Feb 082006
 

I had another very good day with yesterdays predictions going 6 for 7 and only missing Chicago’s upset win over Phoenix. One has to wonder if the whole Tochett gambling ring charges had anything to do with that. Over the last 3 days my predictions are 14 for 15 which is extraordinary. I can’t expect that to continue, but wouldn’t it be nice if it did? In any event, yesterdays results boosted my betting balance to $120.91.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
NY Rangers(+150) Ottawa(-170) Ottawa Strong
Philadelphia(-175) NY Islanders(+155) Philadelphia Good
Columbus(+105) Los Angeles(-125) Columbus Some
Pittsburgh(-185) Boston(+165) Boston Good
Detroit(-210) Nashville(+175) Detroit Some
Calgary(-170) Anaheim(+150) Calgary Good
Vancouver(-425) St. Louis(+345) Vancouver Strong
San Jose(-380) Chicago(+300) San Jose Good

Betting lines by Bowmans.

There are a few surprises in todays games, especially with the betting lines. I completely understand Detroit being the favourite, but odds of -210 over Nashville? I would have thought they would be much closer. Same goes for San Jose (-380) over Chicago. An interesting prediction is Columbus over Los Angeles. But Los Angeles has lost 6 in a row and is in danger of falling out of a playoff spot while Columbus has been one of the hotter teams in the league the past month or so. That makes the Blue Jackets +105 a very interesting bet.

The Ottawa/NY Ranger game should be a good test for both teams. It is a test for the Rangers to determine if they are a contender or not and it is a test for the Senators have haven’t been all that dominant over the past couple months and have played win one, lose one type hockey the past ocuple weeks.

Feb 072006
 

Last night was another one of those good prediction nights as all 6 games were predicted correctly. Although I didn’t bet on the Ottawa-Pittsburgh game because the odds were so bad the other 5 wins were enough to push me back over the break even mark. We have another 7 games tonight and I’ll be happy with 5 of 7.

Record since starting with the new prediction algorithm:

Strong: 9 of 13 – 69.2%
Good: 6 of 9 – 66.7%
Some: 26 of 46 – 56.5%

Current betting balance: $103.89

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Washington (-115) Florida (-105) Florida Some
Toronto (-145) Atlanta (+125) Toronto Good
Montreal(even) Buffalo(-120) Buffalo Some
New Jersey(-150) Tampa Bay(+130) New Jersey Some
Minnesota(-145) Los Angeles(+125) Minnesota Some
Colorado(-175) Edmonton(+155) Colorado Some
Phoenix(-270) Chicago(+230) Phoenix Strong

(betting lines by Bowmans)

I can’t really argue with any of those predictions. They all mostly make sense. The Minnesota over Los Angeles prediction might be the most debatable but the betting line has Minnesota the favourite as well. Taking Edmonton to upset Colorado with +155 moneyline might be a good bet though. Same with Tampa (+130) over New Jersey. Both these teams played last night though which hurts their chances of winning though.


Feb 072006
 

I am having some trouble with my webhosting company. It seems that to me access to my website is sometimes down or extremely slow. Every time I complain about it they try to blame me and my web connection. Has anyone else tried to visit hockeyanalysis.com and experienced slow loading times or even not being able to access the site altogether? Has anyone experienced it multiple times? Please post in the comments or drop me an e-mail your experiences. I need to find out whether I should be looking for a new webhost or not so your comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Feb 062006
 

Here are the game predictions for tonights games. I’ll get back to more detailed analysis tomorrow when my schedule gets back to normal.

Yesterday’s performance: 2 for 2
Current Betting Balance: $87.58

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
NY Islanders Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Some
Ottawa Pittsburgh Ottawa Strong
Dallas Nashville Dallas Some
Edmonton Anaheim Edmonton Some
Vancouver Columbus Vancouver Strong
San Jose Calgary Calgary Some
Feb 052006
 

It was another mediocre day on the game prediction front yesterday getting just over half of the games correct. There are only 2 games being played today and one game provides a very interesting pick to win.

Betting balance: $79.35

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Boston Carolina Carolina Some
Montreal Philadelphia Montreal Some

I can’t really argue with Carolina over Boston but Montreal over Philadephia is interesting as it is counter to what many people would predict.

Feb 042006
 

We have a full slate of games today several of them which will have significant impact on the NHL plauoff races. Unfortunately I am short on time this weekend so I won’t be abelt o give you any detailed analysis.

