National Hockey League Computer Ratings


Introduction

This is my rough attempt at a computer rating that can, among other things, come somewhat close to predicting final game scores. The actual computer rating, which describes team performance based on games played to date, is found under the "Rating" column. To determine a hypothetical margin of victory, use the "Points" column (just subtract the teams in question) and add the home "field" advantage, which is on the right below the predictions.

All of the predictions on the right already have the home "field" added in, and also show a predicted total. Shootouts and overtimes make this tricky, and are a lot of why the average error is 1.5 goals or so.

Early-season predictions are based almost entirely on last year's games and the preseason, so use those with extreme caution.


Ratings last updated Wednesday 03/31/21, 02:32 PM ET Rank Team W L Rating Points BCS 1 Tampa Bay 24 11 3.07 50.84 1 2 Carolina 23 10 2.69 50.62 2 3 Las Vegas 24 9 2.40 50.88 7 4 Colorado 21 12 2.30 51.08 12 5 Toronto 22 13 1.57 50.47 8 6 Winnipeg 22 14 1.56 50.47 9 7 NY Islanders 22 14 1.44 50.21 4 8 Minnesota 21 12 1.38 50.61 13 9 Florida 23 13 1.35 50.14 3 10 Pittsburgh 23 13 1.30 50.15 5 Rank Team W L Rating Points BCS 11 Edmonton 22 15 1.26 50.36 11 12 Washington 23 12 0.93 49.94 6 13 Boston 18 15 0.91 50.12 10 14 Montreal 15 17 0.58 50.32 16 15 NY Rangers 17 19 0.25 50.14 17 16 Philadelphia 17 17 -0.03 49.79 14 17 Dallas 11 22 -0.18 50.08 21 18 Chicago 16 20 -0.22 49.95 18 19 Calgary 16 21 -0.25 50.02 20 20 Los Angeles 13 20 -0.26 50.49 27 Rank Team W L Rating Points BCS 21 Nashville 19 18 -0.40 49.62 15 22 Vancouver 16 21 -0.58 49.79 19 23 Arizona 16 18 -1.08 49.74 23 24 Columbus 14 23 -1.21 49.57 22 25 St Louis 16 19 -1.46 49.78 26 26 San Jose 14 20 -1.74 49.64 29 27 New Jersey 13 21 -2.03 49.34 24 28 Ottawa 12 24 -2.56 49.16 28 29 Detroit 12 25 -2.92 48.90 25 30 Anaheim 11 26 -3.13 49.30 30 31 Buffalo 6 28 -4.91 48.50 31
(The "BCS style" ranking is one based entirely on wins and losses, similar to what is used in college football.)

When I get them working, divisional rankings will go here:

Rank Conference Mean Rating ---- ------------------------- ----------- 1 Central 0.27 2 North 0.22 3 West -0.20 4 East -0.27

