One of the more interesting seasons to study should be the 1994-95 season.  Sandwiched in between two 84-game seasons (1992-93 and 1993-94) and the beginning of the 82-game schedule (1995-96), this was also unique in that it only featured 48 games per team due to the first lockout.  In addition, all regular seasons games were played only within the conference.

The bottom of the leaguewide PDO table in 1994-95 has the usual cast of suspects, but is notable for two reasons.  One is that Ottawa finally climbed out of the PDO basement but not the actual basement of the standings, and the other is that for the fourth year in a row, the Boston Bruins made the playoffs despite being well below 100%.  The latter trend will continue on; I’m not sure why exactly.

Team GF S GA SA EN S% SV% TmSV% PDO AdjPDO
Quebec 185 1448 134 1454 1 12.776 0.908 0.908 103.560 103.567
Pittsburgh 181 1400 158 1576 2 12.929 0.900 0.900 102.903 102.916
St. Louis 178 1411 135 1356 0 12.615 0.900 0.900 102.659 102.659
Buffalo 130 1276 119 1456 2 10.188 0.918 0.918 102.015 102.026
Detroit 180 1571 117 1206 0 11.458 0.903 0.903 101.756 101.756
Calgary 163 1451 135 1401 7 11.234 0.904 0.904 101.598 101.646
Chicago 156 1443 115 1191 4 10.811 0.903 0.904 101.155 101.187
Philadelphia 150 1314 132 1287 2 11.416 0.897 0.898 101.159 101.175
San Jose 129 1152 161 1511 6 11.198 0.893 0.894 100.543 100.585
Florida 115 1191 127 1361 5 9.656 0.907 0.907 100.324 100.359
Washington 136 1386 120 1186 6 9.812 0.899 0.899 99.694 99.745
Winnipeg 157 1428 177 1541 4 10.994 0.885 0.885 99.508 99.538
New Jersey 136 1444 121 1217 1 9.418 0.901 0.901 99.476 99.484
Montreal 125 1376 148 1529 3 9.084 0.903 0.903 99.405 99.424
Los Angeles 142 1443 174 1661 7 9.841 0.895 0.896 99.365 99.409
Toronto 135 1520 146 1524 8 8.882 0.904 0.905 99.302 99.352
Hartford 127 1428 141 1467 7 8.894 0.904 0.904 99.282 99.328
Vancouver 153 1579 148 1419 2 9.690 0.896 0.896 99.260 99.274
Dallas 136 1520 135 1386 2 8.947 0.903 0.903 99.207 99.221
Anaheim 125 1346 164 1580 6 9.287 0.896 0.897 98.907 98.946
Tampa Bay 120 1280 144 1320 5 9.375 0.891 0.891 98.466 98.507
NY Rangers 139 1529 134 1261 2 9.091 0.894 0.894 98.464 98.481
NY Islanders 126 1357 158 1445 3 9.285 0.891 0.891 98.351 98.374
Ottawa 117 1247 174 1555 6 9.383 0.888 0.889 98.193 98.236
Boston 150 1651 127 1166 2 9.085 0.891 0.891 98.193 98.212
Edmonton 136 1427 183 1466 3 9.530 0.875 0.875 97.048 97.073

“The Range”

The brief study I did on the 2007-08 to 2015-16 seasons showed a clear delineation on likelihood of playoff appearances outside of a certain range: above 100.9% meant a very likely playoff berth, and below 99.2% meant a very likely early date on the golf course.

In 1994-95:

  • One team had a PDO of 103.0% or higher, and they made the playoffs
  • Three teams had a PDO of 102.0% to 102.9%; all three made the playoffs
  • Four teams had a PDO of 101.0% to 101.9%; all four made the playoffs
  • Two teams had a PDO of 100.0% to 100.9%; one made the playoffs and one missed
  • Nine teams had a PDO of 99.0% to 99.9%; five made the playoffs and four missed
  • Six teams had a PDO of 98.0% to 98.9%; two made the playoffs while four missed
  • One team had a PDO of 97.0% to 97.9%, which missed the playoffs

The actual distribution of teams is a bit odd compared to other years.  I would speculate that, with a full 82-game season and games against the opposite conference, the distribution would look slightly more normal.  Of course, I have no way of knowing if this is true or not.

Into the playoffs we go!

In the first round:

  • NY Rangers (lower) beat Quebec (higher)
  • Philadelphia (lower) beat Buffalo (higher)
  • Pittsburgh (higher) beat Washington (lower)
  • New Jersey (higher) beat Boston (lower)
  • Detroit (higher) beat Dallas (lower)
  • San Jose (lower) beat Calgary (higher)
  • Vancouver (lower) beat St. Louis (higher)
  • Chicago (higher) beat Toronto (lower)

In the first round, the lower PDO team had a 4-4 series record.

In the second round:

  • Philadelphia (higher) beat NY Rangers (lower)
  • New Jersey (lower) beat Pittsburgh (higher)
  • Detroit (higher) beat San Jose (lower)
  • Chicago (higher) beat Vancouver (lower)

Higher PDO teams were 3-1.

And the rest of the way:

  • Detroit (higher) beat Chicago (lower)
  • New Jersey (lower) beat Philadelphia (higher)
  • New Jersey (lower) beat Detroit (higher)

Higher PDO teams had an overall 8-7 series record against lower PDO teams.