Biostatistician and devoutly “warped” Caps fan, Stevie K, is gifted with numbers in a way that I am not. Whereas my girlfriend does not permit me to keep score at Scrabble, K has performed a statistical analysis to ascertain how soon, in a perfect situation, the Washington Capitals can secure the Presidents’ Trophy (hereafter “The Prez”) for the first time in the team’s history.
What follows is a peek into a disturbed mind, wherein the machinations of p-values and standard deviations are comprehended with ease. Abandon all hope, ye who read on, of understanding what Stevie K now lays at your feet; let the numbers wash over you and ease you into a narcotic stupor. Trip the light fantastic amidst a really big spreadsheet. I promise to bold the important stuff that makes sense to normal human beings.
I took the Standings page from ESPN and pasted it into a JMP data table, then manually input simulated results for every game. Simulated results required that the Caps win, and that for every other game, whichever team had more points going into the game would lose in regulation. The only exception is a game between Chicago and Phoenix on 3/23, where they have the same point total. Phoenix gets simulated to win this game because Chicago has more games remaining.The columns at the end had JMP formulas in them.
- GAMES REMAINING is just 82 – today’s GP – games they’ve played so far in the simulation.
- POINTS UPDATED is PTS + all of the simulated game results so far
- Available Points is 2*GAMES REMAINING
- Can beat or tie Caps? is if (Available Points >= Caps(POINTS UPDATED)-OtherTeam's(POINTS UPDATED),1,0)So each day of the remaining schedule I would make a new column, simulate the results, and update the 4 columns at the end. Once there were no more teams with a 1 in the last column, the Caps had won the Presidents’ Trophy. It occurs immediately at the end of the Ottawa game, where the Caps have 76GP and 114PTS. Chicago has 74GP and 97PTS.Let’s go Caps.
Okay, you can keep reading again. Here’s what this means: if the Caps win every game, and all the other contenders lose every game, the soonest the Caps could win the Prez is after the March 30th game against the Senators (which we’ll be attending). The god of statistics, MC Stephen Hawking, deems this unlikely. Still, the projections favor the Caps to win first seed for the first time ever.
Let’s all take a moment to thank Stevie K. for giving us the most incomprehensible report since the last time he contributed to the blog. (We kid because we love, K. This is awesome. Chipotle is on me next time!)