What Would the Model of a Stanley Cup Winner Look Like?

Roughly the scientific method reveals to us how to go about finding and replicating outcomes that work. Here are the steps:

Despite the lack of simple linearity in reality, the method has often been codified into stages that make it easier to understand. Essentially, the following five steps make up the scientific method:

  1. Observe – Look at the world and find a result that seems curious. As Isaac Asimov put it, “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, ‘Hmm… that’s funny…’”
  2. Hypothesize – Come up with a possible explanation.
  3. Predict – The most important part of a hypothesis or theory is its ability to make predictions that have yet to be observed. A theory that makes no new predictions is scientifically worthless. Predictions must be falsifiable (theoretically, new evidence can show the prediction to be false) and specific (what is predicted must not be open to interpretation after the experiment begins, or else the only thing you’re testing is your ability to reinterpret your incorrect theory).
  4. Test Predictions (in physical sciences this is called Experiment) – Compare the predictions with new[11] empirical evidence (usually experimental evidence, often supported by mathematics). This step is the reason why a hypothesis or theory has to be falsifiable — if there’s nothing to falsify, then the experiment is pointless because it’s guaranteed to tell you nothing new. Information from the experiment can disprove the original hypothesis, which might be refined into a better one.
  5. Reproduce – ensure the result is a true reflection of reality by verifying it with others.

The Scientific Process applied to Gastric Ulcers, solved by Nobel Prize winning scientists.

A couple of key takeaways are the personal qualities that lead to this discovery:

  • Curiosity
  • Luck
  • Tenacity

How does this apply to the Leafs? Well curiosity is trying combinations and, players trying out things to see if they can do it and expanding their skill to reach a higher top end level. Luck is self evident. Tenacity is relentlessness, persistence, will, belief and effort that can elevate your game.

So maybe a well formed plan is to figure out these factors and apply it to winning A STANLEY CUP.

Make some observations about winning and winners. Get winners into your program. Develop a model, test the model and refine it and get some dumb ass lucky bounces. Take as many opportunities as you can get to improve your odds of winning. Reduce the variation in the gaffs that can cost you a game, especially at an inopportune time, and have the ability to elevate the game on the high end, especially at the opportune time, ideally as required and during pressure situations. The consistency is doing this at a high level game after game to leave as little to luck as possible. In the cap world the parity makes teams closer. Look at the 2019-2020 playoffs.

So what do we know?

Score more goals than the opponent and do it consistently. In a seven game series, the more consistently you do this without having those egregious gaffs that cost you the game the better. Eliminate those egregious gaffs in a seven game series. Make sure some people can come up goals during in as many situations as you can. Players who elevate their game and score or help others to score Big goals are important. Players who can stop the other teams from getting Big goals are important.

Develop these factors top down from a team perspective. Do it bottom up from a player perspective and add them together. Get enough practice in the regular season to make sure you can at least do it in the regular season, let alone in the playoffs. Then TEST it out in the regular season AND the playoffs and adapt as best you can. Stick to what works and change if necessary. Get some DUMB ASS LUCK too. That would help here and there and you have the formula. Now, do it again and again.

Here is the rough formula bottom up formula:

  • contribution to goals
  • contribution to preventing goals against
  • contribution in all situations
  • contribution in high pressure situations
  • limit gaffs that cause goals against
  • contribution to closing out lower pressure situations
  • uncontrollable luck factor – minimize this by maximizing the rest of the other factors
Image result for two distinct distributions
Ideal Difference Between Goals and Goals Against

Measure this against your competition. This can change depending on who you are competing against but do the best you can. This is easier said than done of course. Finally, celebrate your successes of course and I hope to see you at the parade down Yonge Street.

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