Posts Tagged ‘Fearless predictions’

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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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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Jun 28th, 2013
8:24AM UTC

SNN Predicts: We Have A New Record-Holder!

Doogie, for his fourth silver medal in five years! Also, some other stuff.

Doogie Gerard Matt Result
4-3 4-2 4-2 4-2
1-0 1-0 0-1 W-L
1 0 4 GO
0 1 0 PS
12-3 12-3 11-4 W-L
28 26 30 GO
2 5 2 PS

Gerard and I both set a new record for most correct series (12), but Gerard wins on the basis of games-off (26, also a record) and perfect series (5, not a record). I will console myself with my perfect 7-0 run through the Western Conference and the knowledge that, had I been around to participate, I would’ve won the lab prediction pool and the cash money it promised. Matt, though, should hold his head high, because any other year, 11-4 would’ve won or tied for the lead. It’s actually kind of surprising, really, how well everyone did; usually, there’s one person who winds up 8-7 or something like that. Were these playoffs more predictable than normal? Is parity dead? Or did we just get lucky this year? I’m kind of thinking the latter, to be honest. Remember, the Leafs were 90 seconds from eliminating the Bruins. The Red Wings had a 3-1 lead on the Blackhawks in the conference semis and squandered it. The previous round, the Wings themselves went down 3-2 to the Ducks before coming back to win in Game 7. Hell, the Bruins were about a minute away from forcing Game 7 against Chicago, and then who knows what happens? Some years, everything goes your way. Others, you can get six series perfectly and still lose because three of your four Game 7 picks in round one crap out. Thanks a lot, 2011 Sabres/Canadiens/Penguins.

So congrats to Gerard for his first victory, multiple records, bragging rights, etc. I will spoil the moment utterly like a sore loser by pointing out that, while I am now the only participant never to win, I’ve tied the winner on correct series three of the five years, and somehow lost my own tiebreakers every time. Clearly, I need to come up with some new tiebreakers, because what I’m doing now obviously isn’t working.

  1. Hoop
  2. Hoop
  3. Hoop
  4. Matt
  5. Gerard

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Jun 12th, 2013
2:57PM UTC

SNN Predicts: 2013 Stanley Cup Finals

Two hours early!

Doogie (2:02 AM ADT): What did I tell you? What a game.

Doogie Gerard Matt Result
4-2 4-2 4-1 4-1
4-2 4-2 4-2 4-0
2-0 1-1 2-0 W-L
3 7 2 GO
0 0 1 PS
11-3 11-3 11-3 W-L
27 26 26 GO
2 4 2 PS

So here we are, after four months of labour nonsense, a 48-game sprint, and six weeks of playoffs, we’re finally at the end of the line. After three rounds, everyone’s essentially deadlocked, with perfect series looking like it could be the final decider in what’s been the closest round of picks since we started this nonsense. Looking at this final matchup, it’s really difficult to tell who’s got the advantage here, as evidenced by our picks below, and it should turn out to be a classic regardless of the end result. Will Chicago be the first non-Detroit team to win the double in over a decade? Will the Bruins prove that there is no love left in the Universe? Tune in tonight at 9 ADT and find out!


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Jun 1st, 2013
11:46AM UTC

SNN Predicts: 2013 NHL Conference Finals

Allegedly on time!

Doogie (June 8): So I finally found a few minutes to get in here. I’m not going to add reasoning to my picks because it’d a) be rubbing it in, and b) look like post hoc justifications. Nor will I try to defend that Rangers pick in round two with anything other than, “I was sick and wasn’t thinking.” So I’ll just add all the pretty history tables then peace out. Also, Gerard, you forgot that time Vancouver went to the Finals in 2011 despite your insistence that someone/something fuck them. Just sayin’.

Gerard (June 8): Nope. Take a look. I picked against Vancouver that year (and every other year) but I only started with “Fuck Vancouver. That’s why,” last season.

Doogie (June 9): Shit. You’re right. Objection withdrawn.

The big story coming out of the last round is the great success of “Because Fuck Vancouver, that’s why.” Perfect since its inception. Other than that, I’m awesome and Doogie still seems to think that the Rangers are an above-par team. I think Matt’s finally put away the dice.  So, without delay, here’s this round’s predictions!  I’m not going to do the typical Doogie thing of digging into teams’ pasts, because, well, I’m lazy.  But! Things will be up on time, and that’s got to count for something, right? Some justifications will likely be put into this over the next few days.

Doogie Gerard Matt Result
4-2 4-3 4-2 4-3
4-2 4-0 4-1 4-3
4-2 4-1 4-2 4-1
4-3 4-2 4-3 4-1
2-2 3-1 3-1 W-L
11 10 10 GO
0 1 0 PS
9-3 10-2 9-3 W-L
24 19 24 GO
2 4 1 PS

In the interests of fairness, I’m going to retire “Because Fuck Vancouver. That’s why,” for the year since all three of the teams are in the final four. [Ed: (after game 1): I apparently really should have picked the Bruins to win though...]. The universe does not seem to hate Toronto as much as it does Vancouver (I know – it surprised me too), so that tag gets scrapped for next year.

And here come the picks.


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Posted in Sports | 8 Comments »