Around the BWF Insight offices, the start of the NHL regular season is a BIG deal. Huge.
So we were very excited to see this post from the good folks at SportsNet. The analysis hinges on combining three separate models into an ensemble of regular season performance for each team across the league (yes, even the new Golden Knights in Las Vegas). While we can’t bring ourselves to agree with the prediction for Buffalo – c’mon, they just locked up Eichel with an 8-year extension and brought Pominville back where he belongs in the off-season! – the rest of the predictions look very interesting and should give some of our colleagues in Minnesota hope for a strong push into the playoffs.
This season should be very interesting given a few rule changes and the expansion team in Las Vegas. These could wreak havoc on the confidence levels of these predictions (think rogue candidate in the Republican presidential primaries), so look for ongoing revisions throughout the season. Also be sure to check out the component models used to create this ensemble prediction: there’s a ton of great hockey-nerd data here and here.
In contrast to baseball or even football where play starts and stops regularly, a game as complex and dynamic as hockey is incredibly difficult to predict. Add in factors such as the long season, injuries, trades, and the inevitable mid-season coaching changes (not to mention Jaromir Jagr in his “final” season!) and you have a recipe for many exciting and unforeseen outcomes!
Have a great season, and Let’s Go Buffalo!!