Posts by Ian Cooper

Can a 4 Year Old Beat the Experts - The Finals

After a conference final round that went to 7 games but where we emerged triumphant on both series, it appears no matter what happens next we'll be one up on my daughter, who wasn't 100% sold on either team in what is certain to be a close series.   In the end, she picked Tampa […]

Can a 4 Year Old Beat the Experts - Round 3

After a perfect 4-0 last round, it appears my four year old can't agree with us on anything. Now if the Caps had managed to knock off the Rangers, she would have gone Lightning over Caps, but as it stands, she's firmly committed to the Rangers winning that series. Meanwhile, although she initially said both […]

Can a 4 Year Old Beat the Experts - Round 2

For those who are following the competition between us and my four year old daughter, the first round wasn't great for either of us: a 4-4 record, which means we might as well both have been flipping coins. We're hoping to do better this go round, as is she.  Without further ado, here are her […]

Can a 4 Year Old Beat the Experts?

For those who have read our predictions, we thought we'd keep ourselves - and all the other pundits out there - honest by asking my four year old daughter to give us her picks for each round of this year's playoffs. Her method, which involved sitting on the couch with a pencil crayon and […]

Why Great Goaltending is a Team Effort

When the playoffs begin next week a familiar nervousness will make its presence known in cities like Pittsburgh (assuming they’re in) and Vancouver as fans relive the failures of playoffs past.   Like everywhere else there will be the usual blather about leadership, chemistry, grit, etc. But more than that, there will be questions about […]

Why the team with the most points isn't always the best

In the 2008 playoffs, the Dallas Stars limped into a 5th seed in the Western Conference with a 3-5-2 finish and 97 points. As the third best team in a strong Pacific Division (8th overall), the Stars had drawn the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks as their first round opponents.   The Ducks finished […]

Sports Analysts and Their Intellectual Blind Spots

There are many great moments in Michael Lewis’s Moneyball, but one of my favorites involves an exchange between Dan Feinstein, the Oakland A’s video coordinator and newly acquired outfielder John Mabry.   Mabry and teammate Scott Hatteberg are commiserating over how difficult it is to prepare for a game against Seattle Mariners ace Jamie Moyer, […]

Depth: Seldom Defined, Possibly Overrated

Arguably the greatest contribution of hockey’s analytics revolution is its ability to subject longstanding articles of faith to cold hard logic.   Articles of faith have their appeal. Because if you say something often enough without thinking about it much, it eventually feels true.   Occasionally, even those who traffic in pure reason fall into […]

Experimenting With Unbiased Analytics

Anyone who has taken Statistics 101 understands the importance of randomness in generating a useful data set, and you don’t need a PhD in game theory to acknowledge the wisdom of conceding a battle or two to win a war.   Putting these basic ideas into practice isn’t always easy.   In my first job […]

Why Devante Smith-Pelly Remains Unsigned

Devante Smith-Pelly turned 22 in June and is coming off a season in which he led his AHL team with 27 goals, got a late season call up to the Anaheim Ducks, and capped it off by leading the team with 5 goals in 12 playoff games.   So why is Smith-Pelly still sitting at […]