Sabres Season in Segments

The other day I was listening to NHL Home Ice on XM Radio.  They did an interview with Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland and he had some interesting things to say. He talked about about the 82 game NHL schedule being long and that it was easier to assess the teams play by breaking it into 10 game segments.

As a football fan, I am used to breaking the season into quarters so this doesn't seem like to much of a stretch.  The goal for a NFL team is to go 3-1 in every quarter of the season which would guarantee a playoff spot with a 12-4 record.  There is a margin for error because 11-5 and 10-6 could still earn a team a playoff spot.

The shorter segments make a teams goal more immediate and they also allow a team that is struggling to get a fresh start when they start the next 10 game segment.

The goal that Ken Holland set forth was a record of 6-4 (12 points) in each 10 game segment.  If that goal is reached a team would have 96 points at the end of 80 games.  The 96 point total should be enough to make the playoffs and the 82 game schedule means there are still two extra games.

I decided to break down the last couple of seasons and give you an idea of where the Sabres failed their goal and missed the playoffs.

 

2007-2008 2008-2009
 Games Record Points Earned +/- points Total Points  Games Record Points Earned +/- points Total Points
 1-10 5-5-0 10 -2 10  1-10 6-2-2 14 2  14 
 11-20 4-5-1 9 -3 19  11-20 3-6-1 7 -5  21 
 21-30 6-4-0 12 0 31  21-30 6-4-0 12 0  33 
 31-40 4-4-2 10 -2 41  31-40 5-3-2 12 0  45 
 41-50 4-3-3 11 -1 52  41-50 6-4-0 12 0  57 
 51-60 6-2-2 14 2 66  51-60 5-4-1 11 -1  68 
 61-70 3-4-3 9 -3 75  61-70 3-5-2 8 -4  76 
 71-80 6-3-1 13 1 88  71-80 5-4-1 11 -1  87 
 81-82 1-1-0 2 - 90  81-82 2-0-0 4 -  91 

 

The table above is a clear indication as to why the this team missed the playoffs. The 2008-2009 team was on track to be a playoff team until they had a late season collapse that coincided with the injury of Ryan Miller. The 2007-2008 team never had a chance from the beginning of the season.

This season the Sabres started the season better than any season since 2006-2007 when they started 10-0. The first 10 game segment of this season was actually the best 10 game segment since the playoff teams of a couple seasons ago.

 

2009-2010
 Games Record Points Earned +/- points Total Points
 1-10 8-1-1 17 5 17
 11-20 2-3-0 4 -8 21
 21-30 19
 31-40 19
 41-50 19
 51-60 19
 61-70 19
 71-80 19
 81-82 19

 

The second 10 game segment is not off to a very good start for the Sabres. The extra points that were earned in the first 10 games will be necessary to balance situations like the current situation for the team.  There is plenty of time to turn things around and start playing like they did in October.

I have included the numbers for the two seasons after the lockout when the Sabres were a playoff team and a team that went to the Eastern Conference Finals two seasons in a row.

 

2005-2006 2006-2007
 Games Record Points Earned +/- points Total Points  Games Record Points Earned +/- points Total Points
 1-10 6-4-0 12 0 12  1-10 10-0-0 20 8  20 
 11-20 5-5-0 10 -2 22  11-20 6-3-1 13 1  33 
 21-30 8-1-1 17 5 39  21-30 7-2-1 15 3  48 
 31-40 7-2-1 15 3 54  31-40 6-3-1 13 1  61 
 41-50 6-3-1 13 1 67  41-50 4-5-1 9 0  70 
 51-60 7-1-2 16 4 83  51-60 7-2-1 15 3  85 
 61-70 5-5-0 10 -2 93  61-70 6-4-0 12 0  97 
 71-80 6-3-1 13 1 106  71-80 6-2-2 14 2  111 
 81-82 2-0-0 4 - 110  81-82 1-1-0 2 -  113 
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