Wednesday, April 11, 2012

SRS playoff hockey predictions

The Simple Ranking System isn't a statistic that I came up with. It's a stat that those interested in sports analytics have respected it for a handful of years now. However, last year while preparing myself for my NHL playoff picks I stumbled across just how accurate the statistic was in predicting winners of playoff match-ups.

It had correctly predicted 50 of the last 60 play-off match-ups over the last 4 postseasons, including calling 15 of the 24 seeding upsets.

Over the 2011 postseason it posted similar, if slightly down, numbers - going 11-4. It's big miss was the Cinderella Tampa Bay Lightning who advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals despite having a lower SRS rating than their first and second round opponents (Penguins and Capitals, respectively).

The eventual conference champion Bruins and Canuck both possessed the highest SRS score in their conferences. However the Canucks, who had a higher score (.87 to .56) lost the Cup Final to the Bruins.

Since it performs so well at predicting series winners, and since it was such a popular post last postseason, I ran through this years postseason from first round to Cup winner.

Eastern Conference

New York Rangers (.46) defeat Ottawa Senators (.09)
Boston Bruins (.75) defeat Washington Capitals (-.13)
New Jersey Devils (.23) defeat Florida Panthers (-.33)
Pittsburgh Penguins (.71) defeat Philadelphia Flyers (.39)

New York Rangers (.46) defeat New Jersey Devils (.23)
Boston Bruins (.75) defeat Pittsburgh Penguins (.71)

Boston Bruins (.75) over New York Rangers (.46)

Western Conference

Vancouver Canucks (.57) over Los Angeles Kings (.19)
St. Louis Blues (.54) defeat San Jose Sharks (.22)
Phoenix Coyotes (.16) defeat Chicago Blackhawks (.14)
Detroit Red Wings (.55) defeat Nashville Predators (.34)

Vancouver Canucks (.57) defeat Detroit Red Wings (.55)
St. Louis Blues (.54) defeat Phoenix Coyotes (.16)

Vancouver Canucks (.57) defeat St. Louis Blues (.54)

Stanley Cup
Boston Bruins (.75) defeat Vancouver Canucks (.57)

The Cup Final probably look familiar, a re-match of last years Final, but the match-up between the leagues two highest SRS scores comes in the second round of the Eastern Conference when the Penguins face the Bruins. The Bruins have the slightly better score, but the Penguins were without Sidney Crosby for half the second.

All SRS scores come from the always great