his way to the bench and when he was on the bench.

Mistele – Missed six game due to a suspension after game one against the Sting. Returned for game four against the Attack.

Didn’t London beat the Whalers 3-1 in the season series?

Yeah, but here is the one thing that is important when looking at that fact. The last time the Whalers and Knight met was at Compuware Sports Arena on December 29th. Since then the Whalers traded away Zach Bratina, Simon Karlsson, and Alex Aleardi and have acquired Vincent Trocheck, Zach Lorentz, and Sebastian Uvira at the trade deadline. Not to mention the return of Mitchell Heard to the line up. This is a different team then the one that face the Knights at the beginning of the season. In fact the Whalers was the best team in the OHL during the second half. We can take solace that the one game we did win was at Budweiser Gardens in October.

I know this might mean nothing, but prior to the Knights 2012 appearance in the OHL finals they last reached the final round in 2006 while the Whalers were knocked out in the second round. The next year the Whalers and Knights met in the third round and the Whalers moved on to the OHL Final. Compare that with last year, Whalers out in the second round, Knights in the Final, could we see a repeat of history? Time will only tell.

It is well known that this is going to be a great series to watch. I think that the Whalers are going to set the tone in game one and maybe catch the London Knights flat footed early on. Everyone should just sit back and enjoy.