Swarming the NHL: AI Picks for Week 23

In any sport, coaches and managers will often place a great premium on the concept of “Getting hot at the right time,” meaning to round into top form when the playoffs arrive.  There’s now less than a month left in the NHL season, and teams are making their final case for the postseason. The weekly swarm of hockey fans who predict NHL games has to consider which teams are trying to find their best form in the late season…and which teams may be playing out the string.

The NHL Swam found a number of high confidence picks from games on tonight’s schedule. Although it looks a little overconfident at first glance, an in-depth analysis shows that many of those high confidence games involve teams that are fighting to improve their postseason chances playing against teams that will be booking tee times in early April. The matchup in Florida tonight where the Panthers host Ottawa is one such game, and it is the Swarm’s pick of the night.

For much of the season, Florida played .500 hockey, never really seeming like much of a threat their division rivals. Over the last month, however, they’ve come to embody the notion of a team getting hot at the right time. The Panthers have won 8 of their last 10 and tonight host a Senators team that looks like they can’t wait until the season’s over. In the replay, you can see about as much unanimity as you’ll ever see in a swarm, with the group clearly expecting Florida’s recent form to carry the day. The swarm assigned this game it’s maximum hypothetical wagering confidence as well to underscore their conviction.

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