Monday, December 03, 2007

A recent history of special teams

It's been well publicized this season that goal scoring is down, and has been on the decline ever since the "revitalized," power-play filled 2005-06 season.

Here's a look at the role power-play goals have played in that shift:

Power-play goal scoring has decreased, but it's still up from prelockout times. Maybe not for long, but there it is.

Strangely enough, the power-play percentage numbers aren't quite the same:

Since the beginnings of the 30-team league, power plays are more potent than ever, firing at nearly 18 per cent.

All the figures:

2000-01 1.53 9.17 16.6% 0.217
2001-02 1.30 8.25 15.8% 0.179
2002-03 1.45 8.84 16.4% 0.187
2003-04 1.40 8.48 16.5% 0.198
2005-06 2.07 11.70 17.7% 0.259
2006-07 1.71 9.71 17.6% 0.218
2007-08* 1.63 9.10 17.9% 0.207

The number of power-play opportunities per game is sliding down, and is already below the 2000-01 level, but the rate of scoring is still up.

My guess is that this is due to an increased willingness for referees to call 5-on-3s and penalties in overtime, although I'm certainly willing to listen to other theories.

This season compared to 2003-04, teams are on pace to score 283 more power-play goals in 765 more opportunities (I wonder how many of those are puck-over-the-glass calls?). Goal scoring is up 0.3 per game overall in that time, from 5.1 to 5.4, and 0.23 of that is coming with the man advantage.

The penalties are disappearing, and so are the goals.

UPDATE Gabe Desjardins passed along the number of puck-over-the-glass penalties this season (110), which means we're on pace to see around 350 of those calls this season.


At 3:34 a.m., December 03, 2007, Blogger HockeyTownTodd said...

That is very interesting, now, about that other theory.

I would be curious to see a chart on shot blocking overlaid on that one.

You can see the sharp increase after they moved the blue line out. Point men on the PP can almost fire at will because of the increased sq footage the PK'ers now have to cover. I think you may find the gradual decrease is correlated with more shot blocking.

Very cool, setting it up in percentages.

At 11:21 a.m., December 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well...well...well, look at who is posting the NHL closer over on Deadspin. Mr. Mirtle, you have hit the blogging goldmine! Congrats.

At 11:49 a.m., December 03, 2007, Blogger Hawerchuk said...

So far this season:

110 puck over glass penalties
5 illegal goalie plays
34 generic illegal plays
3 smothering puck

Those over-glass penalties are worth ~20 goals over 385 games...

At 11:49 a.m., December 03, 2007, Blogger Hawerchuk said...

Sorry, 34 generic delay of game penalties...

At 1:40 p.m., December 03, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Huh, so about 350 of those new penalties are puck over the glass ones (projected). Interesting.

At 6:36 p.m., December 03, 2007, Blogger Darrell said...

A few of those 110 would be on a goaltender, which was a penalty before the lockout as well. Not sure how many of those there have been.

At 11:40 p.m., December 03, 2007, Blogger Hawerchuk said...

There were four "puck over glass" penalties committed by goalies this year...


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