Each week until the end of the regular season, we’ll use the KRACH to project the final point totals for each Hockey East team. You’ll be able to follow along and see who moves up and who moves down, as well as movement as far as potentially playoff lineups.
Using the KRACH, which is a mathematical ranking system that gives us a theoretical winning percentage, we can project the number of points earned from now until the end of the regular season, which gives us a projected final standings and playoff matchups.
It’s important to remember that with so few league games (24), and most teams having anywhere from 6-8 games remaining (that’s as much as 33% of a team’s schedule), this will change from week to week. You’ll also notice on the table below that many teams are separated by a mere point. In two cases, teams are projected to tie. The likelihood of the final standings looking exactly as we project them today is slim, but this is still a fun way to follow the end of the season, watching who the biggest movers are.
[table id=64 /]
Boston College and Northeastern are currently projected to finish in a first-place tie atop the league. Right now, they’ve split the season series. Merrimack and UVM are projected to tie for 10th, meaning UVM’s sweep over the Warriors this past weekend could prove to be huge.
Current first-round playoff matchups are projected to be the following:
(6) UMass Lowell vs. (11) Merrimack
(7) Connecticut vs. (10) Vermont
(8) New Hampshire vs. (9) Massachusetts
BC, Northeastern, Providence BU and Maine are all projected to receive first-round byes. Maine would visit BU in the quarterfinals.
Merrimack closes the regular season with UMass Lowell, meaning there’s the possibility those teams play five times in a row, if a first-round series went three games. Also, we’re projecting the final home ice spot to be separated by just three points.
From a Merrimack perspective, games against UNH and UMass are perhaps the “biggest” when it comes to home ice, because the Warriors can also take away points from teams they’re competing against for those slots. However, the Warriors are going to have to makeup points against Maine, BU and UMass Lowell as well.