NHL Playoff Probabilities

March 11, 2011

Screenshot of sports club stats

Screenshot, 2011.03.09

Last year, I became addicted to Sports Club Stats, a useful site where results of simulations of hockey seasons (and other sports) are on display. Especially as the end of the regular season nears, it becomes a great tool to understand which teams are likely to make the playoffs, and which teams to root for so that my favorite team has a better chance of making the playoffs.

I think that I will probably write a few articles about topics related to this tool, but I first wanted to point out the aspects that I find particularly valuable:

  • The ability to choose the model that sets the odds on the simulations of the remaining games: “weighted” or “50/50” (coin-flipping). By switching between the two methods, you can get a pretty good feel for the variation on the values given due to the choice of model. Understanding the sensitivity of the results to the choice of model is not something that is often explicitly available in a user-friendly way.
  • The ability to see how the next couple of days games will effect the other teams probabilities of making the playoffs. When you see that the Stars winning will reduce the Blackhawks probability of advancing by almost 10 percent, it gives you even more reason to root against the Stars.
  • There is a huge amount of detail available on demand. While it is probably quite overwhelming to someone that is not willing to spend quite a bit of time understanding it, it is well-hidden to not be distracting for the more casual user.

My only gripe is that some of the content begs to be presented more visually and in a more aesthetically pleasing way (note horrendous yellowish-green highlights). Color scheme jokes aside, Sports Club Stats is the most useful hockey analytics tool I've come across on the web and I hope you come to find it useful too.

contributors to this post

headshot of Mike Stringer
headshot of Dean Malmgren