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|
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.
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.
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.