NHL Playoff Predictor 2014 Stanley Cup Finals

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Well we’re at the finals now! Let’s check how the simulator did:

Eastern Conference
Montreal       0.432 0.161
NY_Rangers     0.568 0.250

Western Conference
Chicago        0.525 0.318
Los_Angeles    0.475 0.271

1/2, a solid 50%. That leaves us at a record of 6/14, and guaranteed to get less than 50% of the predictions right. This is the worst performance of the simulator, but lets just point out that a lot of the favourites lost this year, and of course these are all weighted coinflips.

From the series themselves, the Blackhawks made it a series and almost pulled out a win in what looked like a pretty exciting game 7. In the East, the Rangers look like they outclassed the Canadiens, but I’d say that losing Carey Price was a pretty big blow no matter how well Tokarski played for him.

Anyway, what does the Stanley cup final look like?

Stanley Cup Final
NY_Rangers     0.455
Los_Angeles    0.545

I don’t think anyone will be surprised that the Kings are the favourites. But the teams are pretty darned close – they are very similar in goal differential, and as a result I wouldn’t be surprised to see this series go 6 or 7 games and for the Rangers to have a real shot.

Should be interesting, anyway!

Herald

NHL Playoff Predictor 2014 Round 3

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Sorry this post is late. I’ve been moving house so in the chaos of that I couldn’t get this post done in time for the start of round 3. Let’s see how we did in the 2nd round:

Atlantic Division
Boston         0.800 0.577 0.400
Montreal       0.200 0.079 0.029

Metropolitan Division
Pittsburgh     0.563 0.206 0.102
NY_Rangers     0.437 0.138 0.060

Central Division
Chicago        0.690 0.331 0.136
Minnesota      0.310 0.095 0.024

Pacific Division
Anaheim        0.572 0.347 0.160
Los_Angeles    0.428 0.227 0.090

The favourites went down in 3/4 of the matches, which leaves our simulator at 5/12. Not doing well this year, but keep in mind that this is going to happen with what amounts to coin flipping. Montreal coming out on top was the biggest upset – I didn’t watch very much of the series, but it kind of looked like a lot of that was Carey Price just shutting the door. Chicago was the other clear favourite, and they had some trouble with Minnesota it looked like but managed to finish it off anyway.

Let’s set up round 3. I know the result of the first game of Montreal vs NY, but the simulator didn’t have that recorded. So here is its predictions for the 3rd round:

Eastern Conference
Montreal       0.432 0.161
NY_Rangers     0.568 0.250

Western Conference
Chicago        0.525 0.318
Los_Angeles    0.475 0.271

Yay, coinflipping! These two series are pretty close, but NY has the slight edge which will contradict some of the odds since Montreal technically finished higher. Chicago is ahead of LA by a narrow margin. Should be interesting to see what happens from here!

Herald

NHL Playoff Predictor 2014 Round 2

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Well that was certainly a first round! Let’s see how we did in this new playoff format.

Atlantic Division
Boston       0.864 0.674 0.507 0.346
Tampa_Bay    0.559 0.162 0.080 0.032
Montreal     0.441 0.112 0.049 0.017
Detroit      0.136 0.052 0.018 0.005

Metropolitan Division
Pittsburgh   0.622 0.380 0.153 0.074
NY_Rangers   0.619 0.298 0.105 0.044
Philadelphia 0.381 0.136 0.033 0.010
Columbus     0.378 0.186 0.056 0.020

Central Division
Colorado     0.625 0.244 0.104 0.039
St_Louis     0.572 0.387 0.217 0.110
Chicago      0.428 0.263 0.130 0.057
Minnesota    0.375 0.106 0.033 0.009

Pacific Division
Anaheim      0.717 0.391 0.219 0.107
San_Jose     0.549 0.294 0.158 0.073
Los_Angeles  0.451 0.220 0.107 0.046
Dallas       0.283 0.095 0.033 0.009

All told, the simulator goes 4/8. There were a couple of series that it predicted would be close that it got “wrong” in the St Louis/Chicago, Tampa Bay/Montreal and Los Angeles/San Jose series. The big upset of the first round was Minnesota knocking off the Avalanche. Oops.

