Monday, January 09, 2006


Stats watch

Back at the end of September, sacamano and I (and a few others) had a protracted and somewhat pissy discussion about whether more powerplays means more goal scoring. Intuitively, the answer is "Of course!". Tom Benjamin reminded us that it's not that simple, because while the PP team has a much better chance of scoring, the SH team has a much worse chance of scoring, and it evens things out to a great extent (if not entirely).

Anyway, here's some sa-tistics, as of Thursday or Friday. Goal info is from; "time" info is from Special teams scoring includes all PP and SH goals. Also, apparently empty net goals scored on the PP or SH are not counted at special teams goals, as they don't seem to be double-counted in the stats I reviewed.


What does it all mean? I dunno.

In terms of frequency, it's actually even strength scoring that's up a lot, not special teams scoring. However, in raw numbers, that's almost completely offset by the reduced time of even strength play.

You could attribute this increase in ES scoring frequency to all sorts of things. The smaller goalie equipment; no red line; a successful reduction in obstruction; the icing disincentive, etc.. I really don't know.

The special teams scoring frequency is up only slightly (8:01 from 8:42). Your intuitive explanation for this increase might be the increased number of 5-on-3 PPs. If so, you are absolutely right.

Last season (1230 games), there were a total of 154 goals scored on 5-on-3. This season, through 603 games, there were 178 goals scored 5-on-3. If you use the "old" 5-on-3 scoring pace (75 goals to date), and update the numbers above (basically, just reducing the # of special teams goals by 103), the special teams scoring frequency becomes one goal every 8:38: virtually identical to last season.


Let's assume that since we've shown that NON-5-on-3 PP success has remained constant from last season, then 5-on-3 PP success has as well; I think this is reasonable (until Mudcrutch posts "Time of 5-on-3" data...). The increase of 1.03 goals per game this season is a result of the following:
How much would scoring be up this season if PP and ES time broke down the same as last season (and thus, if the raw number of special teams goals was the same as last season)? Scoring would be up by 0.49 GPG instead of 1.03 GPG.

OK, now go ahead and rip my assumptions and calculations to shreds...


Verrrry interesting. I had been wondering about ES scoring rates this year vs last year, but hadn't found them anywhere.

I'd guess that the .49 gpg extra we've been getting that comes outside of the ST playing time is mostly the product of rebounds scored by players infront of the net who are this year alot less encumbered by the defence.

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