The simulation tells who has the best chance of gold in the top eight

How many times can Switzerland line up as the winner of the national anthem?Photo: cornerstone

Analytics

As before the start of the tournament, Watson collaborated with Swiss data specialists. We wanted to know what the Swiss medal chances are now before the quarter-finals.

06/03/2021, 11:43 AM03/06/2021, 16:06

Adrian Burgler, Data House

Prior to the tournament, Watson and specialists from Datahouse simulated the Ice Hockey World Championships. At the time, the predictions of the expert team of data science professionals gave Switzerland a 2% chance of winning the World Cup. At that time, Russia was awarded the title of most likely world champion and this did not change even after the end of the group stage.

Overall, the ETH sub-display simulation in Zurich has hit the mark quite often. The correct winner has been predicted in 41 of 56 preliminary round matches – this World Cup is full of surprises.

Two unexpected extreme events are the Sweden elimination and Switzerland’s violent 0:7 slap against Sweden. The fact that Switzerland lost 7-0 to Sweden only occurred in 0.07% of 10,000 simulations. Exiting Tre Kronor after the group stage was also surprising, but the probability of that was at least eight percent.

This is how the simulation works:

  • In the first step, the strength of each team is determined. The position and points in the IIHF rankings, as well as the current betting odds of the top three betting shops, are used to take into account the strength of the team and the shape of the teams. Betting odds are weighted more than the world rankings.
  • In each game, the strengths of both teams are compared and the result is simulated – the greater the difference, the higher the probability of scoring a goal at each stage of the game, and thus the stronger team will win.
  • Then the entire World Cup is played over 10,000 times. The “likelihood” of a scenario (eg Switzerland becoming the world champion) is the percentage out of 10,000 rounds in which the scenario occurred.
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These are the results:

After the group stage ended, the Swiss team’s chances of winning the title increased. In the second simulation, Patrick Fischer’s team has a ten percent chance of winning the World Cup – five times higher than it had before the start of the tournament.

It is also interesting that according to the simulation, Switzerland will be a relatively clear candidate in tomorrow afternoon’s quarter-final match against Germany. Switzerland has a 59 per cent chance of reaching the semi-finals – Russia and the US are said to have better chances.

What will the national team’s path to the World Cup look like? This is where things get a little confusing. After the quarter-final against Germany, Switzerland faced Finland as the most frequent quarter-final contender in the 10000 simulation. However, this also means that in these scenarios neither Russia nor the United States will reach the semi-finals. In a possible semi-final match, the chances of the national team winning are 42%.

In all scenarios in which Switzerland plays for the bronze medal, the United States is the most likely opponent in the minor final. However, in this scenario, it’s not that Switzerland definitely met Finland in the semi-finals. In this case, Switzerland is only supposed to lose the semi-finals – regardless of the opponent. The duel against the United States will be relatively equal.

If Switzerland makes it to the final, Russia will most likely wait there. In the final match, the simulation gives Switzerland a 40% chance of winning. This is a huge increase compared to the simulation before the tournament started. At the time, Switzerland won the group match against “Sbornaja” in just 23 percent of 10,000 simulations.

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Source: Keystone / Alessandro Della Valle

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