Monday, April 29, 2013

NHL playoff preview and prediction.

Yesterday the shortened 2013 NHL regular season ended and it is time for what I call the dreaded playoffs to start. Why do I not like them? Over the past three years, the top team in the regular season lost in the first round twice and the one that won had to go to overtime in game 7 to advance. Also in the 45 series over the last 3 years, the lesser team has won 22 of them so home ice advantage has been non existent. Even in game 7 of the NHL finals 2 seasons ago, the road team won.

I have 2 theories: The difference between the teams is small a lucky break or bad play can make a difference. Having playoffs during late spring creates poor ice quality evening the field.

Anyway, I determined who will win by the only logical way I know for this scenario: random chance. I rolled dice with 8 numbers on it 15 times and that determined the winner of each seies and the number of games. Here is the results:

Since the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins had by far the most wins in each conference, I will be rooting for them to meet in the final and not what happened with the dice. I am also glad that unlike last year, every playoff team has at least won 24 or half of its games so at least this year's champion will not have a losing record.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

How ABT won the 2013 Masters

In professional golf, when applicable I root for ABT or anyone but Tiger (Woods). It used to be out of pure jealousy for what he had as a kid (and I didn't) but now so he does not beat Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major titles.
Even though my fast paced, instintive game which feature hitting low hooks was the exact opposite of Nicklaus's deliberate, calculating, high fade style, he was the golfer whom I rooted for many years and I do not want his record beaten.

I was expecting Tiger to win this weekend as it appeared the troubles he had a few years ago are now behind him and that he had won his two previous tournaments. However hole 15 on Friday made the diffrence as he was one shot out of the lead at that time.

With the wind in his face and the pin tucked on a small portion of the green providing little margin for error, trying to hit a long second shot was not advisable so Tiger hit his second shot to a spot on the right side of the fairway to create the best angle to hit his third to the green.

His third shot from 80 yards hit the flagstick on the fly causing the spin on the shot which would normally made it take one bounce and stop to instead back up fast into the water.

He was forced to take a penalty stroke and drop the ball to play his 5th shot. He had three choices: A: The drop area created for use on the hole. B: The spot where he hit his previous shot. C: Any point not closer to the hole on the line from the flagstick to the point where the ball entered the water.

Since Tiger knows exactly how far he can hit his clubs every time and realizing the drop area would create a poor angle to the green, he took his drop a few yards behind where he hit his previous shot actually combining choices B and C so the same hit shot would bounce before the hole and stop next to it and he did to salvage a 6.

Upon hearing a caller (not me) mention that Tiger might have wrongly dropped the ball behind where his previous shot was, the rules committee looked at the recording and decided there was not enough evidence to impose a 2 shot penalty for an imroper drop. However after hearing Tiger's intervew about moving a few yards back t hit his fifth shot, the rules committee met with Tiger and decided the 2 shot penalty would be enforced.

Having his third shot hit the flagstick and spin in to the water where 2 inches either way would have left him a 6-8 foot putt for a four cost him 3 or 4 shots and possibly one more since he was not the same on the 3 holes following that very unlucky break. He finished 4 shots out of a playoff for the title.