Jun 14 2020
📣 We will update the latest Cup winner predictions here in this post, as the playoffs progress.
Playoff time, it's here finally (or at least in a few months 😃) !
Anyway, once the playoff format for 24 teams was announced by the NHL, I wanted to publish our predictions for winning the Cup as soon as possible. The system needed some tweaking, as this time, the number of rounds to play is not equal for all teams, unlike in the typical 16 team playoffs we are used to - hence the small delay in releasing the results.
Without further ado, here are the predictions:
|Tampa Bay Lightning||53.05 %||1.89|
|Dallas Stars||46.95 %||2.13|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||27.21 %||3.68|
|Vegas Golden Knights||24.91 %||4.01|
|Dallas Stars||24.24 %||4.13|
|New York Islanders||23.64 %||4.23|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||13.5 %||7.41|
|Boston Bruins||12.79 %||7.82|
|Philadelphia Flyers||12.66 %||7.9|
|Colorado Avalanche||12.61 %||7.93|
|Vancouver Canucks||12.47 %||8.02|
|Vegas Golden Knights||12.37 %||8.08|
|Dallas Stars||11.98 %||8.35|
|New York Islanders||11.63 %||8.6|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||7.07 %||14.14|
|Boston Bruins||6.73 %||14.86|
|Colorado Avalanche||6.47 %||15.46|
|Philadelphia Flyers||6.4 %||15.62|
|Vancouver Canucks||6.35 %||15.75|
|Carolina Hurricanes||6.34 %||15.77|
|Washington Capitals||6.27 %||15.95|
|Vegas Golden Knights||6.25 %||16.0|
|St. Louis Blues||6.25 %||16.0|
|Dallas Stars||6.14 %||16.29|
|New York Islanders||6.06 %||16.5|
|Chicago Blackhawks||6.0 %||16.67|
|Calgary Flames||5.99 %||16.69|
|Montreal Canadiens||5.94 %||16.84|
|Arizona Coyotes||5.92 %||16.89|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||5.84 %||17.12|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||7.34 %||13.63|
|Boston Bruins||6.86 %||14.57|
|Philadelphia Flyers||6.74 %||14.85|
|Colorado Avalanche||6.67 %||14.99|
|Vegas Golden Knights||6.66 %||15.02|
|Washington Capitals||6.53 %||15.31|
|St. Louis Blues||6.36 %||15.73|
|Dallas Stars||6.21 %||16.1|
|Winnipeg Jets||3.1 %||32.25|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||3.09 %||32.38|
|New York Rangers||3.06 %||32.65|
|Carolina Hurricanes||2.97 %||33.69|
|Minnesota Wild||2.96 %||33.73|
|Nashville Predators||2.96 %||33.8|
|Edmonton Oilers||2.95 %||33.89|
|Calgary Flames||2.95 %||33.94|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||2.93 %||34.11|
|Florida Panthers||2.93 %||34.15|
|Vancouver Canucks||2.92 %||34.21|
|New York Islanders||2.92 %||34.23|
|Chicago Blackhawks||2.79 %||35.82|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||2.77 %||36.15|
|Montreal Canadiens||2.72 %||36.74|
|Arizona Coyotes||2.61 %||38.33|
I want to emphasize right away that the predictions above are derived from the performance of the teams in the '19 - '20 regular season. More precisely, we looked how the teams got along in games, in relation with our AI predictions for those games. In other words, if a game was a "tough one" based on our data and analysis model, but the team won it, they gained more power out of it. And vice versa for lost "easy" games, and to go on, losing a tough game did not decrease the power measure as much as losing an easier game.
After adding up all the power relations from individual games, prioritizing the first games of the season less than the most recent games, categorizing the games between the teams within conference, playoffs and non-playoff teams, and finally between playoff series teams, and taking the preliminary rounds into account, we arrived to the end result.
In the playoffs, any team is capable of winning it all.
As is the case for all of our predictions, also the SC winner predictions should be used only as a base for a betting strategy. We can only provide the estimations derived from prior game data, but it's your decision to wager based on our predictions. Especially in the playoffs, where any team can win it all, and this is my honest opinion, it is somewhat ridiculous to predict the winner only with regular season data. On the other hand, that is the latest information available - I don't think looking back even to the last season playoffs would help. For instance, do You think Columbus will blank Tampa Bay again, in case they meet during the playoffs? Or how much should that series be weighted in the analysis, or should it be treated as an outlier?
Until we can access the stress level data of the players, i.e. read their minds, we are always left in the dark to some extent, when we try to predict game outcomes and how the results of past games affect it. But that's the beauty in the NHL playoffs - every game is a new battle. Here are some tools and thoughts to improve your betting, alongside with our predictions.
Now, I'm no clairvoyant, but I expect goalies to perform better than usual. It is easier to focus on the puck and see the ice when there is no distraction from the fans. Moreover, the arenas are going to be literally silent, meaning that the players and coaches can better communicate with each other, an important thing when protecting your own goal.
In general, the quality of play will improve, and the games will be faster than ever. It is easier to keep your cool in the middle of a game, when the emotions of the fans don't reach you. Guys like Niklas Backstrom and Aleksander Barkov will execute their plays as usual, but with even higher precision. Also guys like Tom Wilson and Cal Clutterbuck have to focus more on making plays (if they have soft enough hands) instead of hitting everything that moves, because now delivering a hit generates no energy from the empty seats. As a consequence, the number of hits in a game will decrease, and the saved energy will translate into more fast paced games. Therefore, I anticipate fast and skilled teams benefiting from the special circumstances more, than the teams that boast more unskilled heavy hitters.
What an epic playoff summer we are about to witness! Check back soon, I will post our preliminary round series predictions and round robin tournament winner predictions in a few days!