Last night: 0-4
Betting balance: $87.53

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Montreal Boston Montreal Some
Philadelphia NY Rangers Philadelphia Some
St. Louis Dallas Dallas Strong
Nashville Chicago Nashville Strong
Colorado Detroit Colorado Some
Toronto New Jersey Toronto Some
Atlanta Florida Atlanta Some
Buffalo Ottawa Ottawa Some
Pittsburgh NY Islanders NY Islanders Good
Tampa Bay Washington Tampa Bay Good
Phoenix Minnesota Phoenix Some
Edmonton Vancouver Edmonton Some
San Jose Anaheim San Jose Some
Feb 032006
 

To win the Stanley Cup, you have got to win in the playoffs and that means beating the best of the rest. That led me to ask the question, who is the best at beating the best?

To answer that question I started with my power ranking calculation based on games through last night. Just for reference, here are the updated power rankings.

Rank Last Week Team AdjWinP SchedStr Power Rank
1 1 Ottawa 0.696 0.511 0.723
2 4 Dallas 0.604 0.522 0.639
3 2 Colorado 0.565 0.538 0.634
4 3 Carolina 0.683 0.476 0.632
5 5 Calgary 0.594 0.518 0.615
6 6 Vancouver 0.575 0.523 0.607
7 8 Buffalo 0.647 0.478 0.595
8 7 Detroit 0.657 0.479 0.594
9 9 Edmonton 0.519 0.528 0.561
10 12 Nashville 0.593 0.484 0.547
11 13 San Jose 0.520 0.517 0.543
12 10 Los Angeles 0.509 0.524 0.542
13 11 Toronto 0.500 0.518 0.538
14 14 Minnesota 0.491 0.525 0.531
15 15 Philadelphia 0.604 0.461 0.525
16 16 Phoenix 0.473 0.534 0.521
17 17 Anaheim 0.490 0.518 0.507
18 20 Boston 0.472 0.508 0.491
19 19 Tampa Bay 0.528 0.473 0.489
20 18 Montreal 0.441 0.519 0.484
21 22 NY Rangers 0.537 0.453 0.453
22 21 NY Islanders 0.433 0.496 0.448
23 23 Atlanta 0.462 0.474 0.433
24 24 New Jersey 0.472 0.469 0.433
25 25 Florida 0.396 0.482 0.383
26 26 Columbus 0.370 0.500 0.372
27 27 Chicago 0.337 0.500 0.334
28 28 Washington 0.324 0.486 0.319
29 29 St. Louis 0.269 0.495 0.265
30 30 Pittsburgh 0.241 0.490 0.244

AdjWinP is a teams winning percentage when shootouts are considered ties and there are no points awarded for overtime losses
SchedStr is an indication of a teams relative difficulty of schedule
Power Rank is the teams expected winning percentage if team played all .500 teams

The next thing I did was determined each teams record against the top 10 power ranked teams listed above. Here is what resulted.

Team Games Wins Loss OTW SOW OTL SOL Points AdjPts AdjWinP
Carolina 8 5 3 1 0 0 1 11 11 0.688
Ottawa 12 7 5 0 0 1 1 16 15 0.625
Dallas 19 13 6 1 4 0 0 26 22 0.579
Calgary 24 14 10 1 2 2 1 31 27 0.563
Nashville 17 9 8 2 0 1 0 19 18 0.529
Colorado 27 11 16 1 0 1 4 27 26 0.481
Edmonton 25 13 12 3 2 0 0 26 24 0.480
Atlanta 12 6 6 0 1 1 0 13 11 0.458
Florida 12 5 7 1 0 0 1 11 11 0.458
Los Angeles 24 12 12 1 2 1 0 25 22 0.458
Tampa Bay 12 5 7 1 0 0 1 11 11 0.458
New Jersey 13 6 7 0 2 0 1 13 11 0.423
Vancouver 24 10 14 1 2 2 2 24 20 0.417
Phoenix 24 10 14 1 2 0 2 22 20 0.417
San Jose 20 7 13 2 1 2 3 19 16 0.400
Philadelphia 13 4 9 1 1 1 3 12 10 0.385
Detroit 17 6 11 0 0 3 1 16 13 0.382
NY Rangers 12 5 7 1 1 0 0 10 9 0.375
Buffalo 9 3 6 0 0 0 0 6 6 0.333
Anaheim 18 5 13 0 1 1 2 13 11 0.306
Boston 15 4 11 1 0 1 1 10 9 0.300
NY Islanders 18 5 13 0 1 0 1 11 10 0.278
Montreal 18 5 13 0 1 2 0 12 9 0.250
Chicago 23 6 17 0 1 1 0 13 11 0.239
St. Louis 19 4 15 0 1 0 2 10 9 0.237
Toronto 17 3 14 1 1 0 3 9 8 0.235
Columbus 24 5 19 1 2 0 2 12 10 0.208
Washington 10 2 8 0 0 0 0 4 4 0.200
Pittsburgh 13 1 12 0 0 2 1 5 3 0.115