PREDICTIONS FOR UPCOMING GAMES Date Away Team Home Team Total Prediction ----------- -------------------- -------------------- ----- -------------- 31-Mar-2021 Minnesota San Jose 6.4 AWAY by -0.70 31-Mar-2021 Calgary Vancouver 5.2 HOME by 0.03 31-Mar-2021 Los Angeles Las Vegas 5.3 HOME by 0.65 31-Mar-2021 Toronto Winnipeg 5.3 HOME by 0.27 31-Mar-2021 Philadelphia Buffalo 5.9 AWAY by -1.02 31-Mar-2021 Arizona Colorado 5.6 HOME by 1.60 01-Apr-2021 Pittsburgh Boston 5.3 HOME by 0.23 01-Apr-2021 NY Rangers Buffalo 5.4 AWAY by -1.37 01-Apr-2021 Carolina Chicago 6.5 AWAY by -0.40 01-Apr-2021 Detroit Florida 5.6 HOME by 1.51 01-Apr-2021 Dallas Nashville 5.3 AWAY by -0.20 01-Apr-2021 Washington NY Islanders 5.9 HOME by 0.54 01-Apr-2021 Montreal Ottawa 5.9 AWAY by -0.89 01-Apr-2021 Columbus Tampa Bay 5.7 HOME by 1.54 01-Apr-2021 Minnesota Las Vegas 6.0 HOME by 0.54 02-Apr-2021 Arizona Anaheim 5.0 AWAY by -0.18 02-Apr-2021 Calgary Edmonton 5.8 HOME by 0.60 02-Apr-2021 San Jose Los Angeles 5.8 HOME by 1.12 02-Apr-2021 Washington New Jersey 5.7 AWAY by -0.33 02-Apr-2021 Toronto Winnipeg 5.3 HOME by 0.27 02-Apr-2021 St Louis Colorado 6.1 HOME by 1.57 03-Apr-2021 Pittsburgh Boston 5.3 HOME by 0.23 03-Apr-2021 NY Rangers Buffalo 5.4 AWAY by -1.37 03-Apr-2021 Dallas Carolina 5.8 HOME by 0.80 03-Apr-2021 St Louis Colorado 6.1 HOME by 1.57 03-Apr-2021 Vancouver Edmonton 6.8 HOME by 0.84 03-Apr-2021 Columbus Florida 5.1 HOME by 0.84 03-Apr-2021 San Jose Los Angeles 5.8 HOME by 1.12 03-Apr-2021 Ottawa Montreal 6.2 HOME by 1.42 03-Apr-2021 Chicago Nashville 5.9 AWAY by -0.07 03-Apr-2021 Philadelphia NY Islanders 6.1 HOME by 0.69 03-Apr-2021 Detroit Tampa Bay 6.1 HOME by 2.21 03-Apr-2021 Minnesota Las Vegas 6.0 HOME by 0.54 04-Apr-2021 Arizona Anaheim 5.0 AWAY by -0.18 04-Apr-2021 Toronto Calgary 5.9 AWAY by -0.18 04-Apr-2021 Dallas Carolina 5.8 HOME by 0.80 04-Apr-2021 Columbus Florida 5.1 HOME by 0.84 04-Apr-2021 Washington New Jersey 5.7 AWAY by -0.33 04-Apr-2021 Detroit Tampa Bay 6.1 HOME by 2.21 04-Apr-2021 Vancouver Winnipeg 6.2 HOME by 0.95 05-Apr-2021 Toronto Calgary 5.9 AWAY by -0.18 05-Apr-2021 Arizona Los Angeles 4.8 HOME by 1.02 05-Apr-2021 Colorado Minnesota 5.9 AWAY by -0.21 05-Apr-2021 Edmonton Montreal 5.5 HOME by 0.23 05-Apr-2021 Philadelphia Boston 5.9 HOME by 0.59 05-Apr-2021 Las Vegas St Louis 5.3 AWAY by -0.83 06-Apr-2021 Florida Carolina 6.3 HOME by 0.75 06-Apr-2021 Dallas Chicago 6.2 HOME by 0.13 06-Apr-2021 Tampa Bay Columbus 5.8 AWAY by -1.00 06-Apr-2021 Nashville Detroit 4.8 AWAY by -0.45 06-Apr-2021 Buffalo New Jersey 5.3 HOME by 1.11 06-Apr-2021 Washington NY Islanders 5.9 HOME by 0.54 06-Apr-2021 Pittsburgh NY Rangers 6.3 HOME by 0.25 06-Apr-2021 Boston Philadelphia 5.1 AWAY by -0.06 06-Apr-2021 Vancouver Winnipeg 6.2 HOME by 0.95 06-Apr-2021 Anaheim San Jose 5.9 HOME by 0.61 07-Apr-2021 Arizona Los Angeles 4.8 HOME by 1.02 07-Apr-2021 Colorado Minnesota 5.9 AWAY by -0.21 07-Apr-2021 Edmonton Ottawa 6.3 AWAY by -0.93 07-Apr-2021 Las Vegas St Louis 5.3 AWAY by -0.83 07-Apr-2021 Montreal Toronto 5.5 HOME by 0.41 08-Apr-2021 New Jersey Buffalo 5.3 AWAY by -0.58 08-Apr-2021 Vancouver Calgary 6.7 HOME by 0.50 08-Apr-2021 Florida Carolina 6.3 HOME by 0.75 08-Apr-2021 Dallas Chicago 6.2 HOME by 0.13 08-Apr-2021 