Friday, October 13, 2023

Nobody understands the Bruins (and other lessons from your preseason predictions)

Every now and then, somebody will ask me why I take the time to set up the annual prediction contest. Why bother, when it takes so much work to scrape all the data from our (occasionally uncooperative) comment section, massage it into some kind of working shape, and then monitor the whole thing over the course of a full season?

The first answer is that I just like seeing how wrong you all are, and how sad that makes you feel.

But the second answer is that there’s a bonus to the contest, from my perspective: By getting a few thousand readers to put their pre-season predictions in writing, I end up with a treasure trove of data on what fans are thinking. I like to think that The Athletic’s readers are reasonably bright and well-informed, and while a prediction game isn’t a random sampling, it’s still a useful way to take the pulse of the hockey world.

So today, let’s set aside the contest aspect – we’ll check in on that later in the year – and just focus on what you told me about what you do and don’t believe heading into the 2023-24 season.

This is all based on an early pass on the data, which hasn’t been cleaned up yet. (Special thanks to contest wrangler Mike, who was able to get the initial pass done in record time.) We’ll focus on broad trends rather than specific numbers, but there’s still plenty to dig into.

Such as…

>> Read the full post at The Athletic

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