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Statistics take a lot of grief, have you noticed?

“Statistics are poisoning hockey!”

There’s a hanging-chad quality to the amount of numerical arguments Caps fans have ready to defend Green’s defensive game.

The pro hockey writers use stats as a crutch to replace actually watching lots of hockey.

Let’s put the brakes on this disdain train and look at what really matters:bretmichaels

Bret Michaels suffered a massive subarachnoid hemorrhage and Puck Probabilities puts the Caps chances at winning this series at 92%. Fine, we’ll put aside Bret (and the fate of Rock of Love 9) for a moment and focus on hockey.

Do the Caps really have a 92% chance of winning the series?

It’s easy to figure out:

1. Determine the chance a team has to win.
2. Set up a spreadsheet to calculate random numbers.
3. If the number is less than or equal to the chance established, it’s considered a win. If not, a loss.

Notice how there are no emotions, psychological factors or tooth extractions to distract the best team from winning. But those are overrated in hockey games anyway so on with the show!

I am going to use the same Pythagorean win expectations I used to determine who would be the best First Round opponent for the Caps. Now in that article I didn’t even have Montreal as an option because I am of the mindset that hockey should only be played in Excel and not on the ice. But since they somehow made it as the 8th seed, here are the Caps win expectations against them:

Caps should win 72.1% of the time at home and 59.9% of the time on the road versus the Habs.

(NOTE: This does not factor in what effect Belanger’s teeth loss will have. Adjust betting accordingly.)

When I run this through a 10,000 season simulator I come up with the Caps having a 83.5% chance at advancing to the second round. Significantly less than Puck Probabilities’ probability (say that three times fast. I dare you.), but still healthy enough to call my local bookie.

That’s the good news.

The “bad” news is that there is still a 36.6% chance this goes to 7 games. So think about THAT <cough>Peter <cough> before you shave your #beardpact again.

  • Caps1974

    Do these numbers take into account the fact that Bruce is completely helpless? That his teams consistently aren’t ready to play and/or don’t play 60 minutes per game and that Bruce is entirely helpless to make changes mid-game and on the fly?

  • Peter Hassett

    I just noticed that this image contains Comic Sans. YECK.