Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Look at the Penguins Playoff Scenarios

No matter if New York wins or loses tonight the Penguins are still 2 points back and find themselves in 4th place.  We're going to take a look at various situations here and their probabilities of occurring.  A huge thanks to SportsClubStats for the work they do to keep their site updated.

  • Right now the Penguins have a 99.998% probability of making the playoffs.
  • They current have the highest probability of finishing the season with a 8-5-1 record giving them 106 points.
    • If this is the case they have a 80% probability of finishing in 4th place, a 17% probability they finish in 5th, and a 2% probability they grab the 1 spot.
    • This also gives them a 67% probability they play the Flyers and a 26% probability they play New Jersey.
    • Also, this probability I don't see much use for, but this gives them a 8.6% probability of winning the Cup.
      • Take this probability with a grain of salt, as there really is no "probability of winning the Stanley Cup."
  • Overall there is a 56.6% probability the Penguins will play the Flyers in the first round of the playoffs while the probability that they play New Jersey are 21.0%.  All other teams have less than a 10% probability.
Here is more info on possible seeding:
  • The highest probability of winning the Stanley Cup in the Eastern Conference is given to the Bruins at 16.8%
    • Again, do not take this probability seriously at all.
  •  The Penguins have a 61% probability of finishing in 4th place in the East.
    • The Flyers have a 21% probability of finishing 4th.  The Rangers have a 14% probability and the Devils have a 5% probability of finishing 4th.  So there is your 100%.
  • The Penguins have a 20% probability of finishing 5th.
    • The Flyers have a 51% probability of finishing in the 5 spot.
    • Overall, the website is giving the Penguins a 9.0% probability of winning the Stanley Cup.
And here is the one you're all interested at this point:
  • The Penguins have a 13% probability of finishing 1st.
    • The Rangers have a 84% probability of locking up the 1st seed.
The average finishing position of the Penguins right now is 3.9.  That is simply the arithmetic mean of running simulations over and over.

In addition to the probabilities mentioned, the Penguins also have a 5% probability of finishing in 6th place.

UPDATED: Monday, March 12, 2012 1:00 PM


  1. Calling BS on this... It doesn't even have a probability of the Pens finishing second or third - which is frankly absurd.

    1. The chances of the Pens finishing 2nd or 3rd are slim to none. Finishing in those spots would require both the Pens and the Rangers to go on slides and the Bruins to surge to the 1 spot. In the NHL the 1, 2, and 3 seeds are given to division leaders. At this point in the season, it is almost guaranteed that the 1st spot will go to an Atlantic Division team (Pens or Rangers).

    2. My bad, I'll stall my outrage next time until I've thought things through!