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.