Round 2 Prediction Updates

Updated playoff odds based on our game prediction model are given in the table below. For those of you unfamiliar with the model, it uses each team’s Fenwick Close, Regressed Shooting Percentage and Regressed Save Percentage to predict single game results between any given pair of teams. Based on these home/away predictions, we can then generate odds of winning each series, and from those series odds make a forecast about who will take it all.

Team 3rd Round Stanley Cup Win Cup
Chicago 66.3% (+14.7%) 39.9% (+7.0%) 24.1% (+3.6%)
Boston 67.4% (+15.9%) 40.2% (+8.2%) 21.6% (+3.7%)
Los Angeles 61.9% (+28.3%) 30.8% (+12.3%) 16.5% (+6.3%)
Pittsburgh 59.1% (+21.8%) 29.5% (+9.4%) 13.9% (+3.9%)
San Jose 38.1% (+20.1%) 15.2% (+7.1%) 6.6% (+3.0%)
Ottawa 40.9% (+22.7%) 16.2% (+7.8%) 6.2% (+2.7%)
Detroit 33.7% (+13.5%) 14.1% (+5.0%) 6.0% (+1.9%)
NY Rangers 32.6% (+8.8%) 14.1% (+4.2%) 5.1% (+1.3%)

The biggest gains came for the Kings, who moved up 6.3% after rallying for four straight wins against the Blues in round 1. The Canucks loss is also their gain, as the model viewed Vancouver as the 3rd best team in the West, and their elimination makes LA’s path to the cup significantly easier.

Chicago, however, remains at the top of the heap, with the model now having the Hawks with about a 40% chance of making the cup and a 24.1% shot of winning everything. The Bruins remain on top of the East, and have slightly better chances of making the finals than Chicago, primarily due to the weaker competition they’re likely to face.

Both San Jose and Ottawa are now sitting at around 40% odds to move on past the 3rd round, with the model having the Sharks slightly higher at a 6.6% chance to win the Cup, over the Senators 6.2%. As I’ve mentioned previously, both of these teams odds may be slightly understated by the model, with each team fielding significantly different lineups than the one’s which accumulated most of their season stats. In particular, the potential return of Jason Spezza could be a major boost to the Sens, as his addition would allow the Sens to shift out some weaker puck possession players (cough, Matt Kassian, cough), and might also free up Kyle Turris to get better chances and to improve his abysmally low shooting percentage.

Boston has the highest odds to move on to the Conference Finals after coming back to shock the Leafs last night. The Bruins are not getting the easiest matchup that they might have, however, as Henrik Lundqvist’s back-to-back shutouts dropped their series win expectancy down about 6% when compared to a potential matchup with the Caps.

The Leafs loss last night is actually probably the most impactful story of the night, with the loss significantly changing the odds for most teams. The table below shows the odds the model would have given each team of winning the cup had the Buds managed to hold on for the win.

Team Without Leafs Win With Leafs Win Difference
Pittsburgh 13.9% 18.4% 4.5%
Ottawa 6.2% 8.7% 2.6%
Toronto 0.0% 2.4% 2.4%
Boston 21.6% 0.0% -21.6%
NY Rangers 5.1% 10.1% 5.0%
Chicago 24.1% 26.7% 2.6%
Detroit 6.0% 7.0% 1.0%
Los Angeles 16.5% 19.0% 2.5%
San Jose 6.6% 7.8% 1.2%

Had the Bruins been knocked out last night the Pens odds of winning the cup would have been a full 4.5% higher, and the Rangers (who have the unenviable task of taking on Boston in the second round now) would have doubled their odds of drinking from Lord Stanley’s mug to 10%. Even in the West you can see the effects of the B’s comeback, with the two front-runners, LA and Chicago dropping by about 2.5% in cup expectancy each.

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