STATurday: Past performance playoff predictors

Hi Friends!

For the next few weeks, I will have to keep it short and sweet, as I am studying for LSATs. I’ll make it up to you when it’s over, I promise. In the meantime, enjoy this brief STATurday.

There is one thing to be said about Vegas oddsmakers; they have a firm grasp on the realm of probabilities and can generally be counted on to make an accurate prediction for certain sporting outcomes.

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Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for us, hockey is played on ice and not stat sheets. However; from time to time, it’s important to look at current statistical trends in order to predict the future, and allow us to take a stab at being our very own Vegas oddsmakers.

See the source imageAct like you know something, it’s called extrapolation

The art of extrapolation is taking limited information and making inferences on either causal relationships or predicted future events, which is what we will be doing today. We will predict who will be in the playoffs and who will find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to compete for Lord Stanley’s Mug.

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With more memes than a Buzzfeed article, because math is hard.

As with any scientific experiment, we must explain our methodology. In order to predict the final total points each team will receive, and therefore their final standings, we will take their current point percentage, and base their future performance on their assumption that nothing catastrophic will happen preventing the team from achieving the same performance through the rest of their approximately 30 games:
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No 30-game losing streaks allowed, okay?

Simply put, it’s like this: (Current points / total potential points) x ([82 – games played] x 2)

It is a simple projection of expected number of points based on prior performance not taking into consideration their games, who they’re against, or the odds of winning each individual game. Having put the numbers through the machine…

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Your first round playoff matchups look as follows:

Tampa Bay vs. Pittsburgh
New York Islanders vs. Montreal
Toronto vs. Boston
Washington vs. Columbus

Calgary vs. St. Louis
Winnipeg vs. Minnesota
San Jose vs. Vegas
Nashville vs. Dallas

As expected, the predicted matchups look as if the playoffs were to begin today, with Tampa Bay shockingly winning the President’s Trophy by a 14-point margin, and Ottawa being the worst team at 70 points, which is in accordance to their current winning odds

Go figure

Pedro Rengel

Pedro Rengel

Originally hailing from the tropical paradise of Venezuela, I moved to Canada at age 11 for the sole reason of falling in love with hockey as a self-proclaimed Pittsburgh Penguins fan. Now a Canadian citizen, my mad love affair with hockey represents a statistical contribution as opposed to an anomaly. Being able to write this well despite having Spanish as a first language is enough of an anomaly (I'm occasionally biased).
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