Thursday, April 24, 2008

Second round

The first round was not as successful as last year. In order to match my previous success, I have to be perfect from here on in. Here are the results:
DET v NSH- Predicted DET. DET won.
SJS v CGY- Predicted SJS. SJS won.
MIN v COL- Predicted MIN. COL won.
ANA v DAL- Predicted DAL. DAL won.
MTL v BOS- Predicted MON. MON won.
PIT v OTT- Predicted PIT. PIT won.
WSH v PHI- Predicted WSH. PHI won.
NJD v NYR- Predicted NYR. NYR won.

So of all the series, I only got two wrong, one of which went to a 7th game overtime.

I've given up on predicting the number of games because I got destroyed.

Here are my second round picks.

MTL v PHI: MTL wins
PIT v NYR: NYR win
DET v COL: DET wins
SJS v DAL: SJS wins

Wish me luck!

By the way, I make no guarantees of success, so anyone foolish enough to bet their house on these predictions will be accountable for their own losses. I'm not talking about you Keith. You wouldn't do such a thing.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Cup predictions

Last year I decided to take another run at capturing the Nerd of the Year award by constructing yet another mathematical way to predict the outcome of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Since I only follow the NHL during the playoffs, I have no intuition with regards to which teams will win. Therefore, I must rely on math and statistics. Previous years had been complete failures. Last year, however, I hit pay dirt.

There are 15 series in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Using the statistical method I devised, I correctly predicted the outcome of 13. And the initial run of my algorithm predicted an Anaheim/Ottawa final with Anaheim victorious, as actually happened.

How does it work? I first take all the teams in the NHL and find the correlation between numerous team statistics and how many wins each team earned in the regular season. Those numbers are always somewhere between 1 and -1. I then multiply each correlation by the actual value of the statistic for every team in the playoffs. For example, the correlation between the 5 on 5 goals for/goals against ratio and wins is 0.83, a strong correlation. So for each team that is in the playoffs, I multiply 0.83 by, in Detroit's case, 1.41, to arrive at a value. Once I have obtained that value for each of the 14 stats I have for each team, I add them all together to come up with a score for each team.

To predict which team will win a given series, I compare their scores from the above calculation. Detroit has a score of 43.3 this year and Nashville 36.0, so I predict Detroit will win. Simple, effective, and it requires no sporting intuition on my part, which is a good thing, because I have none.

However, I thought this year, since I had a 86.7% success rate last year, I would get a little more ballsy and try to predict in how many games each victor would defeat their opponent. Below are my predictions for the entire 15-series playoff. However, if my predictions prove less than perfect in the first round, I will adjust predictions based on which teams are competing in subsequent rounds. I will consider the accuracy of my initial prediction of the final however, including the winner of the Cup. For the sake of my success rate, I am really going for picking the teams. How many games it takes is a total crapshoot. If I get that right, I'll shat. I'll keep you up to date on my success as the playoffs progress. Here goes!

Round 1
DET v NSH: DET in 4
SJS v CGY: SJS in 5
MIN v COL: MIN in 7
ANA v DAL: DAL in 7
MTL v BOS: MTL in 6
PIT v OTT: PIT in 7
WSH v PHI: WSH in 7
NJD v NYR: NYR in 6

Round 2
DET v DAL: DET in 5
SJS v MIN: SJS in 6
MTL v NYR: NYR in 7
PIT v WSH: WSH in 7

Round 3
DET v SJS: DET in 6
NYR v WSH: NYR in 7

Round 4
DET v NYR: DET in 6

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Exhibit B

I present to you Exhibit B in Pharmadaddy v. Mother Nature. As I mentioned earlier, we woke up on the morning of April 1 to a disgusting display of natural cruelty. Of course, once I got home the snow stopped. However, I still could not get into my driveway. Thankfully my wonderful neighbor with whom I share a driveway has a snowblower and so reduced my workload immensely. I still spent two hours shoveling though. Not my idea of a good time. What follows is a set of photos showing the ginormous mound of snow next to my driveway that has accumulated throughout this incessant winter. Warning: These pictures are not for the faint of heart. Viewer discretion is advised.

Experience exshmerience

Although I am not American and so in no way have a say in who gets elected as the next president of the United States, I'm still free to comment on it. So let me just say that Hillary Clinton recently did a great disservice to all of us who still think, maybe naively so, that there must be some honest, hardworking politicians left. If you haven't seen the video yet, feel free to watch it below. Essentially, Clinton was caught in a blatant lie when recalling a story from her trip to Bosnia while she was First Lady. The story was so obviously fabricated it disgusts me. And the response by her aide could be considered hilarious if it were not so concerning coming from the campaign team of a woman who could become the next PUSA. The whole thing could be considered the greatest fabrication of her campaign, except then one would not be considering her incessant assertion that her years of experience in office make her a better choice than Obama. Just goes to show that no amount of experience can undo a propensity toward blatant dishonesty in the pursuit of power and glory.

April Fools

Mother Nature gave us the finger today and unfortunately it was not an April Fools joke. Below you will see video evidence of the weather in Timmins today, April 1. That's right. April 1, a day that is supposed to fall in the spring season. A day that is supposed to symbolize the coming of new life, the arrival of warmer weather, etc. etc. Not in Timmins though. No, here in Timmins you get to spend 30 minutes digging your car out on April 1. Did I mention it's April 1? And people ask me why I'm so excited that I only have 107 days, 1 hour, and 12 minutes left until I leave this place. And I promise you, this post itself is no April Fools joke.