Games-# of games played
Wins-All wins including overtime and shootout wins
Loss-All losses including overtime and shootout losses
OTW-Overtime win
OTL-Overtime loss
SOW-Shootout win
SOL-Shootout loss
Points-Points as awarded by NHL
AdjPoints-2 points for a win in regulation or overtime and 1 point for a shootout win or loss
AdjWinP- Adjusted winning percentage calculated using AdjPoints/(2*Games)

Only 5 teams have an adjusted winning percentage (which doesn’t count points for an overtime or shootout loss and treats a shootout game as a tie for both teams and 1 point each) over .500 and one would have to consider that these teams are the top 5 favourites to win the Stanley Cup. The usual suspect sit among the bottom of the standings including St. Louis, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Washington, and Chicago but with the addition of Toronto. Toronto has struggled mightily against the top teams in the league.

To take the analysis a bit further I also looked at each teams records against the bottom 10 and middle 10 teams in the league.

Bottom 10:

Team Games Wins Loss OTW SOW OTL =SOL Points AdjPts AdjWinP
Toronto 14 13 1 2 0 0 0 26 26 0.928
Dallas 10 9 1 0 1 0 0 18 17 0.850
Ottawa 12 10 2 0 0 0 0 20 20 0.833
Los Angeles 10 8 2 0 0 0 0 16 16 0.800
Detroit 22 18 4 1 1 1 0 37 35 0.795
Philadelphia 28 22 6 5 1 2 1 47 44 0.785
Carolina 26 21 5 1 2 0 0 42 40 0.769
San Jose 10 7 3 0 0 0 1 15 15 0.750
Nashville 21 15 6 0 1 1 2 33 31 0.738
Anaheim 11 8 3 0 1 1 0 17 15 0.681
Buffalo 22 15 7 2 1 0 1 31 30 0.681
Columbus 15 11 4 3 2 0 0 22 20 0.666
Atlanta 22 13 9 1 0 0 3 29 29 0.659
Vancouver 11 7 4 0 0 0 0 14 14 0.636
NY Rangers 29 19 10 1 3 3 1 42 36 0.620
Tampa Bay 26 16 10 2 2 1 2 35 32 0.615
NY Islanders 22 14 8 2 3 0 2 30 27 0.613
Edmonton 11 5 6 0 0 1 3 14 13 0.590
Boston 17 9 8 2 0 1 2 21 20 0.588
Calgary 12 6 6 0 0 0 2 14 14 0.583
Phoenix 9 5 4 1 0 1 0 11 10 0.555
Colorado 9 5 4 0 2 0 1 11 9 0.500
Florida 22 11 11 2 1 2 1 25 22 0.500
New Jersey 27 14 13 1 2 3 1 32 27 0.500
Chicago 16 7 9 3 1 3 2 19 15 0.468
Montreal 16 7 9 3 1 0 1 15 14 0.437
St. Louis 18 6 12 0 1 2 2 16 13 0.361
Pittsburgh 25 8 17 2 0 1 2 19 18 0.360
Washington 22 6 16 0 3 1 2 15 11 0.250

What you quickly notice is that Toronto is now on the top of the list. It appears that Toronto is an excellent example of a team who almost always beats the teams they should but rarely steps up and beats teams better than they are.

