the numbers you
can handle (and then some).
If you like Goal Times, check out First Game Back.
You've probably heard commentators speak of the "lift" a team gets by scoring in the first or last minute of a period. Scoring a goal at such a crucial point in the game will surely help the team later on -- or will it? A look at the statistics will tell the tale.
The first chart details which team scores after a Canuck goal during a certain minute. For example, when the Canucks score between 13:01 and 14:00 of the third period, and another goal is scored that game, the Canucks get that goal 58.8% of the time, while the opponent gets the next goal 41.2% of the time.
On average, when the Canucks score a goal, 49.3% of the time they will get the next goal that game. When you compare that to the final minute of the first period (45.3%), you'll see that the Canucks are actually less likely to score the next goal than we would expect. It's even worse if the Canucks score in the first minute of the first period. So much for the expected "lift".
It's one thing to get the next goal, but what about the final outcome of the game? Perhaps a goal in the first or last minute of the period might help the Canucks win the game.
Okay, here's a no-brainer. When the Canucks score in the final minute of the third period, they have their best winning percentage. Obviously scoring an empty net goal will probably ensure a victory. By the same token, if the game is close enough, the Canucks may pull their goaltender and score in the final minute to turn a loss into a single point (tie/overtime loss/shootout loss).
Other than that, scoring in the first or last minute of a period doesn't seem to matter all that much (although scoring a goal does seem to help the winning percentage -- how many games do the Canucks win when they don't score).
A broadcaster would be better off saying "Well, the Canucks scored a goal -- that means they have a better chance of winning now."
Since goals cannot be scored at the 20:00 minute mark of a period, final minutes are listed as 19:01-19:59. Although no NHL goal has ever been scored at 0:01 of a period, it would be a valid time for a goal.
Starting in 1999-2000, overtime losses are worth a point. Records are listed as Wins+Overtime Wins, Losses+Overtime Losses, Ties. This is used to calculate the Adjusted Winning Percentage (AWP). Games decided in a shootout are treated the same as overtime games.
copyright © 2001-2016 David Marchak
This page last updated May 11, 2016