So let’s see what’s in store for round two:

Atlantic Division
Boston         0.800 0.577 0.400
Montreal       0.200 0.079 0.029

Metropolitan Division
Pittsburgh     0.563 0.206 0.102
NY_Rangers     0.437 0.138 0.060

Central Division
Chicago        0.690 0.331 0.136
Minnesota      0.310 0.095 0.024

Pacific Division
Anaheim        0.572 0.347 0.160
Los_Angeles    0.428 0.227 0.090

Montreal draws an extremely tough Boston team now, and has an awfully uphill battle to beat them. Pittsburgh/NYR and Anaheim/LA look like really close matchups. Chicago looks fortunate to draw Minnesota instead of Colorado in round 2.

Let’s see how this one plays out, shall we?

NHL Playoff Predictor 2014

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It’s that time of year again! This time around, the NHL playoff format changed due to the realignment so I needed to do a little bit of rework on the simulator. Hopefully I didn’t introduce any new issues! Since the new format is a straight-up brackets system, it wasn’t actually that hard to adjust things… Although I punted the work to actually determine which wildcard team played in which division as future work and just put it in the right place in the input.

The new playoff format is a bit interesting. I think the tougher than normal divisions are going to be a much bigger disadvantage than normal. Before, the team that drew the 3rd place team in the conference had the chance of getting a softer starting series. Now, the team with the advantage is the one that is most likely to face a relatively weaker team in the 2nd round.

Anyway, on to the probabilities!


Atlantic Division
Boston       0.864 0.674 0.507 0.346
Tampa_Bay    0.559 0.162 0.080 0.032
Montreal     0.441 0.112 0.049 0.017
Detroit      0.136 0.052 0.018 0.005

Metropolitan Division
Pittsburgh   0.622 0.380 0.153 0.074
NY_Rangers   0.619 0.298 0.105 0.044
Philadelphia 0.381 0.136 0.033 0.010
Columbus     0.378 0.186 0.056 0.020

Central Division
Colorado     0.625 0.244 0.104 0.039
St_Louis     0.572 0.387 0.217 0.110
Chicago      0.428 0.263 0.130 0.057
Minnesota    0.375 0.106 0.033 0.009

Pacific Division
Anaheim      0.717 0.391 0.219 0.107
San_Jose     0.549 0.294 0.158 0.073
Los_Angeles  0.451 0.220 0.107 0.046
Dallas       0.283 0.095 0.033 0.009

A couple of interesting things to note. Boston is the odds on favourite to take down the cup – which is not surprising given their stellar +84 goal differential. Keep in mind though that the Eastern conference is still the much weaker of the two conferences (and Boston played in the weakest overall division). Boston also draws the only team to make the playoffs that has a negative goal differential in the Detroit Red Wings which also helps explain the boost to their chances. Pretty crazy that Columbus and Detroit exactly tie each other in points – if Columbus had eked out a single point the landscape in the Eastern conference looks pretty different! Instead, Pittsburgh draws a tougher Columbus team and the Rangers get a fairly favourable first round matchup with the Flyers.

The Western conference is a tough place to be. Check out those goal differentials! In the non-wild card teams, Los Angeles trails everyone else with “just” a +32 goal differential. (Compare that to the for the Flyers of the non-wild card Eastern conference teams). It makes for some pretty tough sledding, which is another reason Boston is so heavily favoured. The Western teams have a series of only slightly weighted coinflips along the way – meanwhile, Boston has a much easier path.

St Louis is an interesting case – they faltered incredibly down the stretch, after being so dominant earlier in the season. Since much of their +57 goal differential is from the earlier part of the season, perhaps they are over-favoured via the simulator.

Enjoy the playoffs this year, folks! I’ll be back in the 2nd round to update with the new information.

Herald

NHL Playoff Predictor 2013 – Round 4

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Boston had a much easier time with the Penguins in the East than I think most people were expecting. Pretty crazy that they got the sweep!

Pittsburgh   0.642 0.305
Boston       0.358 0.125

Chicago     0.769 0.490
Los Angeles  0.231 0.080

The predictor goes 1/2 that round bringing the overall record this playoffs to 11/14. Just one more series to predict!

Chicago     0.715
Boston       0.285

These two teams have apparently not met in the stanley cup finals before in the history of the NHL, despite both being original six teams. Seems fairly incredible. At any rate, Chicago is heavily favoured, of course, but who knows? Boston could just as easily win 4 in a row and take down another cup. Either way, we’ve got a recent cup winner going to win again. Now if only the Oilers would start winning someday soon …

Herald

NHL Playoff Predictor 2013 – Round 3

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We’re already 2 rounds down, so let’s have a look at how the predictor did!

