Calculating Magic Number
Anyone know a good formula for hockey on how to find the magic number?

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1) Wait until April 1, when I'm going to start my magic number thread for the 5th consecutive year, or 2) Have me actually explain that the magic number to clinch (in the absence of tiebreakers) is the 9thhighest possible points total in a conference + 1. For any scenario, it's possible points + 1 in the absence of tiebreakers. 
I never really figured out what the magic numbers are, other then that they're the amount of points you need to clinch a PO spot or be outside of the playoffs, but how do they work?

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But it's just a combination of teams losing and you winning as to how many "numbers" you need to get in order to clinch a playoff spot. 
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Moving to By the Numbers. Maybe they'll be able to assist you better.

http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL.html
This is also a good resource for finding out how many wins a team needs to clinch the playoffs. What they do is simulate every remaining game of the season, and then run the simulation 32 million times. A team is declared "in" the playoffs if none of those simulations show them missing the playoffs ... So technically these are not the same as magic numbers; when a team is declared in the playoffs, what that really means is "according to our model, their probability of missing the playoffs is less than 1 in 32 million". The exact formula used to determine the probability of a team winning a game isn't clearly documented, so take it for what it's worth. 
Calculating magic numbers:
1) Calculate Points + 2 * Games Remaining for each of the teams in the conference. 2) Pick the 9th highest of these. 3) Add 1. 4) Subtract the number in 3 from the number of points a team has. That's the magic number. 
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I always used this formula:
(G*2)+1(2*A_{W})A_{OTL}(2*B_{L})B_{OTL} G=Total games in a season A= Team A (The team you are making the magic number for) B= Team B (The team you want to eliminate) For example, lets say Edmonton is competing with Colorado for the 8th and final playoff spot in a full 82 game season, and the team records are as follows EDM  37347 COL  353310 To find the Magic number of wins Edmonton would need to make the playoffs we would use the formula as follows: G+1A_{W}.5A_{OTL}B_{L}.5B_{OTL} (82*2)+1(2*37)(7)(2*33)(10)= 8pts or 4 Games If Edmonton can record 8 points or Colorado loses 8 points in the remaining 4 games that each team has then they eliminate Colorado and lock up the 8th spot. 
It's easy. You just find out the total possible points the lower seeded team could get by doing Current Points + (Games Remaining * 2).
If the lower seeded team's total possible points are 115, the other team's magic number (in points) would be the difference in total possible points + 1 (except if you adjust for the tiebreaker). 
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Phoenix: 10GP  4W  4L  2OTL  10PTS Dallas: 11GP  5W  5L  1OTL  11PTS  Total Possible Points: 85 If we assume Dallas owns the tiebreaker, Phoenix will need to finish the season with at least 86 points to finish in head of Dallas. 86  10 (the 10 points they already have) = 76 76/2 = 38 
Sorry for necroing this thread, but when does the Magic Numbers thread usually appear on the main boards?

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you can try PMing him if you want. for reference: 201112: Feb 26th 201011: Feb 11th 200910: Feb 6th based on that, i'd think it should show up pretty soon if he's planning on doing it again this year. If he doesnt, it might take a while for someone else to decide to do it instead. based on sportsclubstats simulations, chicago/anaheim are about a week or two from clinching playoffs and longer for their divisions. 
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Generally I aim for a starting date when there's a bit of separation between 4th/5th and 9th. Right now it's just way too compact, so I'm going for the later date with about 15 games to go rather than earlier years (where it was 2025). 
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Noticed a major error in my formula, fixed it now.

Head Crusher, just used ur formula, dont know if i did it right, but i was trying to figure out the flyers magic number as of today. is it 40?

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is that so, I was unaware of that. ok let me dig deeper ha.

Since "magic number" is just the number of points needed to clinch a playoff spot, Philadelphia would have one. It would be very difficult to calculate (although a swag wouldn't be horrible).

sportsclubstats simulation thinks pittsburgh can clinch (playoffs, nothing else) with a win against montreal tomorrow.
unlike magic number calculations, it takes into account games played between all teams. Unfortunately it's weighting system probably leads to premature clinches. edit: nm, last night's simulation puts them back up to 57pts to clinch, which is more reasonable. I think it was glitched because out of 1.8B simulations, only one had pittsburgh just getting 52 points, and that simulation also ended up having them in the playoffs. On the west side it's showing ~60 pts right now. With losses to 9/10 seeds and a few more wins, those three teams should clinch in the first week of april. 
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MN PTS  Magic Number Points MN W  Magic Number Wins RMN PTS  Reverse Magic Number Points RMN W  Reverse Magic Number Wins Magic Number For every point the Flyers receive or for every point that an opposition lose, their magic numbers go down. This magic number is set up to represent pure elimination, which means if the number reaches 0 the Flyers are guaranteed to finish at least 1 point ahead of the opponent so no tie breakers will be assessed. At 0.5 tie breakers apply. Reverse Magic Number For Every point the Oilers lose or for every point the opponents gain this number will go down. This magic number is set up to represent pure elimination, which means if the number reaches 0 the Oilers are guaranteed to finish at least 1 point below of the opponent so no tie breakers will be assessed. At 0.5 tie breakers apply. Tie Breaker Rules 1. The fewer number of games played (i.e., superior points percentage). 2. The greater number of games won, excluding games won in the Shootout. This figure is reflected in the ROW column. 3. The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs. If two clubs are tied, and have not played an equal number of home games against each other, points earned in the first game played in the city that had the extra game shall not be included. If more than two clubs are tied, the higher percentage of available points earned in games among those clubs, and not including any "odd" games, shall be used to determine the standing. 4. The greater differential between goals for and against for the entire regular season. NOTE: In standings a victory in a shootout counts as one goal for, while a shootout loss counts as one goal against.[/QUOTE] At this point if all of NYR, CAR, WAS, NYI, BUF, TB, and FLO lose and/or Philadelphia gains 40 points in the each teams remaining 1518 games then the Flyers will make the playoffs. However if Philadelphia loses or all the teams listed from the NYR and higher win 40 points then Philadelphia will be eliminated from the playoffs. 
Western Conference on Mar 26th.
Dallas is 9th with 33pts and 16 games left. If they win out, that's 65 pts. However, following the standings up, with all the other teams winning the rest of their games, and deducting one point for overtime losses with teams already considered, it happens that LA maxes out at 64. I believe it is possible, however, to leave LA with 65 and keep all the other teams at 65 as well. (In other words, I am considering everyone's schedule as well.) Then, 66pts gets you in, so magic numbers for the West: Chi  13 Ana  18 Van  24 Min  26 Det  27 LA  28 StL  30 SJ  32 These would be if you gained them all yourself. To follow them day by day is complicated, because of scheduling. For example, Dallas going L (rather than OTL) does not necessarily deduct 2 points from this..... And, if Dallas went OTL twice, Nashville could pass them as the team on the bubble..... 
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