Saturday, May 16, 2009

Round Three is Here

The Eastern Conference has skewered me. My overall prediction record is a respectable 9-3 but both of my picks to make the Eastern Conference final have been eliminated. In order to make my decisions on picks at the start I looked at the Falconer's data on how teams had done against other playoff teams in the regular season. These are the numbers for Pittsburgh and Carolina before the playoffs started (record, goal differential, PDO number):

Carolina: 18-6-6
Pittsburgh: 20-18-7

Pittsburgh: +0.16
Carolina: -0.15

Pittsburgh: 101.5
Carolina: 99.5

So these numbers imply that the teams are pretty even. Carolina's goal differential is worse but Pittsburgh was probably a little bit lucky during the regular season. Javageek's numbers also show how close these teams are. As with his odds, I'm inclined to think that Pittsburgh is a slight favourite in this series. They have home ice, they have the best individual player in the series and they have the better goal differential, both in the regular season and in the playoffs so far. So, Pittsburgh it is!

As for the West, I picked Detroit from the outset to win the Cup and even predicted that they would beat Chicago in the Conference finals. That's not about to change now. And besides, what Oiler fan wouldn't want to see Ty Conklin lift the Stanley Cup. Go Pens.


R O said...

I picked Carolina based on possession, but taking the Pens temperature in the playoffs suggests that they have turned the corner on this. Especially considering how convincingly they beat Washington at possession.

Scott said...

Yeah, both JLikens (I think I've seen you comment over at his site) and Javageek have mentioned that there's been a big difference in Pittsburgh's outshooting numbers since Bylsma took over as coach and Gonchar returned from injury. At this point, it's looking more and more like those differences are real.