NHL Playoff Predictor 2012 Round 3

Ahh, playoff hockey. The last update was rushed, so I'll go back to the first round to have a look at how we've done so far:

NY Rangers 0.657 0.391 0.180 0.093
Boston 0.807 0.566 0.354 0.218
Florida0.305 0.056 0.012 0.003
Pittsburgh 0.629 0.374 0.214 0.123
Philadelphia 0.371 0.178 0.080 0.037
New Jersey 0.695 0.282 0.103 0.043
Washington 0.193 0.058 0.019 0.006
Ottawa 0.343 0.096 0.037 0.014

Vancouver0.641 0.407 0.227 0.118
St Louis 0.650 0.408 0.234 0.124
Phoenix0.516 0.194 0.074 0.026
Nashville0.417 0.206 0.094 0.039
Detroit0.583 0.333 0.179 0.088
Chicago0.484 0.171 0.061 0.020
San Jose 0.350 0.139 0.064 0.024
Los Angeles0.359 0.143 0.067 0.025

This has been a strange playoffs. "Home Advantage" didn't seem to offer the benefit it usually does, and we saw pre-playoff favourites Boston, Pittsburgh and Vancouver all fall in the first round. Oops. As a result, the predictor did worse than in past years, going 5/8. Of the series, I watched a bunch of the Pittsburgh/Philadelphia series. It was one of the more entertaining series ... but a little crazy that Pittsburgh gave up big leads to lose games they probably should've won.

On to the next round!

NY Rangers 0.717 0.416 0.223
Philadelphia 0.546 0.276 0.132
New Jersey 0.454 0.210 0.092
Washington 0.283 0.098 0.031

St_Louis 0.643 0.410 0.249
Phoenix0.436 0.168 0.072
Nashville0.564 0.248 0.122
Los Angeles0.357 0.174 0.079

Yikes, what a weird playoffs. The Rangers nearly fell to washington in 7 games, and if they had the predictor would've completely bricked this round. 1/4 isn't too bad right? The Kings are putting on a clinic for how to knock off the top seeds in the conference. Apparently they are the first #8 seed team to ever defeat the number 1 and 2 seeds in a single NHL playoff - and they made it look easy. Now if only I had picked them in my playoff pools ...

In the East, the Devils made fairly short work of the Flyers - a team that has a lot of offensive firepower but their goaltending has struggled ... and the rangers had a lot more trouble than expected against washington. The Capitals sure got a lot of benefit from some fine goaltending from their 3rd string goalie. Wow did Holtby ever play well. But it wasn't quite enough to beat the rangers.

Alright, so the conference finals are up next. Here's what the predictor says for the matchups:

NY Rangers 0.601 0.370
New Jersey 0.399 0.206

Phoenix0.478 0.196
Los Angeles0.522 0.228

The rangers are favourites as expected, but I expect them to have problems with the Devils. The Devils are relatively rested and the Rangers have had two game 7's already.

In the West, Phoenix and LA make a pretty unlikely matchup. The simulator likes LA, and I do as well - they seem to have the right combination of depth, hot goaltending, and confidence ... and Phoenix should be a relatively easy opponent compared to Vancouver and St. Louis.