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3.10.2009

Revisting the Massey Ratings

As many of you know... I tend to be a bit of a stat head and that is difficult to be in the WHL because there just aren't nearly as many statistical resources as there are in other sports such as Major League Baseball.

The Massey Ratings is one of the few exceptions.

I won't go into the details of how the calculations are done... just trust the fact that it is ONE form of scientific calculations. Thus... this isn't the gospel but it does contain some pretty strong opinions.

You can check for yourself here...

http://www.masseyratings.com/rate.php?lg=whl

Some interesting things to note about Seattle first.

- Seattle currently is rated as the 13th best team in the 22 team league (sounds about right). Seattle is slightly behind Lethbridge and Medicine Hat while slightly ahead of Edmonton and Prince Albert.

- Seattle has the 16th rated offense and the 12th rated defense. For those who have watched this team that defensive rating is a bit of a mystery as 12th is basically league average. I suppose Hickey's numbers are so good that he helps balance out the rest.

- Seattle is rated #1 in the league in Home Ice... but hold on... let's define what it is actually talking about. The #1 Home Ice Advantage rating actually just means that Seattle has the biggest difference in performance between Home and Road games. Basically... this team is great at home and horrible on the road. Again no shocker there...

- Another bad sign for the Tbirds is they have played so far the 21st ranked toughest schedule and if you factor in the remaining 4 home games they will actually "overtake" Tri-City for the easiest schedule played this season. This of course doesn't take into account whether playing a ton of road games at the start of the year is somehow tougher than having a balanced schedule. Remember... no matter what... we always knew the Birds would play 36 away and 36 at home. The toughest schedule in the league belongs to Chilliwack. Another thing to keep in mind with strength of schedule... it will be tilted mostly based on two things... how tough your division is and how good you are. Seattle, Spokane and Tri-City all have had easier schedules than Portland because they have played Portland a bunch of times and won most of those games and Portland hasn't had a good record. Conversely... Portland has had a "tougher" schedule because they have played those three teams a bunch of times and they all have .500 records or better. That make any sense?

- Which leads me into divisions. The U.S. Division is rated the worst in the WHL and the Western Conference is rated the worse of the two conferences. The Central is the toughest with the Eastern Division the 2nd toughest. Does this help us explain how Calgary has defeated Vancouver twice? Maybe just slightly... Does this mean trouble for the Western Conference in the WHL Finals, no matter who makes it? perhaps... Does this mean that teams like Tri-City and Spokane are potential paper tigers and will get exposed by teams that have played tougher schedules? Kamloops and Everett both have played stronger schedules... are they upset potential teams? All interesting questions...

- 750 games have been played and the average score of games is 4.53 - 1.95. Home teams have scored 3.48 goals per game and home teams are 485-243 (66.62% win percentage).

- Most unlikely result based on the power rankings? January 18th, Chilliwack beat Calgary IN Calgary 5-1. Yeah I would call that unlikely. The ratings system said there was a 6.5% chance of that happening.

So there you go... some of you might hate this... some might love it.

While we are here... what does the Massey Ratings predict for tomorrow night? Seattle 4.3 Prince George 2.2. With Seattle having an 81% chance of winning.

10 comments :

Erik said...

Very interesting! This is the kind of stuff I've been looking for. Thanks for sharing.

JR said...

I'm glad I made you our official stat whore in softball... this is rgeat stuff.

Mike said...

Wait a sec... A division with Tri-City AND the defending Memorial Cup champs is the worst?? Gimme a break. Not to mention a conference with Vancouver and Kelowna?? Please.

stbird said...

Very interesting, yes. I just don't think of the game that way. I think that my team (the T-birds) can win every night. That doesn't mean they are going to.

But we can beat any team at home, we just need to pull of a road win when the playoffs roll around.

GO BIRDS!

Anonymous said...

Mike I think you are missing the fact that Chilliwack, Portland and Prince George are horrible. Seattle, Everett and Kamloops are very very average.... Spokane and Kelowna have been streaky. And the eastern conference has the best team in the WHL. And is more sturdy top to bottom.

Mike said...

It is arguable that Calgary is better than Vancouver. There are 4 teams in both conferences that are under .500. The Central division has one really good team and thats it. How you can say our divison is the worst in beyond me. In fact it is regularly one of the best.

Thunnex said...

I will say I definitely believe the East is better than the West and I'm not totally shocked that the US Division is ranked last. When I watched teams like Calgary, Med Hat and Lethbridge come into our building and have pretty solid results it would lead me to believe that the East might be better.

Couple that with the fact that Calgary has now beaten Vancouver twice (once in Vancouver) and it doesn't seem like such a stretch to think the East is overall stronger top to bottom than the West.

I'm going to spreadsheet it..

Thunnex said...

I did this very quickly so I might have missed a game in there.

U.S. Division vs. Eastern Conference - 32-28-4 which is basically .500

Seattle - 6-5-1
Spokane - 11-5
Everett - 4-6-2
Tri-City - 9-3
Portland - 2-9-1

Mike said...

Hey Tyler I was hoping you would do a spreadsheet but the results are in line with those respective teams overall records.

and even we are above .500 against the big bad east!

Mike said...

and that means the east is under .500 against the "weakest" division!

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