Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Playoff Probability Conundrum

This is a guest post by Nick - Dirty Dangle's Ottawa Senators Devil's Advocate
Will the Ottawa Senators making the playoffs: heads or tails? In probability theory, an event that is a near guarantee is referred to an “almost surely.” In contrast, events that have a near zero probability of occurring are described as “almost never(s).” So, in the case of flipping a coin, there is a 50% chance of it landing on heads and 50% on tails. However, there is the slimmest of slim chances that the coin lands on its side. The “almost never” event. Or, the probably of the Ottawa Senators making the playoffs. What’s the Blue Jackets’ odds you ask? Try flipping that coin twice and getting neither heads nor tails both times.

Now, Senators fans knew the season would be a short one and in fact, things looked much darker in mid-October. I’m no optimist, never have been when it came to hockey, really. So, if this season’s as good as gone, it’s not like there there aren’t things to hope for/look forward to. Here are just a few: 
  • Winning all remaining games against Toronto (yes, I’m spiteful) 
  • Waiting to see if Karlsson can steal Mike Green’s “best forward on defence” title 
  • Second or third claim on the waiver wire 
  • For good or bad, the future of Daniel Alfredsson 
  • Selling junk at the trade deadline (Gonchar for any player in the league whose contract does not extend past 2012-2013 and Kuba for a prospect who projects to be a career AHLer) 
  • Keeping fingers crossed for Robin Lehner with the Binghamton Senators* 
* Timeout for a brief personal diatribe against MLSE. I bought a couple tickets to the Senators-Marlies game in Toronto on Wednesday, March 7th. Didn’t realize, however, the game begins at 11:00 am. Someone want to explain this one to me? Middle of the workweek. Middle of the day. For fuck’s sake.
  • 48.2% chance of drafting Nail Yakupov as soon as Columbus fucks off and starts to win a game or five 
  • Turning things around in my two hockey pools (Dirty Dangle are killing me in both), but seriously Halak, Hedman, Luongo, and E. Kane, what the hell is wrong with you? 
The bottom line: this is not a playoff team. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been exciting thus far, comeback win after comeback win. Ups-and-downs can still make for 82 games of entertainment (although some of the blowouts have been truly painful to watch). Alright, alright, enough with the Senators. Let’s talk about some other team. How about those Dallas Stars? 22 points in 16 games! Who would’ve though it… that’s all I’ve got.

NEXT POST: Is the Battle of Ontario Dead? Was the Coroner Ever Called?


  1. Nail Yakupov is already looking for a place in Columbus.
    I have a feeling the Sens are not in the lottery position this year.

  2. I hate hate hate the Sens, but have to admit they have some nice prospects coming down the pipeline

  3. I like comment number three the most!

  4. Greg, you do have to realize that the Senators are a streaky team, starting 1-5 (the only win coming in the shootout) before winning the next six. Then, losing five before the current streak of two wins.

    Really, it's still early and one bad slump could push them towards the lottery once again.

  5. Welcome to mediocrity Ottawa

  6. @Nick

    Do the Sens trade number 11 to a playoff team?

  7. Only if he requests it. I really don't want to see them do to Alfie what happened to Sundin, and I doubt they will.


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