Jump to content
The Official Site of the Montréal Canadiens
Canadiens de Montreal

2013-2014 Magic Number (MN)


Manatee-X

Recommended Posts

And we're back! Real, meaningful hockey is now just one short week away. This means it's time to start the Habs' annual mathematical march to that pined-for post-season position: the coveted clinched playoff spot!

Flying_Lion's going to lead us in the stat-keeping again this year (thanks in advance!). If you're mainly interested in having fun and following along on our march towards 0 than feel free to stop reading this and to jump right in, but there are always people every year who are curious about where the numbers are coming from and what they mean. If you're one of those folks, here's a quick magic number FAQ:

WHAT IS THE MAGIC NUMBER (MN)?

In the simplest terms, the MN is the number of points in the NHL standings the Habs need to earn to be GUARANTEED a playoff position. When the MN hits 0, we're officially in the playoffs!

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The question that the magic number answers is this: how many more points will the Habs need to earn in order to get into the playoffs in the absolute worst-case scenario?

What is that worst case scenario? That would be if every other team in our conference were to win every game they play for the rest of the season. That's why the starting number is 165. If every team in the East wins each of their games then they will all end up with 164 points. We would therefore need 165 in order to guarantee at least eighth place.

Now obviously it's impossible for every other team to win every game, if nothing else because the teams will be playing games against one another. As those teams lose games the magic number will start to fall. Likewise, each Canadiens win will also cause a drop - the more points we already have, the less we'll need in order to reach that worst-case 8th place threshold.

WHEN DOES THE NUMBER DROP?

As mentioned above, the starting number is 165. Generally speaking:

  • It is reduced by 2 points every time the Canadiens win a game in regulation.
  • It is reduced by 1 point every time the Canadiens lose in overtime or in the shootout.
  • It is reduced by 2 points every time the 8th place team* loses a game in regulation.
  • It is reduced by 1 point every time the 8th place team* loses a game in OT or SO.

*the 8th place team as determined by the NL standings, disregarding the Canadiens. See below.

WHAT IS THIS "NL STANDINGS" TABLE THAT YOU'RE ALWAYS POSTING?

Simply put, you can think of it this way: the NL standings table is what the actual standings would be at the end of the year if every team won every game remaining in their schedule.

As I mentioned earlier, the MN calculations assume that every other team is going to win every game. As a result, nothing really changes when a team wins - our worst-case assumption was proven correct and the MN stays the same. The magic number is only affected when a team loses, since each loss reduces their maximum possible point total. Because of this, we rework the NHL standings table in a way that prioritizes the number of losses (or NL). This lets us easily see who the 8th place team is that we're trying to beat. As long as we stay ahead of this 8th place "bubble team" we're going to get a playoff spot.

WASN'T THERE A BUNCH MATH INVOLVED IN ALL THIS?

Not for most of us - Flying_Lion takes care of all that :P. As it turns out, though, the math isn't actually very complicated at all. The tough part (and the reason that we thank Lion so profusely every year) is keeping the NL table up-to-date after each game in order to figure out who the "bubble team" is. The bubble team is the team that we need to beat in order to reach our goal of making the playoffs - if we're in the bottom half of the NL standings we need to beat the team that's currently in 8th. If we're in the top half of the NL standings then we need to stay ahead of the team that's currently in 9th. For other MNs (i.e. those that look for us to clinch the division or the conference) the "bubble team" becomes whichever team is currently holding the spot that we want to occupy.

Once you know who the bubble team (BT) is, however, the MN is very easy to find:

MN = (BT's current points) + (BT's games remaining * 2) - (Canadiens current points) + 1



WHAT ARE BONUS POINTS?

"Bonus points" is a term we use to refer to the MN dropping because of the results of a game that the Habs aren't involved in. Broadly speaking, we get 2 bonus points when the bubble team loses in regulation and 1 when they lose in OT or SO.

WHAT ARE ALL THESE OTHER NUMBERS?

In addition to the standard magic number, there are a few other things that we keep track of:

MN Pace

This is the average pace that the MN has been dropping per Habs game. This includes both points that we earn ourselves and bonus points earned from other teams' losses. If the MN pace is above 2.0 then we're on pace to clinch a playoff spot at the end of the year.

MN EPD ( Estimated Party Date) NUMBER

This number is a prediction of when the MN will hit 0, based on the MN Pace to this point and the assumption that we'll continue on the same pace.

MN HOME ICE, DIVISION & CONFERENCE NUMBERS
Same principle is applied as the regular MN number. When these numbers hit 0 then we have clinched that honour.

MN T.O. NO GO NUMBER
A different twist to this number. When it reaches 0 then the LEAFS are officially ELIMINATED from the playoffs.
The same principle can be applied for any other team you may hate. Make a request and we will calculate it here.

And that's it! I tried to cover off just about everything that I could think of, but if you have any questions at all feel free to ask them in the forum or to send me a PM. Until next time, happy MNing! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Git. E. Up.

