2014-15 nhl playoffs preview: round two

“This year’s playoff teams are super close so predicting who’s going to win seems absolutely foolish, so let’s do it anyways.” – me, before round one.

I was pretty right about that. It was almost the only thing I was right about. The first round is done and my picks went terribly! Somewhat worse than a coinflip at 3-5. I’ll find a way to pick up the pieces and live somehow.

Despite what happened in the first round, I think the second round should be easier to call. Here’s what I think goes down.

Continue reading 2014-15 nhl playoffs preview: round two

examining wins above replacement in the nhl

The tremendous guys at war-on-ice.com recently revealed their version of an all-encompassing stat for hockey, WAR, and I spent some time playing around with it. The stat is still in “alpha” stage meaning there’ll be some kinks to work out and some additions, but so far the results look very promising. Here’s their methodology.

It’s easy to get hooked on a one number stat that aims to explain a player’s entire worth, and that’s exactly what happened to me. I was fascinated by looking at certain player’s throughout their career and comparing them to other similarly viewed players. Seeing how valuable each player was compared to his peers using just one number was pretty cool to me, and I got lost in it.

Naturally, I made some charts with these comparisons. I also live in a magical world where injuries don’t exist and neither do lockouts, so everything is prorated to 82 games. I also hyphenated prorate on every chart for some reason like an idiot, but it’s too late for that to change.

Continue reading examining wins above replacement in the nhl

2014-15 nhl playoffs preview: round one

The playoffs are finally here and I’ve already written about the best way to pick winners (analytics) and who the favourites are (there aren’t any really). Now I want to take a look at each individual series and what I think will happen and why it will.

For that, I’m using a method that has predicted 73 percent of playoff results since 2007-08 and 27 of 30 over the last two years which is pretty good. It’s a small amount of series so far, but it’s an encouraging number nonetheless.

This year’s playoff teams are super close so predicting who’s going to win seems absolutely foolish, so let’s do it anyways.

Continue reading 2014-15 nhl playoffs preview: round one

the yeezy bracket

Okay, so “everyone makes a random bracket week” was sort of last week, but imma be late though? That was bad, I don’t know… umm, anyways, as most of you know I’m a huge Kanye fan so when I saw this bracket of Kanye songs, I thought it was a pretty fantastic idea. But I wasn’t a fan of the execution. There were some key tracks missing and the regions were lopsided, so rather than complain I made my own bracket.

Continue reading the yeezy bracket

2015 oscars preview ft. sam

The Oscars are tonight and most of you have probably not even watched half of the movies. Now you can’t go into Oscar night without any working knowledge of the movies nominated, so that’s why I’m here to help.

And by help I mean probably make things worse. Normal people would get knowledge from astute movie critics who have seen every movie, but for some reason you’re here reading the opinions of someone who hasn’t even watched all the trailers yet.

Luckily, I brought along guest blogger Samantha Sobolewski, who lives for movies, and has a “popular” (she made me put that in) segment on Twitter called “Sobo’s Movie Reviews” which are usually more riveting than the actual film she’s reviewing (again, her words, not mine). Where I fail in my assessment, hopefully she shines because she’s actually seen most of the movies. So we’ve got all our bases covered. Her thoughts will be in italics.

I can’t believe you made me do this again.

Two years ago Sam saw 7/9 movies, and the two she didn’t see looked sucky, so I let it slide.

Last year my movie expert apparently only saw 6/9. As great as those two numbers are in succession, it was simply unacceptable so I gave her a paycut.

Uhhhhhh, I’m doing this for free, asshole.

Anyways, this year she’s upped her game and watched 7/8 just as as I asked her to a year ago.

The competition for Best Picture this year is absolutely fierce. I have seen three (!) of the movies and 66 percent of them were actually pretty good, which is a surprise to me since I don’t usually enjoy decent movies. Let’s take a look at the nominees.

Continue reading 2015 oscars preview ft. sam

nhl power rankings and projections: jan. 7

After a two week hiatus for the holidays, the power rankings are back and the same as ever.

The past three weeks had the Blackhawks at number one, but that’s changed this week as the Lightning have surged this week.

As noted in the last edition of the power rankings, I have recently changed the algorithm to POP that hopefully better reflects a team’s true talent level.

Continue reading nhl power rankings and projections: jan. 7

nhl power rankings and projections: dec. 17

In this week’s edition of the power rankings, I have completely revamped the model that churns out the numbers. If you’re curious, this is a post explaining the new method, but the gist is that I’m now using score-adjustments rather than score-close. That plus a re-weighting of 5-on-5 and special teams data.

Here are last week’s rankings with the old method, and with the adjustments there’s obviously some big changes this week as some teams went up thanks to the adjustment, and some teams went down.

The biggest news is there’s a new number one this week as Pittsburgh’s long reign at the top is over thanks to scaling back the weight on special teams.

Continue reading nhl power rankings and projections: dec. 17

nhl power rankings and projections: dec. 10

In this week’s power rankings, Washington crawls back into the top five, Pittsburgh finally falls below 100 and the biggest drop of the week belongs to Carolina who fall into the bottom ten.

Meanwhile, the Leafs find themselves just outside the top ten and somehow ahead of St. Louis and Nashville.

If you haven’t read it yet, this is how I’ll be measuring each team this year. And here is last week’s rankings.

Continue reading nhl power rankings and projections: dec. 10

nhl power rankings and projections: dec. 3

In this week’s power rankings, Washington and Anaheim fall out of the top five, Pittsburgh loosens its stronghold on the number one spot and Dallas has the biggest drop of the week falling into the bottom 10.

Meanwhile, the Central division continues to show its strength while the Metro division is a downright laughingstock .

If you haven’t read it yet, this is how I’ll be measuring each team this year. And here is last week’s rankings.

Continue reading nhl power rankings and projections: dec. 3

nhl power rankings and projections: nov. 26

In this week’s edition of the power rankings, almost every team is in the same spot as last week, which means the rankings are stabilizing, which is only a good thing.

Pittsburgh continues its dominance, having spent every single week at the top as Chicago moves into No. 2 after finally getting some luck in the goal scoring department.

Anaheim is showing they’re for real this year as they slide into the top five at the expense of Tampa Bay, and Florida drops all the way to 22 after getting dominated territorially in just about every game this week.

If you haven’t read it yet, this is how I’ll be measuring each team this year. And here is last week’s rankings.

Continue reading nhl power rankings and projections: nov. 26

nhl power rankings and projections: nov 19

In this week’s edition of power rankings, Montreal climbs out of mediocrity thanks to improvement on the powerplay, and Minnesota vaults back up to the second spot.

Other than those two, most teams are in almost the exact same spot as last week which is good news because it means the rankings are stabilizing. The only issues remain at the top and bottom, where Pittsburgh is unsustainably higher than everyone else and Buffalo remains laughably bad.

If you haven’t read it yet, this is how I’ll be measuring each team this year. And here is last week’s ratings.

Continue reading nhl power rankings and projections: nov 19

nhl power rankings and projections: nov 12

In this week’s edition of power rankings, Minnesota drops out of the top five, while St. Louis vaults right into it. The weeks biggest shock though belongs to the Leafs who find themselves projected for a playoff spot for the first time.

The Kings continue their surprising struggles and the Devils fall 12 spots almost to McDavid territory, and boy wouldn’t that be the worst team possible to draft him.

If you haven’t read it yet, this is how I’ll be measuring each team this year. And here is last week’s rankings.

Continue reading nhl power rankings and projections: nov 12