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.
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.
- 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.