I posted on Twitter (in haste) that I would like to see the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs as the 8th seed, but upon further review, I’m not so sure.
I took a look at the Goals Finished/Goals Allowed for WSH, BOS, NYR and PHI, both on the road and at home, and came up with expected winning percentages for each team. I then used Log5 to predict the Caps chances of winning each game whether it is played at home or on the road.
The expected Win % for the Caps and their possible first round opponents:
- WSH, .670 Home, .613 Away
- BOS, .490 Home, .521 Away
- PHI, .579 Home, .458 Away
- NYR, .533 Home, .475 Away
For example, if the Caps meet Boston in the first round, Washington has an expected winning percentage at home of .670 while Boston is expected to have a win % of .521 on the road. Using Log5, we can determine that the Caps have a 65% chance of winning a game against Boston at the Verizon Center.
I then figure out the Caps’ win % based on every possible outcome of a 7 game series – and yes, that includes ALL possible combinations for a 7 game series (WWWW, WWLWW, WWWLLW, etc.).
Intuitively I wanted the Caps to face the Marc Savard-less Bruins in the first round, but based on the chances of the Caps winning against Boston in a 7 game series, I have changed my mind. Here’s why:
The Caps have a 78.1% chance of beating Boston in a 7 game series. Not bad, considering that they have a 77.44% chance of beating Philadelphia. But the best case scenario for the Caps, based on probability of winning, is meeting the New York Rangers in the first round – where the probability of winning a 7 game series is 79.25%.
(ed note: Excel gave me wonky %, which have been updated, however NYR remains the best possible opponent)