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Don’t Count the Condors Out Just Yet

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve been paying attention to what’s going on down on the farm, you’ll know that Bakersfield are in the midst of an AHL playoff run. More specifically, they are currently down two games to one to the Dallas Eakins-led San Diego Gulls, with game four set to take place in the land of Tony Gwynn and Ron Burgundy tonight at 8pm Mountain time.

After dropping the first two games at home last weekend (including the first one in quadruple overtime), the top-seeded Condors’ Calder Cup hopes looked pretty bleak. But, after a thrilling game three victory on Wednesday night, in which Tyler Benson scored with 11 seconds remaining in regulation, and William Lagesson was the overtime hero, the Condors only need a game four victory to regain home-ice advantage.

This brings me to my question: how likely is a Condors series win at this point? According to my AHL model (which works just like the NHL model in this link, but uses total shots and goals, rather than goals and expected goals), Their current chances of winning the series sit at 44.9%.

So, they’re underdogs, as one would expect the majority of hockey teams trailing 2-1 in a series to be, but that’s a pretty good percentage, considering the circumstances.

In order to get to this series win probability, my model suggests that the Condors should be 64% favourites in their remaining home games and 53% favourites in their remaining road games. Of course, I should note that these percentages should be taken with a grain of salt, as they assume that each team has a similar roster to the ones they ran out for the majority of the season. So, on one hand, the Gulls should receive a boost from having guys like Adam Cracknell and Sam Steel in every game they play, but, on the other hand, the Condors should get that same boost from having Joeseph Gambardella, Josh Currie, and Brad Malone full-time, as well as 2018 first-rounder Evan Bouchard, who hadn’t played a professional game before debuting with Bakersfield this postseason, and yet sits at a point-per-game through his first five contests.

So, keep an eye on the Condors game tonight, if it suits your fancy. The team is down, but they’re far from out.