Category Archives: hockey

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

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

a better playoff output projection

If you’ve been following me for a while, then you’re probably aware of a stat I created called POP which aims to predict the playoffs and more accurately forecast who the best teams in the league are.

There’s been some work done recently, as well as suggestions from smarter people, that’s made me consider making changes to the stat.

In its current iteration, POP is (Fenwick Close + ((0.6 x Goals Close)/PDO Close)) x (PP% + PK%). The first part of the equation is very similar to what Tom Tango is working on right now with weighted shot differential, so it was interesting to see someone else working on something similar.

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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

nhl power rankings and projections: nov. 5

It’s the third week of power rankings here, and things are beginning to normalize everywhere except for No. 1 and No. 30. The Penguins have not only stayed at the top, they’ve separated themselves from the pack big time, while Buffalo continues to remain historically awful.

Meanwhile, the recent play of the Kings has been troubling as they had the biggest fall this week along with the Canadiens who have been downright putrid despite an 8-4-1 record.

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

Continue reading nhl power rankings and projections: nov. 5