How to read hockey stats

Introduction to hockey statistics

Hockey is an exciting game, and its stats are just as important. Knowing hockey stats helps fans, coaches, and analysts judge the game’s success or failure accurately. Goals, assists, saves, blocked shots, penalty minutes and face-off wins and losses define elements. Advanced stats like Corsi and Fenwick give more insight into player performance.

Looking at traditional or advanced metrics, it’s vital to understand their meaning and how they link together. No one stat should be seen as conclusive, but rather used with others to get an understanding of player or team performance. Stats are only useful if they’re not so rare that their metric is tiny when used alone.

Statistics in hockey have been growing in recent years. Teams need an analytical edge to succeed. Understanding hockey stats can be difficult at first, but it gives knowledge that can’t be seen from watching games.

Basic hockey stats

To understand the basic hockey stats, you need to know how to read goals, assists, and points, Plus/Minus rating, and Shots on goal. These stats help you to assess a player’s performance and contribution to the team. Read on to learn about the benefits of each stat as a solution to improve your hockey knowledge.

Goals, assists, and points

Grasping the concept of scoring in hockey is very important. Goals happen when the puck enters the rival team’s net. Assists are earned by passing the puck right to a teammate who gets the goal. Points are simply the combined total of goals and assists.

It’s worth noting that some leagues count assists differently. They may not grant assists if multiple passes were involved before the goal.

Did you know? Wayne Gretzky has the highest points in NHL history with 2,857! Even if your plus/minus rating is negative, you’re still in the game instead of the penalty box.

Plus/Minus rating

Tracking the Difference: Plus/Minus Rating Explained

Plus/Minus rating is a stat used in ice hockey to record the goals scored for and against a player while they’re on the ice during 5-on-5 play. A positive rating means more goals scored by team. Negative means more goals conceded.

See this example table of Plus/Minus ratings for three players over five games:

Player Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5
A +1 -2 +3 -1 +2
B -1 +2 -1 +2 -3
C +2 -3 +1 -1 -1

It’s important to note Plus/Minus only applies to 5-on-5 and not powerplay or shorthanded.

Strength of opponent and quality of teammates must also be taken into consideration for interpretation.

Stay informed about your favorite player’s game impact from their Plus/Minus rating. Let those shots on goal fly! Unless, of course, you’re the goalie.

Shots on goal

When a player shoots at the opponent’s net, it’s recorded as an attempt to score. These attempts are ‘pucks on net’. The number of successful and failed attempts is called ‘Shots on goal’. Here are some points to understand its significance:

  • It evaluates a player’s offensive contribution to the team.
  • It reflects a team’s ability to maintain possession and control the game.
  • It helps compare stats from different games, venues, and opponents.
  • “Shots on goal” can show weaknesses or strengths of a goalie’s performance.
  • The metric can be divided into shots on target, missed shots, blocked shots, and saved shots – each with its value.
  • Analyzing unblocked shots (Corsi) can reveal which teams dominate by measuring control during gameplay.

Did you know? Before 1909 and until 1920, not all shots were recorded formally. In 1920, these rules were standardized and accepted across various leagues globally.

Now, let’s dive into the numbers behind the bruises in ‘Advanced hockey stats’.

Advanced hockey stats

To gain a deeper understanding of advanced hockey stats, such as Corsi and Fenwick, PDO, and Zone starts, you must explore each individually. By analyzing these stats, you can determine each player’s effectiveness and contribute to their team’s overall success.

Corsi and Fenwick

Corsi and Fenwick stats have revolutionized the game of hockey. They provide a new way to measure the probability of scoring. These metrics are used to evaluate undervalued players.

This table shows the Corsi and Fenwick data of NHL teams in 2019-20 regular season. It includes CF (Corsi For), CA (Corsi Against), FF (Fenwick For), and FA (Fenwick Against) numbers in five-on-five situations. Both these metrics measure shot attempts towards the opponent’s net, considering shots on goal, missed or blocked.

However, these measures have limitations. They don’t take into account quality scoring chances or individual player performance.

By using advanced analytics, teams can develop their gameplay. An example of this is when Washington Capitals won Stanley Cup championship in 2018 by focusing on possession-based play.

Though some may disagree with relying on these metrics, it is clear that Corsi and Fenwick contribute significantly to creating an effective team in ice hockey. Advanced stats are here to stay! PDO: Low PDO is worse than not being invited to happy hour.


In the world of hockey analytics, “shooting percentage + save percentage” – known as “PDO” – is a stat that carries huge weight. It shows if a team’s success comes from skill or luck. You calculate it by dividing the on-ice shooting percentage and on-ice save percentage by 1000. A high PDO = luck. Low PDO = bad fortune.

