Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How unusual was the ending of Monday's Game 6?

Check out this post on the new version of Rink Stats.
As a follow up to yesterday's post on the latest Cup-winning goals in history, today I'm going to look at little more at the craziness of the end of Monday's game. Earlier today I was thinking about how often it is that a team comes from behind to tie and win the game at the end of regulation, like the Blackhawks did a couple nights ago. My inclination was that it can't possibly be a common thing. So with my six seasons worth of regular season play-by-play data I explored the question. Here's what I found:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Blackhawk's Cup Clincher, in Perspective

Check out this post on the new version of Rink Stats.
Last night's Stanley Cup Final Game 6 will almost certainly go down as having one of the most memorable in Cup history. But how does the Blackhawks' comeback measure up against history? As you might guess, their game tying goal with 1:16 left in the 3rd period is the latest GTG to come in a Stanley Cup clinching game. Their game winning goal with :59 remaining is the latest Stanley Cup winning goal to come before overtime. Here's the list of the latest Cup clinching goals:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hitters and Hittees in 2013

Check out this post on the new version of Rink Stats.
In Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals last night, the Blackhawks came away with a 3-1 win over the Bruins. Chicago outshot Boston, took fewer penalties, and won more faceoffs. But one interesting battle won by the Bruins was in the number of hits delivered. Boston players were credited with 53 hits, whereas Chicago only registered 22. Interestingly, Boston has outhit Chicago (often by a large amount) in every game except Game 1, in which Chicago has 61 hits to Boston's 59.

For each NHL game, you can find an event summary (like this one) which provides the total number of hits credited to each player. What these summaries do not provide is the number of times each player is the recipient of a hit from the other team. These hit-recipient data do exist, however. In this post I'm interested in looking at which players received the most punishment in the 2013 regular season, and whether there are distinct patterns which can teach us about in-game strategies of teams and players.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Testing two common adages about when goals are scored

Check out this post on the new version of Rink Stats. Hockey announcers and fans seem to have a lot of adages about when goals are scored during games. I just finished collecting and cleaning play-by-play data from every NHL game from the 2007-2008 season through the lockout-shortened 2013 season. In this post I'm going to look at some very basic attributes of the data. I also hope to convince you of the truth behind two common adages.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Canada's Cup drought and the salary cap

Check out this post on the new version of Rink Stats. The lockout-shortened 2013 NHL season marks the 19th straight season in which the Cup will not be raised by a Canadian team. In a blog post yesterday, Nate Silver took on the question of why Canada is on such a dry spell. In the article, he puts forth three explanations. First, that Canadian teams have just been on a bad luck streak. Second, that changes to the NHL's salary cap rules changed at a time when the Canadian dollar was gaining strength against the US dollar. Third, that there are too few Canadian teams, relative to the sport's popularity in different markets. The article is well put together, there were a couple things that stood out to me about his arguments.