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

NHL Playoff Predictor 2012 Round 2

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I’m in a rush and can’t write any commentary, but here’s the predictions for the round 2 matchups:

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

NHL Playoff Predictor 2012

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Greetings once again!

I had grandiose plans of getting a new version of the simulator done in time for the playoffs this year. Oops – looks like the playoffs are going to start before I get there. Damn.

Oh well – for now, here’s the old simulator run for the first round. Maybe I’ll get around to the new version before the end of the playoffs. No guarantees though.


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

Some interesting matchups in the first round, with Boston benefitting the most according to goal differential against the Capitals. As a result, the Bruins are relatively heavy favourites to win the cup again – but less so than the predictor predicted for the Canucks last year (21.8% for the Bruins this year compared to 29% for the Canucks last year). Florida, despite getting home ice advantage and 3rd in the East have basically no shot at the cup – being underdogs to the Devils. Phoenix is in a similar position, but the predictor still likes their chances against first round Chicago.

Boston, St Louis, Vancouver, and Pittsburgh are the favourites in this year’s playoffs. I’m looking forward to watching some playoff hockey again!!

Herald

A Night Out

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A Night Out

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