A high PDO can come from great goal-tending and/or shots. But it’s not perfect: a team’s low PDO can be from non-controllable factors – like injuries or bad luck – that don’t show up in this stat.

It’s important to identify teams with abnormal PDO scores. This metric could be predicting changes in results. If zone starts were a dating app, 70% of them would swipe left on the defensive end.

Zone starts

Zone deployment is key in ice hockey! It dictates where players start during faceoffs. Zone starts measure the % of time a player begins an offensive or defensive shift in one of the three zones on the ice. Those with more offensive zone starts have a greater chance to score, while those with more defensive zone starts are usually defensive-minded players.

Comprehending zone starts can predict a player’s role on the team. Coaches often give offensive players higher offensive zone-start percentages – this encourages scoring chances and upsurges the team’s chance of winning. Yet, defensive players get fewer offensive zone-starts and are better for playing defense rather than scoring.

Knowing player’s zone stats is vital to refine their performance and exploit their skill-set effectively. Analyzing Zone Starts can help our team create strategies to gain an edge over opponents who don’t utilize advanced hockey stats. Don’t pass up this helpful tool to increase your chances of winning!

Goalie stats may not be as exciting as a breakaway save, but they’re still important! They’re like a buddy who drives you home from the pub.

Goaltender statistics

To understand goaltender statistics with save percentage, goals against average, and quality starts, you need to study the numbers beyond the wins and losses. Analyzing these goalie stats will help determine their playing ability and overall effectiveness.

Save percentage

The ratio of a goalie’s achievement in preventing the other team from scoring is called Defending Percentage. It’s usually expressed as a percentage and known as Save Percentage. The table below shows the Save Percentage of the top 5 NHL goalies:

Rank Goalkeeper Save Percentage
1 Tuukka Rask .929
2 Ben Bishop .921
3 Connor Hellebuyck .920
4 Pekka Rinne .918
5 Jordan Binnington .912

It’s important to remember that a goalie’s success depends on various elements, such as teamwork, defense strategy, and individual capabilities. To increase the defending performance, research suggests focusing on skills development and reaction time improvement through practice. Goals against average is like your ex’s ghost coming back to haunt you with reminders of how they passed your defense.

Goals against average

Goals against average is a key statistic used to measure the performance of goaltenders in Ice Hockey. The Mean goal conceded rate is calculated by dividing a goalie’s total goals against by their total minutes played. A lower this rate suggests better performance.

For example, let’s look at some of the most successful NHL goaltenders and their recent performances:

Player Name Goals Against Minutes Played Mean Goal Conceded Rate
Carey Price 119 2302 3.10
Andrei Vasilevskiy 141 2987 2.83
Tuukka Rask 111 1978 3.36

It’s worth noting that a higher Goals against indicates an ineffective performance, while a lower mean goal conceded rate indicates an effective performance in terms of limiting opponents to score goals.

When choosing a goaltender, analyzing their performance using the mean goal conceded rate is essential. To become a well-educated Ice Hockey fan, remember to stay up-to-date on statistical analysis regularly.

Quality starts

Goaltenders can be evaluated on various stats, such as “Elite Saves“. This measures the number of high-quality games they’ve played. The Elite Saves column in the goalie stats table provides insight into the goalie’s consistency and performance in difficult situations.

For instance, here’s a sample table:

Player Name Games Played Wins Losses GAA SV% Elite Saves
John Doe 40 20 15 2.50 .930 20
Jane Smith 35 17 12 2.60 .920 18

Elite Saves can show us how well a goalie performs under pressure. It’s a crucial stat for players and coaches to monitor. It also shows that the goalie is consistently delivering strong performances, even against tough opponents.

Tip: Elite Saves can be used by coaches when selecting goalies for important matches, such as playoffs or championships.

Contextualizing hockey stats

To gain a deeper understanding of hockey stats, contextualization is crucial. In order to do this, read the stats while considering the specific context that they were achieved in. When looking at player stats, three important factors to consider are player usage, strength of schedule, and game situations. These sub-sections will help you understand the context behind the numbers and make better sense of hockey stats.

Player usage

Hockey statistics depend heavily on player utilization. This refers to how often and strategically a player is used in a game. It can show how crucial they are to the team and how good they are in particular situations.

A table displays information about the time each player spends playing:

Player Time on Ice Powerplay Time Penalty Kill Time
John 18:29 2:30 1:10
Mary 15:12 1:50 0:45
Jack 20:01 3:05 2:00

John’s ice time being the highest suggests he is important to the team’s success. Other factors such as quality of competition and zone starts also measure player utilization. Knowing these metrics provides a complete view of a player’s performance.

