Oct 242006
 

Well, last night was a good night on the game prediction night as the algorithm went 6 for 6. That brings the algorithms over record to a nice 17-9. Just 3 games on schedule tonight but two of which should be qutie interesting. First there is the battle of Ontario game as the Senators try to get revenge for a 6-0 Leafs trashing a couple weeks ago. The second interesting game is the game between the Devils and Penguins. Both teams have had mixed sucecss so far this season and with the standings extremely tight in the Atlantic division (Devils 9 points, Penguins, Rangers and Islanders 8 points) getting wins against division rivals is big even though it is still early in the season.

Home Team Fair
HTOdds
Road Team Fair
RTOdds
Predicted Winner Confidence
Pittsburgh -107 New Jersey 107 Pittsburgh Some
Toronto -112 Ottawa 110 Toronto Some
Calgary -239 Phoenix 158 Calgary Strong
Oct 232006
 

A couple of interesting games today. First, Montreal will try to show that their big win over Colorado on Saturday is no fluke when they take on the top team in the NHL, also known as the Buffalo Sabres. Another interesting game is the Dallas-Vancouver game. This is another big test for the Canucks who have gotten off to a fairly good start but have not made it easy on themselves as they have relied a fair bit on late game comebacks and overtime/shootout wins. For example, on Saturday they tied Nashville with less than 2 minutes left in the game and won it in overtime. The game before against St. Louis they tied it up with less than 30 seconds to play and won it with a goal with 1 second left in overtime. Maybe that is a sign of a good team or maybe it is a sign that they are a lucky team playing with fire just waiting to get burnt. Tonights game against Dallas will be a good test to see which it might be.

Home Team Fair
HTOdds
Road Team Fair
RTOdds
Predicted Winner Confidence
Columbus 160 San Jose -253 San Jose Strong
Montreal -101 Buffalo 101 Buffalo Some
Florida 121 Atlanta -127 Atlanta Good
Colorado -136 Los Angeles 126 Colorado Good
Dallas -131 Vancouver 123 Dallas Some
Edmonton -370 Phoenix 172 Edmonton Strong
Oct 222006
 

Just one game today as it seems the NHL has all but given up trying to compete against the NFL. The game features Los Angeles and Anaheim and of course there is no NFL team in Los Angeles.

Home Team Fair
HTOdds
Road Team Fair
RTOdds
Predicted Winner Confidence
Los Angeles 124 Anaheim -132 Anaheim Strong
Oct 212006
 

Here are the game predictions for today.

Home Team Fair
HTOdds
Road Team Fair
RTOdds
Predicted Winner Confidence
Boston 122 Buffalo -128 Boston Some
Toronto -137 NY Rangers 127 Toronto Some
Montreal 142 Colorado -172 Colorado Strong
Ottawa 112 New Jersey -113 New Jersey Some
NY Islanders -112 Carolina 111 NY Islanders Some
Washington -242 Tampa Bay 158 Washington Strong
Atlanta -268 Florida 162 Atlanta Strong
Pittsburgh -117 Columbus 115 Pittsburgh Good
Nashville 124 Vancouver -132 Vancouver Good
Chicago -198 St. Louis 149 Chicago Good
Edmonton -136 Detroit 126 Edmonton Good
Phoenix 158 Dallas -240 Dallas Strong
San Jose -169 Minnesota 141 San Jose Strong
Oct 202006
 

Before I say anything else about these predictions let me first say that you should still take these with a grain of salt or two. It is still very early in the season and since these predictions take into account a teams record and the records of the teams they have played and most teams have only played ~6 games there isn’t a lot of track record to go by. That said, there were still reasonably reliable early last season.

Since this is the fist time posting I should explain what everything means. Home team, Road team and Predicted winner are obvious. The confidence is an indicator of how strong the prediction is and an indicator of its likelihood of coming true. Possible confidence levels are Some, Good and Strong. Early in the season you will likely find a lot of Strongs but they should reduce over time as the algorithms predictions have more historic results to work with and the predictions get more refined.

HTOdds and RTOdds are a bit of betting advice and are an indicatator of the odds or money line I would look for if I were betting on the game. HTOdds are for the home team and RTOdds are for the road team. Note that sometimes the odds indicate a favourite that differs from the predicted outcome. This is because they are calculated slightly differently. It doesn’t happen too often but it does happen.

So with all that said, here are tonights predictions. I am going to be keeping track of these predictions in my NHL Pick-em pool so if you want to see how they are doing check out the pool standings.

Home Team Fair
HTOdds
Road Team Fair
RTOdds
Predicted Winner Confidence
Columbus -233 Toronto 157 Columbus Strong
Florida -548 Philadelphia 181 Florida Strong
Buffalo -110 Carolina 109 Buffalo Some
St. Louis 159 Vancouver -246 Vancouver Strong
Dallas -224 Chicago 155 Dallas Strong
Anaheim 118 Minnesota -123 Minnesota Strong
Oct 102006
 

It’s time for some game predicting fun. I had hoped to get this up and running by the start of the season last week but better a little late than never. I am please to announce that HockeyAnalysis.com has a new feature. That is, an NHL game prediction pool. There are probably a few kinks that still have to be worked out in the software but it should work fine. If you have any problems feel free to e-mail me or post some comments here. For the next little while it’ll be in testing mode but once I am confident that it works fine I’ll get some actual weekly and/or monthy pools going. If all things go well and I can get some good advertising revenue I hope to be able to offer some prizes but only if the revenue is there so tell all your friends, family and coworkers about it. It’s time to put your predicting ability to the test so go enter your picks and lets see how you compare to others.

