The National Hockey League season ended last night, with the Pittsburgh Penguins winning their second championship in as many years. For Pens fans, it was a moment to savour. For fans of other teams, the reaction was more like “finally, it’s over!” It’s time to dream anew of what next season might bring.
Of all the series I’ve attempted to predict thus far, this one might be the toughest. On the surface, this should be a rout: The Penguins are the defending Stanley Cup champions, they have the best centre in the world in Sidney Crosby, and they just knocked off the top team in the NHL this season, the Washington Capitals.
As anyone familiar with hockey analytics can tell you, there are countless ways to parse and visualize hockey data nowadays in an effort to learn more about our favourite teams and make predictions about future performance. What’s often missing is a real-money, market approach to seeing who is or isn’t underperforming relative to expectations. Let’s … …
Usually, when a usually-competent national team embarrasses itself a supposedly big tournament, there is much consternation and hand-wringing. When the United States face-planted out of the World Cup of Hockey this week though, it was met with little more than a shrug and a few quips here and there.