MN is 165. :lol:

I'd been preparing for the season - new divisions, new spreadsheet - and was hoping for the first update to include a standings image but regret that I'm not ready yet. I suppose I'm not late given that the season hasn't started.

MN Home Ice used to be 4th in the Conference but with realignment we'll need 2nd in our Division, which could be entirely different from a standings point of view.

Also, I've been looking for an image to use as backdrop and google is failing me. Is there anyone that could whip up something for me to use? It would have to be predominantly light backdrop but a torch and logo somewhere wouldn't hurt.

I first was brave enough to venture in here last year and it quickly became one of my favorite threads. Thanks in advance FL for your work to keep this going!

This thread was probably the one that kept me coming back to the Forum so regularly when I first signed up. Game Day Threads were fun, still are, but I loved having a countdown to keep in track of.

Given the history I know of the MN, I can microscopically appreciate Gionta's point of view, the importance of performing a role well. Some things are an Honour and not to be taken lightly.

That said, PP2009, what's the status on those Pace-Pace (P-squared?) numbers you were crunching last year? Those numbers were the biggest innovation and addition to the MN I've seen. It would be nice to know those sometimes throughout the season even if they couldn't be available regularly.



Hockey season is around the corner. Let's get ready to countdown to 0.

Yeah. I just mentioned that I'm not ready yet. Thanks for putting the pressure on. I needed that. <_<

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That said, PP2009, what's the status on those Pace-Pace (P-squared?) numbers you were crunching last year? Those numbers were the biggest innovation and addition to the MN I've seen. It would be nice to know those sometimes throughout the season even if they couldn't be available regularly.

Well, I went back and looked at the numbers, and about a third to halfway through the season and it was actually better at predicting the playoff teams in the ECF than the actual Pace spread out through an entire season to that point. So, barring that last year was somehow weird or that I got lucky with my model and I am actually flat out wrong (the odds of which I did a quick stat analysis to be about 1.5%), I was successful!

That said, I still have a few ideas that could refine the system a little more, so I still want to improve it. I would also have to update my system a little better to account for the new divisions and all. I am going to give it my best shot, but my courseload got a lot heavier this semester (turns out college isn't all fun and games <_< ), and I may have to take on a few more hours at my job. I may not have time.

I am going to give it my best shot, but if a month or two into the season I fall too far behind, I might have to drop it until next year :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If last season's 48 games were part of an 82 game season with the new divisions, this is where things would have stood:

MN2013_zps28eee646.jpg

Like I said, I'm still tweaking stuff, especially the visual. Just thought I'd drop it now that the preseason is done. Next time something goes up, the MN numbers will be 165.



Well, I went back and looked at the numbers, and about a third to halfway through the season and it was actually better at predicting the playoff teams in the ECF than the actual Pace spread out through an entire season to that point. So, barring that last year was somehow weird or that I got lucky with my model and I am actually flat out wrong (the odds of which I did a quick stat analysis to be about 1.5%), I was successful!

That said, I still have a few ideas that could refine the system a little more, so I still want to improve it. I would also have to update my system a little better to account for the new divisions and all. I am going to give it my best shot, but my courseload got a lot heavier this semester (turns out college isn't all fun and games <_< ), and I may have to take on a few more hours at my job. I may not have time.

I am going to give it my best shot, but if a month or two into the season I fall too far behind, I might have to drop it until next year :(

No obligation, PP. Whatever and whenever you can only adds to the discussion. Keep your eyes on your studies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just in time ...

MN is 165. :D

Hopefully we don't have to look at that again. ;)

ezifm.jpg

I'll probably be tweaking the sheet over the next few weeks. If I'm forgetting anything or there are any suggestions, let me know.

Off to the GameDay Thread. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, this extended break between the first game and the next one isn't doing the MN any favours

I was just remarking that to a co-worker, not about the MN but about the long break between our first 2 games. We waited so long and now it seems like it's been forever until tomorrow night. Losing to the Leafs left such a bad taste in my mouth, I've felt like we missed the playoffs or something with so much downtime.

It'll be a few more days before Bonus Points start becoming available and after tomorrow it's another 3-day break so if we can't move it ourselves we might still be stuck at the starting gates through to Tuesday. :blink:

long road ahead,

It is indeed. And on this road, keeping a steady traffic flow is essential.

219rrwj.gif

...

I can't believe I pulled that out so soon. :angry:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey. Is there anyone out there that can keep an eye out for bonus points? I think we missed a couple last night because by my math, which I have no confidence in right now, we picked 2 up last night.

...

MN is 161.

29uy6x5.jpg

...

If I'm wrong, 1000 apologies are going out for misleading you all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I'm wrong, 1000 apologies are going out for misleading you all.

are there not 433, 947 members, lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bonus points must be difficult to keep track of this early in the season with everybody bunched together. I imagine it will get a little easier to track when we see a little distance between teams.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...