PREDICTIONS FOR 2015-2016 SEASON!!

They’re here. The prognostications for the upcoming season are finally provided below. This was no easy task; we went line by line, player by player and modeled what we think the outcomes will be for the upcoming season (by team).

Prediction is a significant departure from our previously retrospective work of the past two seasons. Of course we have not fit our statistic to prior data; we derived our metric based on a philosophy that mistake minimization wins hockey games. We then tested our parameters against actual results. What we found was compelling, especially with respect to order of finish of an NHL team in both the conference and overall.

As a result, we are now going to try our hand at seeing the future. With the Advanced Bracton as the crystal ball, we have derived a score by player and by team in the aggregate based off what appear to be close to final depth charts, offseason moves and transactions. The AB is in the first column, while the second column is AB adjusted for projected games played (factoring in injuries, injury history, depth, player age, etc). Our order of finish is the average of the two. If we had to pick one metric on which to be measured, it would be the game adjusted AB (column 2).

Here is what we are forecasting. See notes below.

EASTERN
ADV BRACTON GAME ADJUSTED AB PREDICTED ORDER

TB 33.04     TB 34.80        TB 1
NYR 26.32   NYR 14.73     NYR 2
NYI 10.99     NYI 9.37         NYI 3
MTL 9.12     OTT 4.76       OTT 4
OTT 6.32     MTL 0.55       MTL 5
WSH 5.95     DET (5.26)    WSH 6
BOS (2.82)   BOS (10.60)  DET 7
DET (5.08)   WSH (12.67)  BOS 8
PIT (14.58)   CAR (21.68)   PIT 9
FLA (22.89)  PIT (21.90)    CAR 10
CBS (26.59)  FLA (38.03)   FLA 11
CAR (30.14)  TOR (39.68)  TOR 12
TOR (33.05)   CBS (47.29) CBS 13
NJ (42.06)      PHI (60.92)    PHI 14
PHI (44.79)     NJ (66.03)     NJ 15
BUF (63.85)    BUF (93.75)  BUF 16

WESTERN

MIN 19.95       CGY 18.13     MIN 1
CGY 13.61     MIN 13.63      CGY 2
STL 5.62        LA 1.50          LA 3
NSH 4.15        NSH (3.67)     NSH 4
LA 1.69           SJ (6.26)        STL 5
CHI (2.08)       DAL (8.28)     DAL 6
VAN (6.87)      STL (13.46)    VAN 7
DAL (10.81)    VAN (13.82)    SJ 8
WPG (11.98)   CHI (20.73)    CHI 9
SJ (13.53)       WPG (40.95)   WPG 10
ANA (14.34)     ANA (45.90)   ANA 11
COL (26.57)     COL (48.40)  COL 12
EDM (59.82)    EDM (64.24)   EDM 13
PHX (71.96)     PHX (114.01)   PHX 14

Notes – this is where we will see if AB finds things that conventional wisdom, eye tests, Vegas, or other statistical metrics do not.

1) TB is our favorite to win the Stanley Cup – they will play either CGY or MIN in the finals.
2) PIT may appear to have improved in the offseason, but our numbers do not suggest this to be the case. We thought WAS initially was on the road to greatness but may have actually taken a step back.
3) CHI had a very rough offseason and the Patrick Kane controversy does not help matters. This may be a tough sled for Blackhawk fans.
4) This is finally the year that ANA is exposed for its flaws and misses the playoffs. How they finished first with a +10 season goal differential baffled us. With offseason moves negative to AB, this differential will become a deficit, IMO.
5) MIN, CGY, OTT, SJ and MTL appear to be better on paper than most people would surmise. DAL is the most improved, and they should also have Seguin (and Nichushkin) back for a whole season. Should be fun in Big D.
6) Other surprises, at least to us, were that CBS did not score higher, SJ with a couple moves (Martin and Ward and some addition by subtraction, thanks John Scott), look to be at least middle of the road this year.
7) TOR will not be anywhere near the abject disaster it was last year. PHX however, will be (unless Domi, Duclair and Strome somehow turn into the rookie gods, Calgary style).
8) Speaking of rookie phenoms, despite all their virtues, Eichel and McDavid would have to clone themselves a few times and get 4 years older, in order to make enough of an impact to drive the works in progress in EDM and BUF.
9) STL, NSH and LA will be very competitive in spite of the offseason drama in LA, the possible reliance on rookie depth in NSH, and the significant roster changes in STL.
10) VAN will squeak back into the playoffs and have a much more solid season than their amazing fans may think at this juncture.

