The National Hockey League: where grown men skate after a small cylinder, whack it with sticks and beat each other to a pulp. God Bless America (and Canada). Hockey is popular for good reason. It’s fast, action-packed and highly-skilled. It also produces a decent amount of freely available data for fans – and now software – to crunch and predict the winners of this year’s holy grail, the 2015 Stanley Cup. Here’s how our virtual data scientist, Eureqa, believes this year’s playoffs will shake out:
We pulled team statistics (about 200 variables) from puckalytics.com and hockey-reference.
- Team normalized Corsi (total shots taken) for 5-on-5 play
- Late season record
- Penalty kill %
- Regular season head-to-head record
- Regular season rating (“Simple Rating System”; takes into account average goal differential and strength of schedule)
The puck drops at 7pm EST tonight. We’ll see if, once again, regular season play is a strong predictor for achievement in the playoffs, or if this year was meant to be wild.