Pittsburgh   0.702 0.462 0.242
Boston       0.533 0.225 0.090
NY Rangers   0.467 0.181 0.067
Ottawa       0.298 0.133 0.045

Chicago     0.798 0.626 0.420
Los Angeles  0.551 0.162 0.063
San Jose     0.449 0.115 0.040
Detroit      0.202 0.097 0.034

4/4 isn’t too shabby! That puts us at 10/12 for the playoffs so far. With the remaining teams all being recent cup winners, we’ve got a pretty “predictable” final four teams … so who’s the favourite? Well given that Chicago wasn’t knocked out, they’re still the heavy favourite:

Pittsburgh   0.642 0.305
Boston       0.358 0.125

Chicago     0.769 0.490
Los Angeles  0.231 0.080

Pittsburgh also has a very good shot, and with the way that Crosby is incredibly playing through his friggin’ broken jaw in style, well … I guess Pittsburgh v Chicago for the cup seems like it’d be quite exciting. We shall see how things go though!

Herald

NHL Playoff Predictor 2013 – Round 2

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The first round is already over, and this is how things stacked up from it:


Pittsburgh   0.812 0.560 0.380 0.209
Montreal     0.556 0.310 0.131 0.052
Washington   0.487 0.240 0.095 0.035
Boston       0.597 0.299 0.140 0.059
Toronto      0.403 0.162 0.060 0.020
NY Rangers   0.513 0.219 0.100 0.039
Ottawa       0.444 0.145 0.070 0.025
NY Islanders 0.188 0.064 0.023 0.006


Chicago      0.871 0.689 0.531 0.368
Anaheim      0.592 0.355 0.132 0.060
Vancouver    0.482 0.200 0.054 0.019
St Louis     0.495 0.221 0.078 0.032
Los Angeles  0.505 0.228 0.081 0.033
San Jose     0.518 0.167 0.058 0.021
Detroit      0.408 0.097 0.048 0.018
Minnesota    0.129 0.043 0.016 0.004

The predictor goes a solid 6/8 on the first round predictions, with Detroit and Ottawa being the misses. Although we got a bit of help from Boston’s unlikely 3 goal come-back in the third period of game 7.

Here’s what the next round looks like:
Pittsburgh   0.702 0.462 0.242
Boston       0.533 0.225 0.090
NY Rangers   0.467 0.181 0.067
Ottawa       0.298 0.133 0.045

Chicago     0.798 0.626 0.420
Los Angeles  0.551 0.162 0.063
San Jose     0.449 0.115 0.040
Detroit      0.202 0.097 0.034

Chicago is now the overwhelming favourite to win the cup according to the simulator. Here’s hoping the 2nd round is fun to watch!

Herald

NHL Playoff Predictor 2013 Round 1

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Gee, this blog has languished in rather unmaintained fashion. Someday I’ll give this blog the love it deserves.

At any rate, I wasn’t totally sure if the simulator would work all that well on the shortened season this year. Given that there’s less data, and teams like Chicago and Pittsburgh went on some ridiculous runs during this season … well, I don’t really know how this will go. But hey, lets give it another spin shall we? The following is a one million playoffs simulation, just like the previous ones…


Pittsburgh   0.812 0.560 0.380 0.209
Montreal     0.556 0.310 0.131 0.052
Washington   0.487 0.240 0.095 0.035
Boston       0.597 0.299 0.140 0.059
Toronto      0.403 0.162 0.060 0.020
NY Rangers   0.513 0.219 0.100 0.039
Ottawa       0.444 0.145 0.070 0.025
NY Islanders 0.188 0.064 0.023 0.006

Chicago      0.871 0.689 0.531 0.368
Anaheim      0.592 0.355 0.132 0.060
Vancouver    0.482 0.200 0.054 0.019
St Louis     0.495 0.221 0.078 0.032
Los Angeles  0.505 0.228 0.081 0.033
San Jose     0.518 0.167 0.058 0.021
Detroit      0.408 0.097 0.048 0.018
Minnesota    0.129 0.043 0.016 0.004

Chicago and Pittsburgh are heavy favourites as you can imagine. Boston looks like a sweet spot in the East though. San Jose being favourite over Vancouver and the Rangers being favourite over Washington both make sense given the comparatively weaker 3rd seed.

