The following is a comment I made on Spector's Soapbox, about the Canucks and the playoffs.
I keep seeing this thing about the Canucks not ‘having playoff success’ recently.
They’ve made the 2nd round of the playoffs 3 out of the last 4 years. The only other teams to have done that were San Jose, Detroit and Pittsburgh. Those are pretty damned good teams.
There is a lot more luck involved in the playoffs than most people would like to believe, just because it’s only a 7 game series. That’s how you can get Cinderella teams.
Even Detroit, as dominating as they’ve been in the last 20 years have ‘only’ won the Cup 4 times.
The Canucks have the best chance this year to win the Cup, but it’s not even 50%. Out of the last 21 Playoffs, the seeded team won the Cup:
1st – 6
2nd – 2
3rd – 2
4th – 4
5th – 2
6th – 2
7th – 1
8th – 1
9th – 1
So 14/21 times the Cup winner has come from the top 4 seeds. The 9th place one was New Jersey in the lockout year of 95, so that could have been skewed.
The bottom line is that finishing top 4 is much, much better than finishing below that. Also, just from randomness you would expect one or two of those ‘great’ teams to not win.
This is one of those topics that just looking at statistics makes you realize it doesn’t mean much. It’s the same thing as the ‘winning percentage when scoring first’ (about 60%…but the winning percentage when scoring 2nd is about 59%, and 3rd is about 58%…which means that scoring goals wins games. This doesn’t seem to come as a surprise to me).