Thursday, April 17, 2008

2007-08 man games lost to injury

People really, really want this information out there.

Here are the final numbers as provided by NHL game reports on team's 82nd game of the season:

Team MGL
1 NY Islanders 402
2 Florida 400
3 Boston 358
4 Chicago 357
5 Edmonton 340
6 Carolina 333
7 Colorado 325
8 Philadelphia 315
9 Pittsburgh 280
10 Toronto 275
11 Vancouver 265
12 Nashville 234
13 Washington 231
14 Columbus 219
15 Minnesota 207
16 Tampa Bay 202
17 Buffalo 201
18 San Jose 200
19 Detroit 194
20 Los Angeles 187
21 Dallas 182
22 New Jersey 181
23 Anaheim 158
24 St. Louis 156
25 Ottawa 148
26 NY Rangers 146
27 Calgary 127
28 Montreal 109
29 Atlanta 90
30 Phoenix 74

I'm going to try and do a more thorough analysis of these numbers in the off-season, something that weights the data a little to measure the severity of a team's losses.

For interest's sake, here's how the figures were calculated for the Islanders, who led the league in the category: Shawn Bates (79), Jon Sim (79), Aaron Johnson (37), Chris Campoli (35), Mike Sillinger (29), Andy Sutton (23), Brendan Witt (22), Bruno Gervais (20), Ruslan Fedotenko (15), Radek Martinek (13), Frans Nielsen (13), Others (37)

That's a lot of bodies, but it's probably fair to say other teams had more significant losses, if you know what I mean.



At 6:50 a.m., April 17, 2008, Blogger islesblogger said...


While other teams had more significant injuries, the amount the Islanders had was ridiculous.

When a team lacks in offense and defense, any injury can prove significant. When healthy, they played well as a team - who knows what would have happened otherwise this season. I don't think they would've been a cup contender or anything, but they certainly could have made the playoffs again.

Michael Schuerlein

At 7:00 a.m., April 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The loss of Jon Sim for 79 games would be devastating for any team.

At 7:00 a.m., April 17, 2008, Blogger Andrew Bucholtz said...

Interesting that four of the top five and six of the top ten are non-playoff teams: perhaps there is something to the injury excuse heard annually in hockey cities across the continent. On the Canucks' end though, the pure numbers of man-games lost were a lot lower than I expected given all the talk about how much of a factor injuries were in their failure to make the playoffs. That doesn't mean that injuries weren't significant, as there were several of their key players who were gone for long periods, particularly on defence, but it does improve the case for firing Nonis if Boston, Colorado, Philly and Pittsburgh could all crack the playoffs with higher numbers of man-games lost. It's particularly impressive that the Bruins made it in with all those injuries.

At 7:53 a.m., April 17, 2008, Blogger chris juengel said...

this doesnt take into a count time on ice, you shuold make a list that has that too.

At 8:47 a.m., April 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to agree with islesblogger that for a team lacking depth, the Islanders losses were insurmountable. DiPietro didn't even make the list of top number of games missed, but that's only because the lineup was so depleted already he had to keep playing. This is a team that re-tooled half of its roster from one season to the next and the injuries played havoc with trying to develop any team chemistry as well.

At 9:12 a.m., April 17, 2008, Blogger Dave said...

I'd say that Carolina losing Rod Brind'amour, Justin Williams, Ray Whitney, Scott Walker and Chad LaRose to lengthy injuries among others was a pretty significant loss.

At 9:28 a.m., April 17, 2008, Blogger chris juengel said...

about carolina-
thats what i was getting at without saying it. not to mention hedican, gleason and seidenberg were in and out all season long.
thats why im wondering about toi..

At 9:32 a.m., April 17, 2008, Blogger FAUX RUMORS said...

1) Again we add: Meanwhile in Atlanta, Don Waddell still has a job! Looks like he can't use the ole 'injuries' excuse either!

At 11:19 a.m., April 17, 2008, Blogger RudyKelly said...

Do the Kings still hold the record from a few years ago?

At 12:34 p.m., April 17, 2008, Blogger fakedarylkatz said...

I'll look forward to your further ananlysis over the off season. I think that in a capped league and the parity that partially results from that the focus on injuries is more justified than in the past.

If you try to weight the outcome by salary UFA and entry level contracts skew the result. It is difficult to do it by results becaus of the different positions and if the player is injured it is difficult to say what kind of season they would have had.

The best idea I have been able to come up with is to rank the players from 1 to 23 in terms of most important to the team and assign them an arbitrary value.

Just as a suggestion you might assign the most important player a value of 1.5, the second most important player 1.45 and decrease it down to about .05. Then you multiply the number of games missed by the arbitrary value and total the list.

I don't think this system is without flaws. Losing all your dmen is obviously worse than losing 3 dmen and 3 forwards but it gives a little more depth to the analysis.

At 2:55 p.m., April 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Player-game losses can obviously be skewed by losing a 23rd man for 80 games as adverse a star for 10 games. To create a weighted system, you must find a way to evaluate that star as worth eight times the 23rd man. Okay, leaving goalies out of this (would Fernandez have been an improvement on Thomas?), let's try Pts + Blocks + Hits + some portion of the plus/minus. The sample size for this year can be frustratingly small, so make the weighting stretch back to last year. Multiply games lost by weight and totalize. Comes close, but you still have to add in another factor. Sheer numbers of injuries can have a cumulative effect. If a team misses ONE player 80 games, that can be much less damaging than missing four guys 20 games each, if they overlap, assuming all five players in question are basically weighted the same. So you have to add in one last factor, how big is the injury size for a particular team. Add a percentage point to the weight for each injury that the team had that cost them games.

It's a daunting task, one that would be more likely easier to program rather than spreadsheet. But it would be doable. If there was an extra day in each week [G].

At any rate, James, I enjoy the column and this particular story a lot. It points out the correlation between health (almost always a total luck factor) and success in the NHL. I am pretty sure the Hurricanes were the least injured team the year they won the Cup. It is NO co-incidence that health and happiness go hand in hand.

At 4:04 p.m., April 17, 2008, Blogger chris juengel said...

your forgeting cole, out for most of the year off the boarding from orpik. cole is a big loss, especially to a fast team.

he didnt come back until the second round of the playoff.

but your claim could obviously still hold true, that they were still the least injured.

im likewise excited to see a true attempt at finding a definitive number in the correlation between man games lost and winning.


At 8:05 p.m., April 17, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It says alot about a few of the teams that still made the playoffs with injuries.

At 11:26 p.m., May 26, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad I found this, I was wondering what the "official" numbers were. And these numbers don't even take into consideration how guys like
Campoli, Sillinger, Witt, Gervais, and others kept on playing for a while even when injured!!!!

At 1:41 a.m., June 05, 2008, Blogger Tederifico said...


Where the heck can I a hold of these stats? I am wanting to do some analysis of these myself. It is part of work I am doing regarding management efficiencies, using hockey as a proxy. My email is


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