Posts Tagged ‘Fearless predictions’

Jun 4th, 2014
5:00PM UTC

SNN Predicts: 2014 Stanley Cup Finals

For all the marbles!

Doogie Gerard Matt Result
4-2 4-3 4-2 4-3
4-2 4-1 4-1 4-2
0-2 0-2 2-0 W-L
7 7 2 GO
0 0 0 PS
10-4 5-9 10-4 W-L
23 40 24 GO
3 0 1 PS


I suppose this is what I get for abandoning my April pick for the Cup for a spurious reason, but given that the series went to G7 OT, I feel pretty okay about getting it wrong, especially since I still have that tiebreaker in my back pocket. The Habs…sigh. Let us not speak of that prediction again.

Last series of the year. I think we all know how these picks are going to go, but let’s go through the motions, anyway.


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May 17th, 2014
10:00AM UTC

SNN Predicts: 2014 NHL Conference Finals

This is the most placeholdery post I've ever chucked into the queue.

Doogie Gerard Matt Result
4-1 4-2 4-2 4-3
4-1 4-0 4-1 4-2
4-3 4-2 4-2 4-3
4-2 4-2 4-1 4-3
3-1 2-2 3-1 W-L
6 9 7 GO
0 0 0 PS
10-2 5-7 8-4 W-L
16 33 22 GO
3 0 1 PS

I feel kind of robbed, you know, and I don’t just mean the miniscule turnaround time, either. Seriously, why’d Chicago have to go and win Game 6? They robbed us of four Game 7s. How rad would that have been?

Anyway, at the start of the playoffs, I think most analytics types had LA, Chicago, Boston, and the Rangers as their final four, and three out of four ain’t bad. Certainly, Boston’s ouster by Montreal was an upset, though not a totally unpredictable one. Regardless, given how we got here, I think this is pretty much Chicago’s Cup to lose at this point. The Kings and Rangers have both played 14 games already, and historically no team has ever played two seven-gamers and gone on to win the conference finals. It’s certainly possible this time around, as both teams are well-matched against their opponents, but if things hold true to historical form, we’re looking at Chicago-Montreal in the Finals, and that’ll be a fast series in more than one sense.

But hey, that’s why they play the games, right? So, let’s get to it and make some hasty calls.


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May 1st, 2014
4:00PM UTC

SNN Predicts: 2014 NHL Division Finals

I'm sorry, I don't have anything pithy to add this time around. Tight turnaround.

Doogie Gerard Matt Result
4-3 4-0 4-1 4-2
4-3 4-2 4-2 4-3
4-2 4-1 4-1 4-3
4-3 4-1 4-2 4-2
4-1 4-3 4-0 4-1
4-3 4-2 4-2 4-0
4-2 4-0 4-3 4-2
4-1 4-3 4-2 4-3
7-1 3-5 5-3 W-L
10 24 15 GO
3 0 1 PS

So, that happened. (And yes, I know, those are no longer our tiebreakers. But the spreadsheet and table templates were already there and I’m lazy. For Entertainment Purposes Only™.)

The first round sure was weird, huh? I mean, it started out West with St. Louis vomiting up their division championship, and San Jose failing to take advantage of a faltering Anaheim down the stretch, losing to a bunch of shit teams in March and April to accept second. With those placements, instead of four dead easy picks and two second-rounders for the ages, we had four coin-flips that ended with two contenders dropping and two pretenders moving on. I’m still in such disbelief about the San Jose-LA outcome that I started writing up a preview of Anaheim-San Jose until I realized halfway through that they had actually lost. Then out East, we had the 3-1 lead become the most dangerous in hockey, the 2014 Canadiens unpredictably and inexplicably looking like the 1977 Canadiens against Tampa Bay, Steve Mason looking like a competent goaltender, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.

What’s that leave us with? Zero compelling match-ups in the Campbell (see you in the conference finals again, San Jose LA and Chicago), and two compelling rivalries that both seem to have seemingly predictable results, though we shall certainly see.

Note also that my write-ups aren’t nearly as in depth this time around, in part due to time constraints, and in part because a lot of the core information hasn’t changed since round one, with the exceptions duly noted. Note also that in accordance with tradition, Matt’s picks will be late.


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Apr 16th, 2014
4:00PM UTC

SNN Predicts: 2014 NHL Division Semi-Finals

New Formats! Come and Getcher New Formats!

