Expected Win Percentages Rest Of The Way

So in a quick discussion around Home and Road goal differentials around the NHL last night on Twitter with Julian (PPP) and Neil Greenberg, the Washington Capitals blogger from the Washington Post, he linked to a story he had posted recently on the Caps likely probability of winning their games for the remainder of the season using the Log5 method originally devised by Bill James of Baseball Abstract and now Moneyball fame.

In an attempt to refine the results, I determined the team win percentages using the Pythagenpuck formula derived by Alan Ryder in his Win Probabilities paper from 2004, which is a modified Pythagorean win percentages model based on goals for and against.

If you care to look into the math in more detail follow the links above, if you don't? Read on and trust my numbers.

Basically the premise here was to look at all of the Leafs future opponents this season, and their home and away goal differentials, in an effort to use their predicted win percentages along with the Leafs' - and thus arrive at the probability the Leafs would walk away with a W.

As you can see from the chart, I allocated any probability above .475 or below .525 as an OTL because I'm trying to be realistic with the point results. Assuming the Leafs pick up some OT or SO wins likely bumps the total a tad... probably 3-4 points at least.

GP DATE H/A OPP Prob W-L-OTL
63 Tue, Feb 28, 2012 Florida Panthers 0.555 1-0-0
64 Wed, Feb 29, 2012 @ Chicago Blackhawks 0.360 1-1-0
65 Sat, Mar 3, 2012 @ Montreal Canadiens 0.475 1-1-1
66 Tue, Mar 6, 2012 Boston Bruins 0.365 1-2-1
67 Wed, Mar 7, 2012 @ Pittsburgh Penguins 0.348 1-3-1
68 Sat, Mar 10, 2012 Philadelphia Flyers 0.446 1-4-1
69 Sun, Mar 11, 2012 @ Washington Capitals 0.379 1-5-1
70 Tue, Mar 13, 2012 @ Florida Panthers 0.485 1-5-2
71 Thu, Mar 15, 2012 @ Tampa Bay Lightning 0.433 1-6-2
72 Sat, Mar 17, 2012 @ Ottawa Senators 0.523 1-6-3
73 Mon, Mar 19, 2012 @ Boston Bruins 0.314 1-7-3
74 Tue, Mar 20, 2012 New York Islanders 0.642 2-7-3
75 Fri, Mar 23, 2012 @ New Jersey Devils 0.501 2-7-4
76 Sat, Mar 24, 2012 New York Rangers 0.391 2-8-4
77 Tue, Mar 27, 2012 Carolina Hurricanes 0.607 3-8-4
78 Thu, Mar 29, 2012 Philadelphia Flyers 0.446 3-9-4
79 Sat, Mar 31, 2012 Buffalo Sabres 0.705 4-9-4
80 Tue, Apr 3, 2012 @ Buffalo Sabres 0.432 4-10-4
81 Thu, Apr 5, 2012 Tampa Bay Lightning 0.697 5-10-4
82 Sat, Apr 7, 2012 @ Montreal Canadiens 0.475 5-10-5

So if a couple of those OTLs end up as Ws, the Leafs can maybe shift that to 7-10-3 or so. That would give the Leafs a final record on the season of 36-36-10 and 82 points which likely has them finishing in 10th or 11th in the East.

It should be pointed out that these probabilities are based on the current goal differentials of all of the teams on this list and every single one will see their records and differentials change over the course of the remainder of the season and thus these probabilities will be moving targets going forward.

If you find this depressing - don't feel bad, you aren't alone. I'm also guessing this makes it likely Ron Wilson doesn't come back next year - whether or not we hold him responsible for the team's goaltending, defence, special teams, or decent offensive production.

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