Game Predictions – 4/18/2006

Last nights results cleared a few things up. The west first round playoff matches are now all determined. Detroit will play Edmonton, Dallas will play Colorado, Calgary will play Anaheim and Nashville will play San Jose. I’ll post my thoughts on these series most likely tomorrow.

In the east we still don’t know too much other than the 8 teams who will make the playoffs and that Buffalo will finish in the 4th seed. Things that need to be cleared up tonight are:

Ottawa/Carolina – Which of these teams will get the top seed. Ottawa needs to beat the Rangers and have Carolina lose to the Buffalo to make get top spot.

Montreal/Tampa – Montreal and Tampa have to determine who will get 7th and who will get 8th seed. Montreal currently holds a 1 point lead but Tampa would win any tie breaker so for Montreal to maintain their position they need to match or better whatever points Tampa gets tonight. If Tampa loses, Montreal gets 7th. If Tampa loses in OT, Montreal has to either win or lose in OT. If Tampa wins, then Montreal must win. Montreal is playing a real tough New Jersey team while Tampa is playing Washington ho did them a favour last night by defeating Atlanta. Though Montreal has the 1 point edge I have to give the edge to Tampa as I think they will defeat Washington and Montreal will lose to New Jersey.

NY Rangers/Philadelphia/New Jersey – These three teams are in a battle for the division title and the 3rd seed with the other two teams getting seeds 5 and 6. The Rangers currently hold a 1 point lead over New Jersey and Philadelphia which gives them an edge but they will be playing against Ottawa so it may not be an easy win for them. The Devils play Montreal and Philadelphia is playing the Islanders. I think there is a very good chance the Devils and Flyers will both win so the Rangers would need to win too to get top spot. In terms of tie breakers, the Devils would win a tie breaker against either the Rangers or Flyers. Who wins a tie breaker between the Rangers and Flyers is still up in the air as it would depend on how they got be tied. If the Rangers lose and the Flyers lose in OT the teams will be tied at 100 points and the Rangers will win the tie breaker based on goal differential (wins and record against each other will be the same). If the Rangers lose in OT and the Flyers win the teams will be tied with 101 but the Flyers will win the tie breaker with an extra win. Make sense?

Before getting to my algorithms predictions, here are my predictions on the games of interest in the east.

Tampa defeats Washington
New Jersey defeats Montreal
Carolina loses to Buffalo
Ottawa loses to the Rangers
Philadelphia defeats Islanders

I’ll assume that all games will end in regulation time making the final standings:

NY Rangers
New Jersey

Here are the algorithms predictions.

Home Team Fair
Road Team Fair
Predicted Winner Confidence
NY Islanders 136 Philadelphia -156 Philadelphia Good
NY Rangers 109 Ottawa -111 Ottawa Good
Carolina -106 Buffalo 106 Buffalo Some
Florida -159 Atlanta 137 Florida Good
Columbus -109 Dallas 108 Columbus Some
Toronto -310 Pittsburgh 167 Toronto Strong
Montreal -136 New Jersey 126 Montreal Some
Tampa Bay -234 Washington 157 Tampa Bay Strong
Nashville -146 Detroit 131 Nashville Good
Chicago -139 St. Louis 128 Chicago Some

This article has 17 Comments

  1. My picks are pretty similar to the Algo David except for 2 games… Dallas over Columbus and New Jersey over Montreal. Otherwise everythings the same. The Buffalo/Carolina game could swing both ways…kind of a tought pick here…right now im leaning towards Buffalo even tho Carolina leads the series 3-0. You know what…I’ll change my mind and take Carolina on 2nd thought.

  2. Great writeup.

    The game of the day has got to be Philly over the Isles but Pinnacle doesn’t have a line out on that yet.

    I agree with your leans but this looks like the most sure play of the night to me.

  3. Im thinking about putting a wager on Carolina to finish 1st in the East. What do you think Dave?

    Im confident Ottawa will beat NY tonight, but im not sure about the Canes beating Sabres.

    Im looking for advice, what does everyone think??