Middle 10:

Team Games Wins Loss OTW SOW OTL SOL Points AdjPts AdjWinP
Detroit 14 11 3 2 0 0 0 22 22 0.786
Buffalo 20 15 5 2 2 0 2 32 30 0.750
Vancouver 18 13 5 0 0 0 1 27 27 0.750
Colorado 18 13 5 1 0 0 0 26 26 0.722
Ottawa 27 18 9 1 2 0 2 38 36 0.667
Calgary 17 10 7 0 0 0 2 22 22 0.647
Montreal 17 11 6 2 0 3 0 25 22 0.647
Carolina 18 11 7 1 2 3 0 25 20 0.556
Anaheim 23 11 12 1 0 3 3 28 25 0.543
Edmonton 17 10 7 0 3 2 1 23 18 0.529
San Jose 21 10 11 2 0 0 2 22 22 0.524
Dallas 24 14 10 1 3 2 0 30 25 0.521
Boston 21 10 11 1 0 2 1 23 21 0.500
NY Rangers 13 7 6 0 1 4 0 18 13 0.500
Phoenix 22 12 10 3 2 0 0 24 22 0.500
Washington 19 10 9 1 3 1 1 22 18 0.474
Nashville 15 8 7 0 3 1 1 18 14 0.467
New Jersey 13 7 6 0 2 1 0 15 12 0.462
Tampa Bay 15 7 8 0 1 0 0 14 13 0.433
Los Angeles 22 10 12 1 2 3 1 24 19 0.432
Toronto 21 9 12 2 1 1 1 20 18 0.429
Philadelphia 12 5 7 1 0 1 0 11 10 0.417
Chicago 13 4 9 1 0 0 1 9 9 0.346
NY Islanders 12 4 8 1 0 0 0 8 8 0.333
Columbus 15 6 9 0 2 0 0 12 10 0.333
Atlanta 19 4 15 1 0 1 1 10 9 0.237
Florida 19 4 15 1 0 3 1 12 9 0.237
St. Louis 15 3 12 0 1 1 1 8 6 0.200
Pittsburgh 16 3 13 1 1 4 0 10 5 0.156

Another interesting team to look at is the Philadelphia Flyers. Many people have criticized my power rankings and used the Flyers as an example saying that they should be ranked much higher. But these results don’t back that up. Philadelphia plays fairly poorly against the top 10 teams (.385), not much better against the middle 10 (.417) but does real well against the bottom 10 (.785). Add it all up and it doesn’t make sense to have them much higher than a middle of the pack team. All totaled, 47 of Philadelphia’s 70 points (67%) have come against the worst 10 teams in the NHL. The New York Rangers show a similar pattern with 60% of their points coming against the leagues 10 worst teams.

Feb 032006
 

Last night was a tough night. My predictions were just 5 of nine but 2 of my losses happened by a shootout and another occurred in OT. Lots of close games last night. I bet on all 9 games last night but the four losses caused me to be down every so slightly from $108.04 to $107.53. Not a big loss really.

Tonight we have four games on the schedule with a few interesting ones.

New Jersey/Carolina – This is the debut of Doug Weight and we will get to see how they make room for him on the team. With Staal and Brind’amour already playing at center one has to wonder if one of them (more likely Staal) will move to the wing. The betting line on the game has the Devils (-115) as very slight favourites over the Hurricanes (-105) but my predictions ahve Carolina as ‘good’ confidence favourites. I say that makes Carolina the easy betting choice despite the fact that the Devils have played a lot better the past month.

Calgary/Vancouver – Two top, and somewhat struggling, western conference teams meet up in an important division and conference game. In the last 5 games the Flames have won just once and have lost to Chicago, St. Louis and Columbus. Vancouver has won 2 in a row but lost the 3 games before that, including losses to St. Louis and Columbus. There is nothing like a good rivalry game to get a team focused though so expect both teams to play better. My prediction algorithm has Calgary as the slight favourite but the betting line has Calgary (-160) as a significant favourite over Vancouver (+140). Those odds make it tempting to plave your bet Vancouver’s way.

Both Toronto/Washington and Atlanta/Florida games will have an impact on the eastern conference playoff race as Toronto is trying to increase their lead over the teams chasing them for the 8th and final playoff spot while Atlanta needs to get the win to stay in the playoff race. Toronto is a ‘good’ favourite and I like their chaces to win but I am less confident with Atlanta even though they are the slight favourite by my prediction. Atlanta has lost 6 in a row and hasn’t look good either scoring just 6 goals in their last 5 games. But those 6 losses were against some pretty good teams so maybe a weaker Florida team is just what they needed.

(betting lines by Bowmans)

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Washington Toronto Toronto Good
New Jersey Carolina Carolina Good
Florida Atlanta Atlanta Some
Calgary Vancouver Calgary Some


Feb 022006
 

Well, yesterday wasn’t quite as good a day for predictions as the previous day but I was still 3 for 6 so it wasn’t all bad. With 9 games today I am aiming for 6 or preferably more correct.

