Vancouver is likely to “squeak” into the playoffs: HockeyViz.com

CANUCKS BANTER     By Andrew Chernoff    November 30, 2015

Halifax-based mathematician Micah Blake McCurdy, who runs HockeyViz.com is involved in making visualizations for understanding hockey.  He lives in Halifax with his wife, daughter, and son.

For the NHL 2015-2016 season, he has been making projections on final points for the teams and teams that would make the playoffs, among other things.

For example, on his site you will discover that he projected the amount of points for the Canucks by the end of the season and has given a projection for Vancouver’s chances to make the playoffs in the Western Conference.

And he did this for the rest of the teams in the NHL too.

pointProj-all

makePlayoffs-conf-West

makePlayoffs-conf-East

Based on the work of Micah Blake McCurdy, at this point of the season, Vancouver is likely to “squeak” into the playoffs, just ahead of Arizona, by a point or two. And the Canucks have a 60.7 per cent chance of finishing the season as the 8th best team in the Western Conference, just ahead of Minnesota.

Of course, the season is only two months in and much hockey is left to play but for Vancouver Canuck fans, don’t despair…as bad as things have been so far this season, there just might be a light at the end of the season tunnel welcoming the Canucks into the Stanley Cup playoffs.

What else does he do? Well, according to his site:

  • Shift Research
    • He has developed a series of quantifying player results depending on the zones in which they start and end their shifts. Parts one and two of the series are already written.
  • Score Effects Research
    • He has been doing work on score effects. His first serious exploration here ruled out varying player ice-time as a possible non-trivial effect, so his next step is to look at individual player performance at different score-states.
  • Predictive models
    • In addition to Pip, his 5v5 shots only model, McCurdy developed Oscar, a model augmenting shots with scoring percentages and goaltending terms. He will be developing at least two more models, another logistic regression (like Pip and Oscar) including special teams terms, and an entirely different model based on simulations done on individual player statistics and projected lineups. All of these models will be documented extensively on the site.
  • Shift Visualizations
    • A new visualization of where the puck goes after a given player starts a shift, relative to league and team averages. This will be broken down into shift start location. He hope to be able to visually identify which players are making the most of their deployment and which players are giving up ground.

Visit the HockeyViz.com site. If you are an NHL enthusiast like me, you will enjoy what you find and return on a regular basis.

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