Measuring Success: Part 2 - Wins and Losses

In part one of my "Measuring Success" series, we compared how the Carolina Hurricanes performed against the rest of the league regarding the entry draft.  Somewhat surprisingly to some of you, the results of the analysis were pretty good for the Hurricanes.  While they did not end up at the top of the league, they were not at the bottom, either.  I think it would be fair to categorize their draft results as average.  

In part two of this series, we will compare the actual number of games won by the franchise to the results of the other teams in the league.  Since this is a "what have you done for me lately" society, we will be reviewing the records over the past four years, which is a significant point in time because of the changes to the game after the lockout..

The following charts show the total number of wins only.  The numbers do not include the number of overtime losses or losses after a shootout.  Carolina finished with 180 regular season wins over the four year period, finishing eighth best in the league and third best in the East. 

 

Regular Season Wins
2006-2009 seasons
Detroit 213
San Jose 197
New Jersey 192
Buffalo 185
Dallas 184
Nashville 181
Anaheim 180
Carolina 180
Ottawa 179
Calgary 177
Vancouver 175
Montreal 172
NY Rangers 171
Minnesota 170
Colorado 163
Pittsburgh 161
Boston 158
Atlanta 153
Philadelphia 153
Edmonton 152
Florida 151
Toronto 151
Washington 150
Chicago 143
Columbus 143
Phoenix 143
Tampa Bay 142
NY Islanders 137
Los Angeles 135
St. Louis

129

 

Obviously, Detroit is head and shoulders above the rest of the league.  The salary cap limitation has not slowed down their success one bit.  But the richest team in the league, Toronto, has not been in the post season since the salary cap was instituted. 

Also, for all of the northern conjecture about the teams in the Southeast Division being the worst, we see that four out of the five teams with the lowest win totals are not from that division. 

Now let's look at the playoff win totals.

 

Playoff Wins
2006-2009 seasons
Detroit 43
Anaheim 34
Pittsburgh 31
Carolina 24
Buffalo 20
San Jose 20
Ottawa 18
Edmonton 15
Dallas 14
New Jersey 14
NY Rangers 14
Philadelphia 13
Vancouver 11
Boston 10
Calgary 10
Washington 10
Chicago 9
Colorado 8
Montreal 7
Nashville 4
Minnesota 3
Tampa Bay 3
NY Islanders 1
Atlanta 0
Columbus 0
Florida 0
Los Angeles 0
Phoenix 0
St. Louis 0
Toronto 0

 

Carolina fares very well in this comparison.  Obviously, the four Cup winners will be at the top over the course of the four years, especially with Pittsburgh and Detroit meeting in the finals for two consecutive years.  But these results indicate that the Hurricanes were not a "one and done" team.

We can also see that regular season success does not always translate to the post season.  Nashville, Dallas, New Jersey, and San Jose can vouch for that.   

Last but not least, let's total up the two columns and see the results.

Total Wins
2006-2009 seasons
Detroit 256
San Jose 217
Anaheim 214
New Jersey 206
Buffalo 205
Carolina 204
Dallas 198
Ottawa 197
Pittsburgh 192
Calgary 187
Vancouver 186
Nashville 185
NY Rangers 185
Montreal 179
Minnesota 173
Colorado 171
Boston 168
Edmonton 167
Philadelphia 166
Washington 160
Atlanta 153
Chicago 152
Florida 151
Toronto 151
Tampa Bay 145
Columbus 143
Phoenix 143
NY Islanders 138
Los Angeles 135
St. Louis 129

 

Once again, Carolina is near the top of the league.  They have the sixth most combination wins in the NHL and are third best in the East.   Surprisingly, none of the teams in Canada placed in the top five.  Also, the five bottom feeders with the fewest wins are not from the Southeast Division. 

Even though the franchise did not make it back to the playoffs two consecutive years after winning the Stanley Cup, they were not exactly wallowing in last place, either.  They had a respectable record and they were still winning games.

ESPN Magazine stole my thunder a bit with their recent ranking of the Carolina franchise as number two out of all major sports franchises.  We will review those results in our next analysis.  Also, in part three of the Canes Country series coming out next week, we will look at other examples of success, like attendance, (compared to population density), popularity, and profitability.

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