Welcome to the seventh annual SNN Predicts series of articles (eighth overall, if you count the 2004 version done on the forums, lost to the mists of time but notable for the fact that I went 0-4 in series involving the Flames), in which we act like we know what we’re talking about and make our (mostly) blindingly obvious predictions, with a shocking amount of success, considering some mainstream reporters usually wind up under .500 by the time the Stanley Cup is finally awarded somewhere around Canada Day. This is also at least my fifth year in a row copying and pasting the same intro, because I’m cool like that.

This year we’ve got a slightly confusing playoff format change, which as produced an unfortunate set of matchups out west. Unfortunate in the sense that two Cup contenders will be gone before half of Canada’s changed out their winter tires; we could have some rollicking fun watching those series in the meantime. Meanwhile, out east we have one elite team, one team riding its reputation, and a collection of question marks filling out the ranks. All of which should make for one confusing set of predictions. New this year: thanks to Extra Skater I can do some back-of-the-envelope fancystats on the season series, which is exactly as exciting as it sounds. Whether I mean that ironically or not depends on your perspective, I suppose. Given that I didn’t have much time to watch the NHL this year, it’s pretty much all I have to go on, so expect a lot of dry numbers and not much awareness of anything else; it served me shockingly well last year.

In keeping with the “new format” idea, we have a new tiebreaker. Specifically, I jacked it from the brackets: first tiebreaker is correct champion, second is correct runner-up, third is closest to the correct number of goals, over or under (no Price is Right rules).

With that, let’s get to it.


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Posted in Sports | 20 Comments »

Mar 21st, 2014
10:48AM UTC

Hitmen Post-Game: That Went Well


1 2 2 5
1 0 1 2

That could’ve gone better.

I didn’t get a chance to write a preview post, investigate the stats, etc., due to other commitments (procrastination, whatever). My initial instinct/hope was Hitmen in six, supported by Not Much In Particular, but the way they played last night – and indeed, in the final two games of the regular season, also against Kootenay – they’re looking more like a five-game loss. At the twelve-minute mark of the first period in last Friday’s game in Cranbrook, the Hitmen were up 2-0 on the scoreboard, and 11-5 in shots. Since then, they’ve been outshot 103-79 in 173 minutes of hockey, an average of -8.3 shot differential per 60 minutes or 43.4% of total shots. That’s some draft-lottery level shit right there. Yet in the first two games, they escaped with a 5-4 shootout win (after hocking up a 3-0 lead with 26 minutes to go), and then won 6-3 on home ice thanks to five consecutive goals in 20:04 of ice time. Human psychology is what it is: when you succeed despite a poor process, you’re not especially inclined to change the process because it’s “working,” even though in reality you’re playing with fire. Cognitive dissonance will kick in, you’ll ignore it, and then eventually you’ll get a wholly deserved 5-2 pasting. Hopefully, head coach Mike Williamson is now sending a clear message that is being received by everyone on the roster, because if not, this is gonna be a short playoff run by a team that tied for first in their conference and third in the WHL overall standings during the regular season.

It’s easy to blame poor discipline and officiating, both of which were certainly in evidence last night. The penalties didn’t help, but it’s not like they were a juggernaut before the parade to the box began; quite the opposite, really. They were outshot 4-1 already by the time they took their first penalty about five minutes in, and it was only through a weak five-hole that they were up 1-0. While they didn’t get hemmed in a ton by my recollection, they were never able to establish any kind of consistent offensive zone time at even strength, either. One play I noticed in the first was a “forecheck” in which two players were down low battling for the puck…and F3 was about two feet below the blue line in the middle of the ice, right between the two D. I never Played The Game, and I’m certainly no systems analyst, but that doesn’t seem like good puck support. Anyway, while I probably couldn’t do a great job of assessing that element through the rest of the game, I did spend the entire second period watching the breakout fail. Again. And again. And again. And–oh look, they got a wild pass out that got tipped in to avoid the icing! Does that count? Seriously, I don’t think they entered or exited the zone with control once that entire period. How the hell did they get 13 shots? They didn’t even get their first power play until 4:51 of the third period. Did the scorer feel bad for them or something?

As a fan, it’s probably best to burn the metaphorical tape for this one and move on to Saturday’s game. Realistically, 0-1 is not the biggest deal in the world. If Game 2 looks anything like Game 1, though…time to panic.

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