  4. Confident OTT will beat NY ??? OTT has now lost 8 of the last 11 games and this game is far more important to NY.
    OTT has absolut no goaltending at this point like Atlanta.

  5. uhhh Ottawa to beat NY in MSG? don’t think so bud. Rangers an underdog at MSG is absurd especially against a depleted Ottawa team who just cannot wait for regular season to end. Lundqvist is back in net tonight for the Rangers who’s sole mission is to win the Atlantic Division. Kaspiritis is back, Jagr is chasing points title, so there is more at stake IMO for NYR than Ottawa who right now have no Hasek, Emery is slightly injuried which leaves Morrison as the healthy goalie. Sens were absolutely destroyed by a Leafs team who wanted that game more and right now Rangers want this game more and Sens should know that the chances of the Canes losing at the RBC is pretty tiny. Buffalo cannot not finish higher or lower than 4th so they are playing right now for momentum.

  6. Ottawa cant beat NY @ MSG?! Why not?

    Yes, to say they’ve been struggling all of April would be an understatment. But, to take this team lightly is a huge mistake in itself. This is a team, beyond Hasek and Phillips being out who is nevertheless stacked:
    Spezza,Heatley,Schaefer,Fisher,Havlat,Alfredsson,Vermette all of whom back up a STACKED defence.

    I think the play is Carolina to take the East @ +244 its too good to pass up.

    Heres hoping Ottawa comes out flat again.

  7. did i say Ottawa can’t beat NY @ MSG? no

    also that team was stacked when they played Toronto and just got smoked. They were rather fortunate to beat Boston. 2 wins in the month of April. not impressive.

    Carolina won’t go far unless Gerber and Ward step up. If u’ve seen the Stanley Cup winners of the past, they have the goaltending, that is something Ottawa, Buffalo, Philly, Carolina do not have it.

  8. “uhhh Ottawa to beat NY in MSG? don’t think so bud.”

    Im not arguing goaltending here, nor am i claiming Ottawa or Carolina are taking home the cup.

    MY QUESTION WAS: Who is taking 1st in the east?!

    I took Carolina, i just hope the Ottawa slide continues tonight. Buffalo wont make things easy for the Canes either.

  9. actually we’re talking about the Sens/Rangers game tonight. The playoffs are a said thing but you said you are confident the Sens would beat the Rangers and you asked for an opinion. I gave you mine.

    Again you asked for an opinion i gave you my opinion why those teams listed will not last, due to goal tending.

  10. There is at least some comfort in that the playoff scenarios in the Western Conference are already determined. Here are what I think the match-ups in the Eastern Conference are going to be:

    (8) Tampa Bay vs (1) Carolina
    (7) Montreal vs (2) Ottawa
    (6) New Jersey vs (3) Philadelphia
    (5) NY Rangers vs (4) Buffalo

    In short, I think that these teams will win the important games today, all in regulation:

    Carolina beats Buffalo
    Ottawa beats NY Rangers
    Philadelphia beats NY Islanders
    Montreal beats New Jersey
    Tampa Bay beats Washington

    I said about a month ago that I would not post predictions for the remaining regular seasons, but I will be starting again for the post-season

  11. I dunno what it is as of late but a ton of home teams have been beating away teams…more than usual. 42 of the last 56 NHL games have been won by the home team. Thats a whopping 75%!!!!! So aprox 1/4 road teams has won as of late…if this trend continues tonight that would mean aprox 2 or 3 road teams should pull out wins. Keep this in mind if betting.

  12. Brendan is Lundqvist back in the Ranger nets tonight for sure? (I was hoping not in that I think the Senator team total over would have been a solid play)

  13. Lundvist is most likely going to start tonight. This is what ive read 20mins ago. Expect him to start.

  14. But also…Lundvist lost his last game which was against …yup you guessed it…the Ottawa Senators…beware!

  15. Since this the last day of the season, I want to know what your picks for the following awards:

    Jack Norris Trophy (top defenceman)
    Hart Trophy (most valuable player)
    Calder Trophy (top rookie)
    ———— (top goaltender)

    Sorry, but I forgot the name of the last award.

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