Kats Krunch: Regular Season Numbers


We will do an extended Torontosaurus Rex after preparing for the playoffs is over, later on in the week. But since the regular season is over, it’s time for some numbers. It’s also interesting to note how the two teams Flyers and Rangers with the lowest amount of shootout games with six, decided their playoff fates with a shootout.

(Gus Katsaros) — It’s interesting to see how the NHL goal-per-game had dropped and approached the post-lockout low of 5.40 in 2007-08 before a late season boost. As the chart below indicates, the months of March and April pulled up the monthly average to its second lowest value of 5.53 goals-per-game for the 2009-10 season.

These are the results from a monthly perspective. Note the spike in November and April in shootouts. The NHL had a season high 182 shootouts, 14.797% and played 299 extra time games, approximately 24.3% of the NHL schedule.

The true measure of how teams are able to win and which actually used the extra time games to their distinct advantage are marked below. I’ve concluded that the lack of playoff race among a greater selection of teams is proportionate to the amount of extra time games involved in a season overall by NHL teams.

Aside from the Rangers/Flyers decided on the final day, there were less than a handful of teams fighting it out for a playoff spot in 2009-10 in comparison to other post-lockout seasons. With 300 extra points injected into the standings, it’s no wonder the playoff race in March/April was essentially non existent.

The mentality seems to be 180 degerees however. Most fans believe the shootout and overtime create enough parity that results skew standings enough to screw over teams postseason aspirations.

In fact, it’s the opposite. The more extra time games, the less of a playoff race in March/April, while keeping the race fairly tight in mid-season, when viewers/fans and other may have their attention wane, including focusing on the NFL and Super Bowl.

While some teams may have used the extra time games to secure a playoff spot (ahem, Montreal, Boston, Phoenix).

The columns indicate total 1-goal games, broken down into overtime and shootout records, and then simply 1-goal games decided in regulation. The final column is winning percentage.

The results from shootouts since the implementation as lockouts are documented below.

Annual Shootout Results

katshockey [at] mapleleafshotstove.com

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Gus Katsaros is the McKeen’s Hockey Director of Analytics & Pro Scouting and has been writing at MLHS since 2009.