Oct 052006
 

I have one major complaint with what I have seen from coach Paul Maurice this year. I don’t understand why he has Wellwood playing on Sundin’s wing. I really like Wellwood and he has oodles of skill but he is a puck posession and puck distribution guy much like Sundin. Both Sundin and Wellwood are guy you want to lead the rush. They aren’t a great fit for each other except on the PP. This leads into your Tucker comment. Tucker is a potential 30 goal scorer but he isn’t going to score 30 goals playing with Mike Peca and Chad Kilger. He needs to be put on a line with a playmaker like Sundin or Wellwood. You can make the same arguement for Steen who got stuck with Pohl and god knows who. If I were making the lines I would have Sundin as your #1 center with one of Tucker or Steen on one wing and have Wellwood as your second line center with the other of Tucker or Steen on the other wing. Then I have Peca as your shutdown center on the 3rd line. In my mind that would be a much better distribution of the limited offensive abilities the Leafs have as I think both Wellwood and Sundin have the ability to make the players around them better. It just makes sense to have them on different lines.

Oct 032006
 

As I was driving home tonight I was listening to the Team 1200 sports radio station here in Ottawa and apparently there is some outrage and misunderstanding about the Mogilny decision today. The announcers were talking about how there are probably 29 other teams who are upset at this decision. Let me say that this is probably not the case and the reason is simple.

The over age 35 and in the second or later year of a multi-year contract rule where the players salary will count against the cap regardless of where or even if he is playing was put in place to stop teams from circumventing the salary cap. Here is how a team might be able to do that.

They could sign 38 year old player X to a 5 year contract that pays him $3 million in year 1 and $500,000 in years 2,3,4 and 5. The average salary will then be just $1 million and the salary cap hit would be just $1 million in year 1 of that contract. There could also be a wink-wink-nudge-nudge agreement between the player and the team that after year 1 the player will retire. If the over 35, multi-year contract rule was not in place the player just made $3 million and the team only counted $1 million against the cap effectively allowing the team to sign another $2 million player. The rule was not in place to shaft a team if one of their older players got seriously injured and could not play.

As for other teams GMs being upset. Do you think the Carolina Hurricanes would be upset at this decision if Rod Brind’amour gets seriously injured this year and can’t play again? Brind’amour just signed a 5 year contract. Do you think the Los Angeles Kings would be upset with this decision if Rob Blake, the guy who signed a 2 year $12 million contract, got injured next month and couldn’t play again? Do you think the St. Louis Blues will be upset considering they have signed Weight for 2 years and $7 million? There are a number of other teams in similar situations. Do you think any of them will be upset at the decision?

On a side note, I wonder which will be the first team to offer a 34 year old a 10 year contract at $5 million per year for the first 5 years and$500,000 for the last 5 years. Makes you think that maybe the biggest mistake the Islanders made in the DiPietro deal is not making it a 20 or 25 year deal with a bunch of $500,000 years at the end of the contract to drop the average salary even more. I mean, they have already committed the real dollars, why not reduce the salary cap dollars in the process.

Oct 022006
 

We are only a couple of days away from the start of the NHL season so that means it is prediction time. I have thought long and hard about this and this is how I see this season shaking out.

Eastern Conference
1. New York Rangers, 108 points
2. Buffalo Sabres, 104 points
3. Carolina Hurricanes, 102 points
4. Ottawa Senators, 102 points
5. New Jersey Devils, 101 points
6. Philadelphia Flyers, 97 points
7. Boston Bruins, 95 points
8. Toronto Maple Leafs, 92 points
9. Atlanta Thrashers, 91 points
10. Florida Panthers, 89 points
11. Montreal Canadiens, 88 points
12. Tampa Bay Lightning, 85 points
13. Pittsburgh Penguins, 76 points
14. New York Islanders, 73 points
15. Washington Capitals, 65 points

For the Devils I am making the assumption that they find a way to keep Gomez, Gionta and Paul Martin. If they lose one of these guys they won’t end up so high in the standings and I’ll revisit this prediction.

Western Conference

1. Detroit Red Wings, 110 points
2. Calgary Flames, 104 points
3. San Jose Sharks, 101 points
4. Nashville Predators, 107 points (4th because division leaders get ranked 1-3)
5. Dallas Stars, 100 points
6. Anaheim Ducks, 98 points
7. Edmonton Oilers, 95 points
8. Minnesota Wild, 93 points
9. Vancouver Canucks, 92 points
10. Phoenix Coyotes, 86 points
11. Columbus Blue Jackets, 85 points
12. St. Louis Blues, 81 points
13. Colorado Avalanche, 80 points
14. Los Angeles Kings, 72 points
15. Chicago Blackhawks, 67 points

Eastern Conference Champion: Buffalo Sabres
Western Conference Champion: Calgary Flames

Stanley Cup Winner: Calgary Flames
Agree? Disagree? What are your predictions?