Wednesday #MoneyPuck post. Predicting winners and losers.

14 Nov

Last week in my MoneyPuck post, I discussed trying to figure out how many goals were a goalie’s fault.  I determined basically it was a function of offensive prowess, opposing defenses, goalie skill, special teams (power play/penalty kill) and a good day/bad day shock.

Looks like someone generally agrees.  If you’re a stats/math person, give this a read.  Basically, they come up with a way predict scoring for each team based on offense, defense, whether a team is home or away and the power play.  Unfortunately, they state there are too many parameters if you try to match offense versus defense on a team by team basis.  It would be even more difficult if they went line by line for each team.

What you end up with out of this paper is a good way to predict over/under if you are a gambler.  Not taking anything away from this article, but if you are a practitioner, you should be able to predict how many goals your team will score in various situations.  This will allow coaches to match up their lines better against the opposition, as well as give General Manager’s a better idea of good personnel moves.

This takes me back to my post in predicting the good day/bad day scenario and splitting scoring credit/blame.

I did this briefly for the three games at the Olympic qualifiers without breaking down lines.  Based on the three games, using a weighted probability, and using that to predict a rematch against the finalists, I came up with:

Hungary scores an average of 8 goals a game and has a good game 33% of the time and a bad game 67% of the time.  This is odd, but it is because there are only three games…this would even out over a season.

The Netherlands average 7.67 goals a game and have a good game 67% of the time…a bad day 33%.

Based on this, the Netherlands would likely score 9 goals (between 8 and 9) and Hungary would score 8.

However, defensively….the Netherlands would allow 3 goals (between 3 and 4) and Hungary would also allow 3, but likely between 2 and 3.

So, both of their defenses will likely cause their offenses to have a bad day.  Hungary is more likely to have a bad day and scores between 5 and 6 goals…the Netherlands on their bad day….scored 6.

Without further analysis, this scenario works out to meet the score for the teams.  But, a full season needs to be looked at…many more games.  It then needs to be figured out what defenses cause a offensive unit to have a bad day and how much lower they would score.  I think this might be the way to go though.  More to come in future MoneyPuck posts.


Final note, and off topic (slightly)….I have been writing about hockey a lot…then I wrote a post about basketball yesterday and got just a little love.  There seems to be a low correlation between hockey love and basketball love…just saying….


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