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The Noon Number: What’re the Odds?

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A look at the likelihood of the Caps having done what they’ve done

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

1.8 - Percentage likelihood of the Caps not advancing to the Conference Finals at least once in the last ten seasons. In other words, if you ran the Ovechkin Era playoffs 56 times, you’d expect one season in which the Caps fail to ever make the third round... if each series simply went by the odds.


So how’d we get to that number?

Money lines via Sports Odds History were converted to win probabilities (via Covers.com). Where probabilities weren’t available (the yellow cells below), we assigned an admittedly rough 55% likelihood of the Caps winning a series in which they were the home team and a 45% chance in those that opened away from Verizon Center (and in those seasons in which they were eliminated in the first round, second round probabilities are based on who the Caps would’ve played, had they advanced). Multiply the first- and second-round probabilities and you get the likelihood of a third-round appearance in that season (and subtract it from 1 for the probability of no third-round appearance). Multiply the probabilities of not reaching the third round and you get your final answer (and subtract it from 1 for the probability of making at least one third-round appearance). In other words...

Obviously, this is a crude approximation or the actual likelihood of the Caps’ playoff failures during the Ovechkin Era, but you get the point... as if you haven’t been getting it for years now.

[S/t to Muneeb for helping and double-checking my math]