Skip to main content

Endorsements

Got any good books to recommend?

Greatest Hits from Working the Net:

Harlow Salon - one of the very best hair salons in Nashville TN.

Looking back at Round One in the East

Just before the Conference Quarterfinal series began, I posted some predictions that were based on an application of the Shot Quality metric, basically matching each team's offense with the opposing defense, in terms of shots taken and shooting percentage from various distances. Now it's time to see how well that process worked, and in the days to follow, I'll tweak the process slightly based on the findings here, and post projections for the 2nd round series due to start later this week.


So first let's review the Eastern Conference series one-by-one...


Buffalo/NY Islanders: While the overall numbers came in lower than expected, the difference between the two teams' Expected Goals values (4.37 - 2.91 = 1.46) came in quite close to the Actual Goals (3.25 - 2.00 = 1.25), resulting in an easy victory for the Sabres. My qualitative hunch was that the Islanders' goaltending wouldn't keep up the pace set late in the season, but they actually did acquit themselves rather well, particularly Rick DiPietro, as in New York's Game Two win (32 saves on 34 shots against). I picked the Sabres to win in four, but I'm sure they're happy with the five-game result.

New Jersey/Tampa Bay: Tampa Bay did a much better job of holding the Devils in check than expected, especially if you look at New Jersey's performance in the 10-19 foot range, which is where most goals come from (only 0.60 goals per game, rather than the anticipated 2.77). A combination of solid goaltending and responsible defensive play in their own zone kept the Lightning competitive in their six-game defeat. At the other end of the ice, New Jersey relied on the typically superior Martin Brodeur to hold Tampa Bay below the 2.5 goal/game mark. The one thing that jumps out at me here is how New Jersey was expected to shoot at a .384 clip from 10-19 feet, which seems absurdly high to predict. The idea was that I applied a simple multiplying factor between how one team shot from a given range, and how the opposing goaltending handled such shots compared to the league average. For example, if a goalie gave up 20% more goals in the 10-19 range than the NHL average, I boosted the opponent's shooting percentage by 20% to get the expected value. I may look into methods to provide for diminishing marginal returns there, so that no particular value strays too wide from the sanity range. I picked the Devils to sweep this one, but they ended up needing six games to dispatch the Lightning.

Atlanta/NY Rangers: Well, this went pretty far awry - I had the Thrashers winning in seven as the teams were expected to post nearly identical goal totals (2.95 for Atlanta, 2.83 for the Rangers). Instead, it looks like the goaltending took things in opposite directions for both squads. Henrik Lundqvist's .939 save percentage for New York gave them confidence, and Kari Lehtonen's .849 pace in Games One and Three put the Thrashers in a hole they couldn't dig out of.

Ottawa/Pittsburgh: The overall projection for Ottawa came out nearly perfect (expected 3.61 Goals/Game, 3.60 Actual), and my pick of a five-game victory for the Senators indeed came to pass. The Penguins offense just couldn't get on track, as their 22 shots/game figure was the lowest in the Eastern Conference's first round.





Not bad, overall I'd say - 3 out of 4 correct so far. Tuesday I'll post the Western Conference reviews, and start cranking out those looks ahead to Round Two.

Popular posts from this blog

How I'm Trying To Make Money Sports Blogging

To kick off this series of articles general sports-blogging articles here at OTF Classic, I think it's best to start with a comment that Brad left here last week, after I shared my goals for 2012, which include specific revenue targets:
I considered diving into the world of internet marketing myself, but I felt that my friends would hate me for bugging them about stuff. I mean, it's pretty low-risk high-reward, so it's tempting. I wouldn't mind reading about tips on how to maximize impact of blogging in general to make it a legitimate income source. Trying to make money at sports blogging can be a very touchy subject - for the vast majority of us, this is an activity we pursue to both exercise our creativity and share our love of the game, whether it's hockey, football, badminton, whatever, with fellow fans. Mixing that personal conversation with a commercial message can turn people off, especially if it becomes too intrusive for the reader.

It's not unreasonabl…

Canadian Baloney, starring James Mirtle

A tireless refrain from the Canadian media is that Nashville is an absolute failure as a hockey market, and failing to move the team north of the border is an exercise in folly by the NHL.

Our latest exhibit comes from James Mirtle, usually one of the more thoughtful hockey bloggers extant:
But Nashville, quite simply, has proven it cannot sustain an NHL hockey team. Even with the lowest ticket prices in the entire league (I know: I've looked into flying there for a game or two) and a ridiculously forgiving arena lease, the team has had attendance issues despite having one of the best records in the league.

It's not a matter of Canadians not wanting teams in the southern U.S.; I've argued time and again in favour of teams like Dallas and Tampa Bay that have supported their teams and really brought something to the table in terms of bringing news fans and new energy to the game. That's a good thing.

The Predators, however, are not that, not in the beginning and certainly no…

Get Your NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 Right Here!

Click here for the 2009-10 NHL Super Schedule, at my new site, www.ontheforecheck.com!


The NHL announced the 2008-9 Regular Season schedule today, so of course, it's time right here to publish my very own NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 as well.

For those unfamiliar with what I did last year, the NHL Super Schedule is a spreadsheet that I put together and make publicly available via Google Documents*. It includes an entry for each game in each team's 82-game regular season schedule, with additional information such as how far that team has had to travel since its last game, how many days have passed since that previous game, and various statistics relative to the opponent that evening, such as 2007-8 Winning Percentage, Goals Per Game, Goals Against Per Game, etc. For example, you can total the distance that each team will travel during the upcoming season, or find who plays the most back-to-back games. Check out which team faces the toughest opposing offenses, or which power plays…