Puckline Record: 53-29
The Blue Jackets were an excellent puck line team in 2014 as they finished 14 games over .500 in that regard – the best in the NHL. The math is quite simple: they scored an average of 2.76 goals per game and allowed an average of 2.61. That means their 0.15 differential served them quite well when getting the extra puck. This is a team that – while improving – was still an underdog more times than not. That will probably change next year after a quality showing in the postseason.
Puckline Record: 52-30
The Flames were also fantastic on the puck line but their story was quite different. Early on in the season, they were one of the worst teams in the league. In their first 58 games, their differential was -0.74. In the last 24 games, that climbed to 0.29, which was a huge improvement.
The Flames proved to be greatly undervalued by the end of the season. They were left for dead with just 16 wins in their first 50 games but they actually finished the year 19-13-0. They were an underdog in many of those situations and paid off handsomely. If you look at their numbers getting +1.5 – which is likely the situation that they were in down the stretch of the season more often than not – they covered that spread in 19 of their final 22 games. That’s why they finished second in this category.
Puckline Record: 48-34
The Jets were a great puckline play no matter how you looked at it. That’s because whether you laid the -1.5 expecting them to win or took them +1.5 expect them to lose by a small enough margin, you did pretty well. In the Jets 37 wins this season, they won by an average of 1.57 goals. But in the Jets 45 losses, they fell short by an average margin of -1.56. That means they were pretty much covering most of the time looking both ways.
Puckline Record: 46-36
The Flyers proved to be a pretty good puck line play this season mostly because of their margin of victory. They won 42 games on the moneyline but at a closer look, their average margin of victory was 2.00 goals per game. That means they were cashing on the -1.5 plenty because their opponents weren’t very close in those games.
The issue for the Flyers is that they also didn’t cover many +1.5 spreads either. They only scored 1.80 goals per game in their defeats and lost by an average of 1.95 goals per game. Had they played better in those games, they could have definitely elevated themselves in the standings here.