Yes, okay, I'm the new kid on the block relatively speaking. And I've been basically quiet since the cup games. But still. Don't panic. In a team sport, average margin of victory is usually the best indicator of how good or how bad a team actually is. It is also a good indicator of how lucky a team is. So the next time you're debating with someone about what teams are good, which ones are bad, which ones are for real and which ones have been lucky. Just take a quick buzz through goals for and goals against. Goals for, minus goals against, divided by number of games. Here's why.
A team that, on average, gives up more goals than it scores should have a losing record. A team that scores about as many as it allows, should be about .500. And a team that scores more than allowed should have a winning record. So for example, Toronto, really should be about .500. Yes they've been playing well. Yes they have talent. But it's likely that they've also been pretty lucky, because otherwise they would be closer to .500. Meanwhile, Washington, Pittsburgh and Philly are all for real.
Boston's record is only marginally worse than Ottawas. But if you look at how the two teams have actually played, the Bruins have been much better. In fact it'd be fairly difficult to argue that any team was worse than ottawa right now. I mean okay, the Blue Jackets are probably that bad, but that's about it.
Essentially what I'm saying is, that we don't need to panic. The Bruins have had some unlucky bounces, in aggregate, as compared to other teams. And the teams in front of Boston have been "lucky" in essence to have squeaked the wins they have. As the season progresses everything will continue to gradually approach the mean. Boston will climb. Toronto will fall. Ottawa will drop like a potato with feathers glued to it after being thrown out a window. And the B's will be peaking just in time to beat their way through the playoffs to another cup hoisting.
Don't panic. Trust in math if you can. And if not, trust in Timmy, he's more or less as certain as math anyway.