We are looking forward to what will undoubtedly be an exciting season. What is awesome at our outpost is that we finally get to put the Advanced Bracton to work on a go forward basis. We will put this post in a time capsule and revisit it around mid year.

5 responses to “PREDICTIONS FOR 2015-2016 SEASON!!

  1. Several things have me curious here.

    1) How much do players ABs vary from year to year, coach to coach, and team to team? (could, for instance, Bieksa turn it around in Anaheim, or does AB remain fairly consistent with players)

    2) How do you gauge newcomers to the NHL (I believe you said in an earlier post you can’t get enough stats for most other leagues, and even so, those numbers wouldn’t inherently translate)? (say for instance, McJesus actually does walk on (non-frozen) water for the Oilers, wouldn’t that skew these numbers?)

    3) How consistent are teams from year to year? Does a team like Buffalo tend to drag good players down who come into the organization?

    4) How much impact do coaches have? Is it possible the Leafs can have a major turnaround with Babcock this year?

    I think the AB number is interesting, and it’s certainly a good tool to judge teams by in retrospect (in regards to what they can improve on), but without knowing how consistent teams, players, and coaches are in different circumstances, it seems like it would be very difficult to judge future outcomes.

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    • Mark -thanks for your thoughtful questions. I’ll try to answer them as posed. Keep in mind that this is our first attempt at prospectively gauging outcomes, so it should be interesting. I’m more worried about material contributors getting hurt, cut or even making the team in some cases than I am coaching/style/line mates believe it or not.

      Having said that:

      1) We assume in our AB projections that if a guy goes from a team with low AB to high AB in general this stat will improve (because high AB assumes an excellent player approach within an excellent system).

      However, we found that if a guy is older than 30, he gets adjusted downward regardless. Lots of studies demonstrate deterioration in skill with age. In hockey its about 28-29.

      Interestingly we found with AB that a player’s propensity to play the game a certain (the right?) way does not correlate with age. As a result, if you are high AB early on, you will probably be so later. cresting a little before 30.

      WRT to newcomers, we rarely get those per se. They at least have some games either with a team the season before or in the minors. We can adjust for them. for guys like McDavid, since he is still a boy, and is playing on a low AB team, which has just taken a big blow with the injury to Eberle, we have him at slightly even AB which is pretty good for a rookie on EDM. We’ll see how it turns out but I think people will be disappointed in the results this year given the lofty expectations. we see him as maybe a 50 point guy this season.

      3) If you look at the ABs from 2013 to 2014, there was more consistency than not. COL, PHI and BOS were the notable exceptions, but much of this had to do with aging (like Chara) as well as the movement of high AB players (like Paille for some reason) to other teams.

      4) Babacock will turn the Leafs around per se when they get a new team of players. They are half way there, and getting rid of Kessel was an excellent move, even though that stance is unpopular. Babcock likes guys who hustle and demonstrate high IQ (like Darren Helm). Once he gets a bunch of character guys in place, and they have done a good job so far, the team will improve within his system, which favors self selection. Give it time, TOR will be back, unless they listen to Lou too much and do something ridiculous like trade Kadri for Zajac as was rumored in the Star Ledger recently.

      Thanks for reading. If you want, feel free to post these predictions anywhere and everywhere. The year should be interesting as always and barring mass injuries to key players, we think what we have put out here will approximate reality well. Im sure fans in PIT, ANA, CHI, MIN and CGY might disagree but thats why they play the games

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  2. Great to read the analysis. A lot of work obviously went into this. Keep it up!
    P.S. This is my only homework before my hockey draft starting soon!

    Like

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