Tracking player usage began with coaches who studied lineups for the best game plans. This evolved into statistical analysis using tools like Corsi and Fenwick ratings. This allows teams to make wise decisions about which players to use in key situations.

Hockey teams should consider their performance in relation to their strength of schedule – what I call the ‘Lollipop Guild’ effect.

Strength of schedule

When it comes to opponents, the difficulty of a team’s schedule can have a major effect on their play. Assessing the “Opponent Quality” can give insight into how hard their games have been.

See the table below for the Strength of Schedule of three different teams during one season. It includes: Opponent Win Percentage, Games vs Playoff Teams, and Games vs Bottom 5 Teams.

Team Opp Win % Games vs Playoff Teams Games vs Bottom 5 Teams
Team A .520 20 14
Team B .485 18 12
Team C .540 16 10

In addition to looking at overall win % and standings, analyzing strength of schedule can help explain a team’s success. It can explain why one team has more wins than another with similar stats.

Research suggests that playing tough opponents can improve a team’s performance in the long-run. However, it can also lead to players being physically worn out or discouraged if they often lose to strong opponents.

Per ESPN, during the 2018-2019 NHL season, the Tampa Bay Lightning had the hardest Strength of Schedule according to opponent winning percentage. Nonetheless, they ended up 1st in their conference and won 5 playoff games.

So if your team is getting beaten up, don’t blame the stats; blame the fact that you spent more time in the penalty box than on the ice!

Game situations

Hockey games are analyzed with stats from different scenarios, like even strength, power plays, and penalty kills. These stats show how critical each situation is for victory. For example, the power play and penalty kill percentages can affect whether or not a team wins. Coaches use these metrics to place players in positions that leverage their strengths for successful outcomes.

Hockey games can be unpredictable, due to player performance and injuries during gameplay. Stats from various game scenarios help teams evaluate their own performance, and identify areas of improvement. Coaches can use this data to create a tailored training program.

Metrics from multiple seasons are key for accurate comparisons. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell explains how contextual factors were important for success in Canadian youth hockey. This method emphasizes the need to go beyond basic statistics to make wise decisions for future effects.

Analyzing hockey stats is extremely hard, but it’s worth it.

Using hockey stats for analysis

To analyze hockey games effectively, you must use hockey stats. In this section “Using Hockey Stats for Analysis,” you will discover how to leverage different types of stats such as goals, assists, plus-minus, possession percentage, and much more. Our focus will be on identifying trends and patterns in hockey games, using stats to compare two players or teams, and making informed predictions using hockey stats.

Identifying trends and patterns

Analyzing hockey stats can show us patterns and trends. Examining numerical metrics gives us useful understanding of player performance, team effectiveness, and match results.

One way to spot these trends is by creating a visual representation of the data. Here’s an example graph of players’ goal-scoring performance for 2021 NHL season across different teams:

Player Name Team Name Total Goals
Alexander Ovechkin Washington Capitals 45
Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs 41
Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers 33

Note: The data in the table is just for representation purposes only.

By looking at this graph, we can quickly identify which players are performing best and on which teams. Coaches can use this info to adjust their lineups and strategies.

We should also consider other elements like team strengths/weaknesses, player injuries, and game schedules. These can significantly change statistical patterns and provide more insights into overall game outcomes.

Pro Tip: It’s essential not to forget the qualitative aspects of the game such as leadership, player chemistry, and psychological forces that affect team dynamics.

Comparing players and teams is like choosing between a yummy cake and a scrumptious cookie – both are delicious, but the stats will tell you which one will satisfy you more.

Comparing players and teams

Evaluating and comparing players’ and teams’ performance? Hockey stats can help! These offer valuable insights to aid in making informed decisions regarding resource allocation and future competition planning.

A table displaying the comparison of players and teams based on stats would be great. Columns such as Goals Scored, Assists Made, Penalty Minutes, Faceoff Wins, Time on Ice, Shots Blocked, and Saves Made are just some of the columns this table can have. Analyzing this data simplifies determining strengths and weaknesses of individual players and teams.

Stats analysis is key in team sports, but other factors also affect the outcome of a game. Team dynamics and chemistry among teammates are examples. However, comparing player statistics can find out who’s contributing most to their team’s success.

By using stat analysis, coaches can create winning combinations for better performances. Ignoring these metrics can result in lost opportunities for growth and missed games.

Don’t let your team fall behind – utilize the power of stats and make informed decisions!

Making predictions

It is possible to predict individual players’ and teams’ future performance with hockey stats analysis. Semantic NLP techniques can accurately predict goals, assists and power play efficiency using historic data. Coaches can make better strategic decisions for upcoming games by analyzing player trends with machine learning algorithms.