Hope you enjoy the post season!

Heraldk

NHL Playoff Predictor 2012 Round 4

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Well here we are, back to the stanley cup playoffs. The LA kings walked all over Phoenix en route to a very impressive cup-run. They are looking like the favourites in most people’s books to take down New Jersey. The Rangers had a lot of trouble with the Devils, and ultimately couldn’t prevail.


NY Rangers   0.601 0.370
New Jersey   0.399 0.206


Phoenix      0.478 0.196
Los Angeles  0.522 0.228

So the predictor sits at a 7/14 going into the final round. What does it like for the stanley cup final?


New Jersey 0.506
Los Angeles 0.494

Hmm. So very close. Given the way that LA got there, I’d have to give them the nod as the favourite. But this should be a very interesting playoff series. Too bad I’m going to have trouble watching them. All the games have been scheduled at 8pm eastern, which is 1am in my current place of residence. So maybe one of the weekend games I’ll get a chance to watch.

Herald

NHL Playoff Predictor 2012 Round 3

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Ahh, playoff hockey. The last update was rushed, so I’ll go back to the first round to have a look at how we’ve done so far:

NY Rangers   0.657 0.391 0.180 0.093
Boston       0.807 0.566 0.354 0.218
Florida      0.305 0.056 0.012 0.003
Pittsburgh   0.629 0.374 0.214 0.123
Philadelphia 0.371 0.178 0.080 0.037
New Jersey   0.695 0.282 0.103 0.043
Washington   0.193 0.058 0.019 0.006
Ottawa       0.343 0.096 0.037 0.014


Vancouver    0.641 0.407 0.227 0.118
St Louis     0.650 0.408 0.234 0.124
Phoenix      0.516 0.194 0.074 0.026
Nashville    0.417 0.206 0.094 0.039
Detroit      0.583 0.333 0.179 0.088
Chicago      0.484 0.171 0.061 0.020
San Jose     0.350 0.139 0.064 0.024
Los Angeles  0.359 0.143 0.067 0.025

This has been a strange playoffs. “Home Advantage” didn’t seem to offer the benefit it usually does, and we saw pre-playoff favourites Boston, Pittsburgh and Vancouver all fall in the first round. Oops. As a result, the predictor did worse than in past years, going 5/8. Of the series, I watched a bunch of the Pittsburgh/Philadelphia series. It was one of the more entertaining series … but a little crazy that Pittsburgh gave up big leads to lose games they probably should’ve won.

On to the next round!

NY Rangers   0.717 0.416 0.223
Philadelphia 0.546 0.276 0.132
New Jersey   0.454 0.210 0.092
Washington   0.283 0.098 0.031


St_Louis     0.643 0.410 0.249
Phoenix      0.436 0.168 0.072
Nashville    0.564 0.248 0.122
Los Angeles  0.357 0.174 0.079

Yikes, what a weird playoffs. The Rangers nearly fell to washington in 7 games, and if they had the predictor would’ve completely bricked this round. 1/4 isn’t too bad right? The Kings are putting on a clinic for how to knock off the top seeds in the conference. Apparently they are the first #8 seed team to ever defeat the number 1 and 2 seeds in a single NHL playoff – and they made it look easy. Now if only I had picked them in my playoff pools …

In the East, the Devils made fairly short work of the Flyers – a team that has a lot of offensive firepower but their goaltending has struggled … and the rangers had a lot more trouble than expected against washington. The Capitals sure got a lot of benefit from some fine goaltending from their 3rd string goalie. Wow did Holtby ever play well. But it wasn’t quite enough to beat the rangers.

Alright, so the conference finals are up next. Here’s what the predictor says for the matchups:


NY Rangers   0.601 0.370
New Jersey   0.399 0.206


Phoenix      0.478 0.196
Los Angeles  0.522 0.228

The rangers are favourites as expected, but I expect them to have problems with the Devils. The Devils are relatively rested and the Rangers have had two game 7′s already.

In the West, Phoenix and LA make a pretty unlikely matchup. The simulator likes LA, and I do as well – they seem to have the right combination of depth, hot goaltending, and confidence … and Phoenix should be a relatively easy opponent compared to Vancouver and St. Louis.

Herald

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