Posts by Phil Curry

The Methodology Behind the SI Predictions

How to predict this year’s playoffs? An interesting question with many potential answers. We didn’t get an opportunity to explain how we came up with the numbers that we did in the SI article itself, so we’ll have to do that here. Hopefully I can explain our methodology clearly even for those without a statistics […]

NHL has done good job creating parity, analytics suggest

There have been several articles recently suggesting that changes need to be made to the NHL’s draft lottery. The problem, apparently, is that tanking has gotten so out of control that the league needs to further try to deter it. I wrote earlier about how the draft lottery has mitigated against tanking. Tanking is something […]

Spreading the Wealth: Measuring Across-Season Parity

This week’s article in The Star looked at “across-season parity”. In a nutshell, across-season parity refers to all teams spending equal time being playoff teams, and winning an equal number of Stanley Cups. A lack of across-season parity occurs when the same teams make the playoffs each year, and when the same team wins the […]

Puck possession helps predict playoff chances, analytics suggest

Springtime means different things in different NHL cities. In some cities, fans can begin to get comfortable with their shiny new trade deadline acquisitions – players intended to help them on their way to Lord Stanley’s coveted mug. In other cities, fans brace themselves for the inevitable end to the 18-wheeler’s freefall, and hope that […]

NHL’s draft lottery seems to help fight tanking

The season is approaching the three quarter mark, and two races are in full flight: the race to secure a playoff seed, and the race to secure a high draft pick. For fans of those teams clearly out of the former, losses are cheered perhaps more than wins as tanking is seen as the best […]

Dishonour for Connor: How the Lottery Has Affected Tanking

This week’s article in The Star looked at the effect that the draft lottery has had on the incentive for a team to intentionally try to be bad in order to get the top pick in the draft. The draft was instituted in 1963 as a way of sorting out how to bring amateur players […]

Sabres have best shot at Connor McDavid, analytics suggest

Now that we’re officially more than halfway into the season we’re starting to get a clearer picture of which teams are contenders and which are pretenders. However, there is still a lot of hockey left to play, and there will be a fair bit of movement up and down the standings. So what should we […]

Forecasting the Second Half

This week’s article in The Star looked at what information was most useful for predicting how teams will perform in the second half of the season. In a previous article, I considered how a team’s performance in several variables after 25 games was predictive of making the playoffs. Here, the prediction was not a simple […]

Shot Attempts Are Valuable Information

This week’s article in The Star looked at the predictive value of information embodied in a team’s points and in their possession metrics. In particular it showed that these two stats contained different kinds of information, so that when used together, predictive power is increased. I should begin by mentioning that the first draft of […]

Maple Leafs Likely to Miss Playoffs, Hockey Analytics Suggest

At this time of year team records can be deceiving. Every year some teams get off to fast starts but then collapse, and others start slow but work their way into playoff position by season’s end. Last year saw the Phoenix (now Arizona) Coyotes come storming out of the gate to get 34 points in […]