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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Brier Day 5: Empty Seats and Alberta's Chances

My 9 year old son had the afternoon off today.  Between PD days and Teachers conventions and days off for parent teacher nights and swimming days, field trips, and everything else, I think he actual has classes  about 43 days a year.  He's curled for part of the last two years, and only because he asked to (from watching it on TV).  I don't expect kids need to start curling until they're around 11 and have the strength for it.  

I say he curled part-time because his true passion is snowboarding.  Each October we've gone out to the St. Albert Curling Club on Sundays, until the snow starts to fall heavy and he switches up sliding rocks for carving the hill.  I was a little surprised that he accepted when I asked if we wanted to go to watch the Brier.  I think he had more fun eating a German Sausage, running around the arena and sitting in different sections (many were open) than actually watching.  He also had fun trying to catch the Brier Bear so he could punch him in the stomach.  I'm not proud of my parenting skills, I'm simply trying to survive. Next time I won't give him a chocolate Tim Horton's donut. 

Empty seats at the Edmonton Brier and my son advising me that snowboarders have more hair than curlers.

We watched a close game between Northern Ontario and Quebec. Brad Jacobs, representing the one team without a flag, battled back from a steal of two in the 5th end by cracking a three in the 7th and a steal in the 8th.  When Menard failed to hit the eight foot in the 9th end, his deuce became a single and Jacobs was able to finish out with a 6-4 victory.  The win tied Northern Ontario with Quebec at 5-2.  Both teams had the evening off.  

Alberta's Odds:

Following Draw 11 on Wednesday night, I pulled a spreadsheet together and tried to examine the chances of Martin making the play-offs or a tie-breaker.  The percentages I used are rough, based on my own opinion.

1.  Martin has roughly 25% chance of going 7-4.  This is largely based on the assessment he is 50% against Howard and 50% likely to get through the other three games without a loss.  

2. Howard has about a .4% chance of losing all his remaining games.  This is largely based on his game against PEI.

3. Gushue has about a 12% chance of losing his last three and going 7-4.  Of course if he does then Howard will be at least 8-3, since they play each other.

4. Stoughton has roughly 1.4% chance of losing 3 of his next 4, and going 7-4. 

5. Jacobs about a 56% chance of losing at least 2 of his next 4 games.

6. Menard has about a 68% chance of losing at least 2 of his last 4 games.

Martin needs two of the top five teams to drop to 4 losses.  Clearly their best chance is for Quebec and Northern Ontario to fall back.  Since they don't play each other, that helps avoid an additional win.  Unfortunaely for Alberta, they have no games against these two teams and can't put another loss up by beating them head to head.

Martin and Team Alberta has (in my estimation) just above a 10% chance of making a tie-breaker on Saturday morning.  If Martin can win both on Thursday he cannot be mathematically eliminated from the play-offs until Friday because Manitoba plays Northern Ontario.

Three teams entered Wednesday night without a victory.  Two of them were pitted against each other and PEI managed to pull out a 10-7 win over BC.  If Nova Scotia fails to win tomorrow morning it will set-up another match-up of the winless with BC in the evening. I suspect this won't be the feature game on TSN but next year, with relegation, these contests will have new interest from fans and fellow provincial competitors.

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