Swarming the NHL: AI Picks for Week 6

The current NHL season has been underway for just over a month, and the league’s results remain volatile. With a few exceptions, teams seem to be bunching up in the standings, with only a handful of teams looking particularly dominant early on. It’s been an interesting dynamic around hockey, where a .500 record likely means your club is in last place, but three games over has you contending among division leaders. Things are likely to shake out as the season progresses, but for now the lay of the League presents a fascinating challenge for the weekly swarm of NHL fans. Here’s how they picked tonight’s contests:

As the chart above shows, if you’re looking for heavy confidence and conviction on a prediction tonight, you’re not going to find it. The closest the swarm came in today’s slate of games was some moderately high confidence in the Toronto Maple Leafs, who open a west coast road trip tonight against an inconsistent Los Angeles Kings squad. Although the Leafs are at least two weeks from having injured young star Auston Matthews back in the lineup, the swarm still thinks they can handle Los Angeles.

The puck movement and magnets are the main keys in that replay above. This is one of the few game predictions where it felt like the puck might move to a higher-confidence, 2+ goals prediction. In the end, the swarm reconsiders that and goes the lower confidence route, but significantly it’s important to note that almost all the magnets are on the Toronto side of the hex, taking the puck that direction. The swarm also made this matchup their pick of the night, which is an added boost for those interested in the game.

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