Advanced metrics such as Corsi or Fenwick ratings can give a more thorough understanding of a player’s impact on the ice. This information can help coaches adjust their lineup or strategy to maximize performance.

To use hockey stats for prediction and analysis even more effectively, it is recommended to collect as much data as possible, including visual tracking data. Combining various types of data sources will give a comprehensive overview of each player’s abilities, habits and potential areas for improvement.

Using hockey stats for analysis is not enough to get the complete picture – it is like using a fork to eat soup.

Limitations of hockey stats

To understand the limitations of hockey stats with small sample sizes, contextual factors, and human bias as possible factors, you need to consider the influence of these limitations on the accuracy of stats. These sub-sections of limitations will help you to assess the metrics and criteria used to analyze hockey performance.

Small sample sizes

Too few observations are a big problem when studying hockey stats. The lack of data makes it hard to pick out what’s relevant. This means easy generalizations and wrong decisions that could have serious consequences.

Having little data makes it tough to see the whole picture. It stops us from getting an accurate view of a player or team’s strength or weaknesses. This can lead to bad predictions and poor resource allocation.

To get the best results, we need to gather lots of data from many different sources. This gives us a better understanding of the situation. It stops us from making bad decisions based on a few biased figures.

Ignoring this can mean undervaluing players and wasting money on overhyped ones. To get the right results, we have to use all available data carefully and analyse it properly. Context is important – players are people, with feelings and life outside the rink.

Contextual factors

Contextual factors are key for a full comprehension of hockey performance. They include game situation, opponent strength, and player position. Looking at these alongside stats gives a more profound look into player capability and team tactics.

Stats alone don’t give the full story. They don’t take into account the context of the game. For instance, Player A may have better goals or points per game than Player B in a season, but that doesn’t mean they are more skillful. This could be because they faced weaker opponents more often or had longer minutes per game than Player B.

Analysts should take into consideration contextual elements when assessing players’ stats. This helps to understand the real value of their performance. Also, consider the referee’s human bias when looking at advanced stats. This can’t be predicted.

Human bias

Hockey stats can be distorted by human bias. This can be seen in things like focusing on individual player stats or visual observation. These can lead to missing opportunities. There is no way to get rid of bias completely. Advanced analytics do help, but they have limits.

However, sometimes stats don’t show a player’s potential. In 2008-09, Steve Mason won the Calder Trophy in NHL, even though he wasn’t well known at the start of the season. This proves that sometimes stats don’t tell the whole story.

You don’t need fancy stats to know that if you don’t score more goals than the other team, you’ll have a bad time.

Conclusion: Understanding and using hockey stats effectively

Gaining a better grasp of hockey stats can improve your knowledge about the game. Analyzing data like faceoff %, shot attempts, and time on ice can offer great insight to coaches and fans. The key is to utilize these stats with your knowledge of the game.

Plus, consider factors like strength of schedule and context when interpreting stats. For instance, a player’s high points total may be due to more power plays or an easier opposing team schedule.

To understand hockey stats even better, you can check out advanced analytics like Corsi and Fenwick ratings. These metrics take shot attempts that miss or are blocked into account, giving a more precise display of a team or player’s ability to generate offense.

According to, one stat worth tracking is expected goals (xG). This calculates the chance of a shot resulting in a goal based on factors like distance and angle from the net. This can help assess a player’s scoring ability and shooting accuracy.

By making the most of hockey stats and advanced analytics, while considering all the relevant factors, individuals can enhance their knowledge of the game and make smarter judgments about player performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the most common hockey stats?

The most common hockey stats include goals, assists, points, plus/minus, penalty minutes, and shots on goal.

2. What does the plus/minus stat mean?

The plus/minus stat measures a player’s impact on the game by calculating the number of goals scored for (+) or against (-) while that player is on the ice.

3. What is the difference between a goal and an assist?

A goal is scored when the player shoots the puck into the opposing team’s net and it crosses the goal line. An assist is credited when a player contributes to the goal, typically by passing the puck to the scorer.

4. How do you calculate a player’s shooting percentage?

A player’s shooting percentage is determined by dividing the number of goals scored by the number of shots on goal, then multiplying by 100.

5. What does the Corsi stat measure?

The Corsi stat tracks a team or player’s shot attempts, including those that are blocked or miss the net, in order to gauge possession and control of the puck.

6. What is a hat trick?

A hat trick occurs when a player scores three goals in a single game. The term originated in cricket, where a bowler who took three wickets in a row was given a hat by his teammates as a reward.