Comparing Avalanche Season Projections

Via NHL.com

For the past two years, the Avalanche have been the favorite or near-favorite in every public model gambling book. However, following a season of key personnel losses in the forward group and net, the Avalanche have slid in ranking in several of these models.

Here’s a look at where the Avalanche land in projection models from around the hockey community. If you enjoy hockey analytics or want to learn more, please consider following and/or subscribing to the analysts and mathematicians who help make data and stats understandable and available to the public. They help us see the sport in new ways every day.

HockeyViz (Micah Blake McCurdy and @IneffectiveMath)

Season Projection from HockeyViz

HockeyViz project the Avs finishing 7th in the league with 95.8 points and a 74% chance of making the playoffs with a standard deviation of 8.4. The model has the Avs with a 25% chance of finishing first in the division — tied with the Wild.

HockeyViz’s model projects the Avs with the lowest number of points among the gathered projections. The team seems to be hurt by weak goaltending and a difficult schedule. However, the Avs also benefit from multiple games against the league’s weakest teams in the Coyotes and Blackhawks. HockeyViz has the Avs heavily favored in these matchups, but the Avalanche also lost two games against Arizona last year — one in regulation.

I feel it’s unlikely the Capitals finish second in the league, but if they do, the Avs will certainly miss Darcy Kuemper, especially if weak goaltending affects the team in the way HockeyViz projects.

The Athletic (Dom Luszczyszyn and @domluszczyszyn)

Avalanche Season Projection for The Athletic

Dom Luszczyszyn has been using his model to predict seasonal standings for the NHL since the 2016-17 season. The Avalanche led the model last year by a massive margin. This year, however, Dom’s model, which uses GSVA (Goal Score Value Added), has the Avs finishing third in the league with 106.6 points. They have the best odds to win the division but are predicted to lose the Western Conference to the Calgary Flames while Toronto is the favorite to win the President’s Trophy with 110.5 points. The Arizona Coyotes take up the rear with the lowest projection of 62.4 points.

The Athletic’s depth charts miss out on including Ben Meyers, so it’s unknown what value he will add to line up. Most likely, it’ll be better than Jayson Megna’s -0.4 GSVA, but he’s almost a complete unknown at the moment. Samuel Girard’s below-average play in 2021-22 and weak goaltending also hurt the Avs’ projection, but not nearly as much as the losses of Nazem Kadri, Andre Burakovsky, and Darcy Kuemper.

Like Dom, Shayna Goldman, and Sean Gentille write in their analysis, the Avs might have a slow start to the season and miss out on the President’s Trophy, but that’s not really their main focus, anyway.

Moneypuck (@MoneyPuckdotcom)

Playoff Projections from MoneyPuck

MoneyPuck’s circular playoff graph carries a cult following in the hockey community – along with the site’s oft-ironic Deserve To Win O’Meter. This year, MoneyPuck projects the Avalanche to finish with 107.2 points, a total good for first place in the regular season. However, the site favors the Flames slightly in Stanley Cup odds, with Calgary edging out Colorado 8.3% to 8%.

Arizona wins the contest for last place, but projects to finish 70.4 points, a remarkably high value in comparison with both last year’s results and other statistical projections. MoneyPuck also has the Devils finishing 97.4 points and the Capitals with 93.8, enough to push the Rangers out of the playoffs entirely.

JFresh (@JFreshHockey)

JFresh’s model, which uses a WAR Roster Builder, did well in predicting last year’s totals and had the Avs winning the league with a massive projection of 119 points, though they ended up finishing second. This year, the model is quite a bit lower on the Avs’ regular season success with them finishing second or third in the league with 105 points.

The projection doesn’t predict any teams to finish over 110 points this year, though it includes Chicago in last place with a relatively low total of 65 points. Goaltending is favored — raising the Capitals and Rangers. JFresh expressed some uncertainty with the projection, especially the totals of Carolina, Toronto, and Boston.

I agree with the uncertainty on those teams, but the Avalanche prediction feels pretty good. The team lost quite a bit of depth during the offseason, so it’s no surprise they took a step back in statistical models. The team has a bit of a mystery in net with Alexandar Georgiev, so models that like statistically-sound goaltenders like Darcy Kuemper will predict a drop in points for the Avalanche.

Evolving-Hockey (@EvolvingHockey)

Season Projections from Evolving-Hockey

Evolving-Hockey, created by Josh and Luke Younggren, projects the Avalanche finishing first in the Central and first in the league with 110 points with a standard deviation of 8.0, the same projected finishing position as 2021-22. The margin of victory is slim, though — only 0.2 projected points above the Maple Leafs and 0.7 above the Flames. Evolving-Hockey’s model is a bit wider in projection than HockeyViz and JFresh, too, with the Blackhawks barely cracking 60 and three teams below 70 points in the standing. Nine teams are projected above 100 points

Once again, the Avs benefit from a weak division. Despite losing 10.6 points in their projected finish, the Avs still hold first place in the Central. Also, once again, the Wild are projected to take second in the division.

Top Down Hockey (Patrick Bacon and @TopDownHockey)

Season Projections from Top Down Hockey

Today’s final model from Top Down Hockey, created by Patrick Bacon, predicts the Avalanche to finish second in the league with 107.2 points, two points behind the Florida Panthers. That’s the fifth different team predicted to win the league, with the Avalanche the only team predicted to win the regular season by more than one model.

Top Down Hockey has the lowest point value of any of the models — with Chicago predicted to finish with a pretty abysmal 58.8 points. Here the projections find a bit more agreement as they all have either the Blackhawks or Coyotes finishing in last place.

The Hockey Guy (TheHockeyGuy)

It’s not a statistical model, but Shannon or The Hockey Guy on Youtube picked the Avalanche as his preseason team to win the Stanley Cup. Well, it’s always good to have The Hockey Guy on the Avs’ side.

Summary

Model:Points:Standing:
HockeyViz95.87
The Athletic106.63
MoneyPuck107.21
JFresh1052/3
Evolving-Hockey1101
Top Down Hockey107.22

Average Points Projection: 105.3

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