My betting total has dropped to $108.04 because I only bet on 4 games since the Rangers and Red Wings odds to win were so bad (-450 for the Rangers and only point spread odds for the Wings). That means I was just 1 for 4 in the games I bet on getting only Dallas correct. Today I have bet on all games so I won’t make that mistake again.

Home Team Road Team Predicted Winner Confidence
Boston Montreal Boston Some
Buffalo Philadelphia Buffalo Some
NY Islanders NY Rangers NY Islanders Some
Pittsburgh Ottawa Ottawa Strong
St. Louis Chicago Chicago Some
Nashville Colorado Colorado Some
Edmonton Columbus Edmonton Good
Phoenix Los Angeles Phoenix Some
San Jose Minnesota Minnesota Some

Most of the predictions make sense although surprisingly St. Louis has been playing better recently so it would not surprise me if they defeated the also bad Blackhawks. Columbus might be the best team in the western conference the last several weeks. They defeated a strong Calgary team last night and who knows, maybe they can make it back-to-back Alberta wins tonight. The best odds of the day go to the Minnesota Wild currently have a +135 money line to win at Bowmans. Although I haven’t predicted them to win, the money lines for Montreal (+140) and Philadelphia (+140) might entice some to go against the prediction. Especially so in Montreal’s case.


Feb 012006
 

These are the first power rankings under my new algorithm which I think is a fair bit more accurate, and possibly more controversial, than the previous version. The improvements made include:

-Treating shootout wins/losses as ties. The shootout does not accurately reflect the ability of a team to win or lose games (when a skills compention is not required) and as we all know, there is no shootout in the playoffs.
-Overtime losses are treated as losses. No points for them.
-A significantly improved method of accounting for difficulty of schedule.

The result of these changes is that you will find teams in the stronger divisions being ranked higher than under the old system and teams in weaker divisions being ranked lower. The team with the most difficult schedule so far is Colorado while the team with the easiest schedule so far is the New York Rangers. As a result Colorado has moved up in the standings while the Rangers are sitting well below where many people would rank them in 22nd position. The reason is the Rangers have played teams ranked 1-15 just 16 times and in those games they are just 6-10 (and one of those wins was a shootout win). They will have to prove themselves down the stretch when they play Ottawa (3 times), Carolina (twice), Buffalo, Toronto (3 times) and Philadelphia 5 more times. For similar reasons Philadelphia and New Jersey are well below where many would place them.

Rank Last Week Team AdjWinP SchedStr Power Rank
1 1 Ottawa 0.704 0.520 0.755
2 4 Colorado 0.575 0.537 0.643
3 3 Carolina 0.683 0.479 0.637
4 5 Dallas 0.596 0.521 0.626
5 2 Calgary 0.596 0.519 0.618
6 6 Vancouver 0.575 0.523 0.605
7 7 Detroit 0.651 0.480 0.593
8 8 Buffalo 0.640 0.478 0.583
9 11 Edmonton 0.519 0.529 0.565
10 12 Nashville 0.615 0.476 0.552
11 9 Los Angeles 0.509 0.524 0.545
12 13 Toronto 0.500 0.521 0.541
13 10 San Jose 0.510 0.517 0.534
14 15 Philadelphia 0.615 0.460 0.531
15 16 Phoenix 0.472 0.532 0.517
16 14 Minnesota 0.472 0.526 0.513
17 17 Anaheim 0.500 0.515 0.511
18 18 Montreal 0.450 0.523 0.497
19 19 Tampa Bay 0.528 0.473 0.488
20 20 Boston 0.462 0.511 0.483
21 22 NY Islanders 0.441 0.497 0.455
22 21 NY Rangers 0.519 0.456 0.447
23 23 Atlanta 0.462 0.474 0.433
24 24 New Jersey 0.462 0.464 0.414
25 25 Florida 0.396 0.482 0.382
26 26 Columbus 0.365 0.498 0.365
27 28 Chicago 0.333 0.504 0.337
28 27 Washington 0.324 0.485 0.317
29 29 St. Louis 0.270 0.495 0.266
30 30 Pittsburgh 0.250 0.484 0.248

AdjWinP is a teams winning percentage when shootouts are considered ties and there are no points awarded for overtime losses
SchedStr is an indication of a teams relative difficulty of schedule
Power Rank is the teams expected winning percentage if team played all .500 teams