Tampa Bay Columbus 5.8 AWAY by -1.00 08-Apr-2021 Nashville Detroit 4.8 AWAY by -0.45 08-Apr-2021 Winnipeg Montreal 5.3 HOME by 0.12 08-Apr-2021 Philadelphia NY Islanders 6.1 HOME by 0.69 08-Apr-2021 Pittsburgh NY Rangers 6.3 HOME by 0.25 08-Apr-2021 Boston Washington 5.4 HOME by 0.09 09-Apr-2021 Colorado Anaheim 5.9 AWAY by -1.52 09-Apr-2021 NY Rangers NY Islanders 5.7 HOME by 0.34 09-Apr-2021 Edmonton Ottawa 6.3 AWAY by -0.93 09-Apr-2021 Los Angeles San Jose 5.7 AWAY by -0.59 09-Apr-2021 Minnesota St Louis 6.6 AWAY by -0.56 09-Apr-2021 Arizona Las Vegas 5.1 HOME by 1.40 09-Apr-2021 Pittsburgh New Jersey 5.3 AWAY by -0.55 09-Apr-2021 Washington Buffalo 5.7 AWAY by -1.17 10-Apr-2021 Vancouver Calgary 6.7 HOME by 0.50 10-Apr-2021 Detroit Carolina 6.0 HOME by 1.99 10-Apr-2021 Chicago Columbus 6.1 AWAY by -0.12 10-Apr-2021 Florida Dallas 5.9 HOME by 0.21 10-Apr-2021 Winnipeg Montreal 5.3 HOME by 0.12 10-Apr-2021 Tampa Bay Nashville 5.5 AWAY by -0.95 10-Apr-2021 Los Angeles San Jose 5.7 AWAY by -0.59 10-Apr-2021 Ottawa Toronto 6.6 HOME by 1.57 10-Apr-2021 Boston Philadelphia 5.1 AWAY by -0.06 10-Apr-2021 Minnesota St Louis 6.6 AWAY by -0.56 11-Apr-2021 Colorado Anaheim 5.9 AWAY by -1.52 11-Apr-2021 Pittsburgh New Jersey 5.3 AWAY by -0.55 11-Apr-2021 NY Rangers NY Islanders 5.7 HOME by 0.34 11-Apr-2021 Buffalo Philadelphia 6.0 HOME by 1.56 11-Apr-2021 Arizona Las Vegas 5.1 HOME by 1.40 11-Apr-2021 Boston Washington 5.4 HOME by 0.09 11-Apr-2021 Dallas Nashville 5.3 AWAY by -0.20 12-Apr-2021 Detroit Carolina 6.0 HOME by 1.99 12-Apr-2021 Chicago Columbus 6.1 AWAY by -0.12 12-Apr-2021 Vancouver Edmonton 6.8 HOME by 0.84 12-Apr-2021 Las Vegas Los Angeles 4.3 AWAY by -0.12 12-Apr-2021 Toronto Montreal 4.8 HOME by 0.12 12-Apr-2021 Winnipeg Ottawa 6.0 AWAY by -1.04 12-Apr-2021 Anaheim San Jose 5.9 HOME by 0.61 12-Apr-2021 St Louis Minnesota 5.5 HOME by 1.09 12-Apr-2021 Arizona Colorado 5.6 HOME by 1.60

Current home field advantage is: 0.27 MAE for games to date: 1.91 These ratings fit to produce 0.61 of the correct winners. Pct when predicted MOV is above 0.53: 0.67 A favored away team rarely loses when favored by more than -0.79. A favored home team rarely loses when favored by more than 0.90.

Above are some statistics about the ratings model. Each team has its own home "field" advantage, but the average all of them is shown here. The MAE is the mean absolute error of the ratings fit to all the games played to date. This number is usually larger than you think it should be, but it's a good measure of how variable (or maybe "predictable") game outcomes can be.

Immediately below that, you can see how this best fit does in retro-predicting (there's a better word I'm sure) just the game winners. My favorite stats are the last two--when the home or away team is favored by the given margin, they only lose 30 percent of the time. This is the kind of information that people in the sports wagering world might find useful.


About the author

I have a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. I am now a faculty member at Indiana University in Bloomington, teaching courses in the broad areas of weather and climate. Don't hesitate to contact me using this email form if you have questions or non-hateful comments. shopify stats