|Yes, calling ToArray() in a for loop is inefficient -- thankfully |
the calculations happen faster than I can perform a GET on the page
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has a theory about the NHL playoff race that makes a lot of sense. He believes that after Thanksgiving weekend, NHL teams move in a pack.Basically I wondered if I took a look at standings data in a step-by-step process, at which point would the point pace/win percentage became valuable for early prediction. Thankfully my day job is programming the infernal machine, and as you can see from the code snippet above, I wrote a quickie web-spider/data processor to scour standing data from http://www.shrpsports.com and this gave me a nice set of data points for every day within a given season.
If they were good early, chances are they'll be good the rest of the way, or at least good enough to make the playoffs.
He also believes that if a team struggles in the early going, it'll probably struggle the rest of the way to make the playoffs.
Once in a great while, a team rallies all the way back to make the playoffs. The San Jose Sharks did it the season they acquired Joe Thornton on Nov. 30, when they were mired in 10th place.
Mostly, though, teams that get out of the gate well are usually the ones left standing as May turns into June and the Stanley Cup playoffs get down to the final four. - Erik Duhatscheck, Toronto Globe and Mail, 12/02/2008
Charts and methodology after the hop.
The basic idea is I took every teams point pace for a given day, and checked how many points -- plus or minus -- it was away from there final point pace. I then averaged this point difference for all teams on that given day. The idea, of course, that the point pace will more closely match the eventual point pace as the season goes on, eventually reaching zero difference.
The X axis is the season date, and the Y axis is the number of points, on average, teams in the league are off of their final season point pace.
Here is 2005:
More of the same for the next three years. The first week of December is usually where the predictive quality gives the best bang for the buck (a good 8-10% difference from the final point rates, and you can advance 2 months and only pick up an additional 2-3%). Finally the two previous seasons:
If the last two seasons are any indication, Ken Holland is a very smart man. We can see that during the first week of December, we have a very good idea (+/- 8 points) of where the majority of the teams will finish. If you are an Oilers fan, this is not the best news. If this logic holds up we will need to hope we are one of those teams with a better than average second half of the season.
Ladies and Gentleman, the Holland Date: December 1.
P.S. If anyone wants the raw data, or has some different ideas on how to use standing data, feel free to ask/suggest it below.