Forums Reviews and Ratings Archived Chats News Mediations Blacklist Links

Scott Hartnell Missed the Point...By Statman

The other night Nashville Predators won a game (interesting), scored an overtime goal (unbelievable), and Scott Hartnell was the shooter, his first game winner of the season (Let`s have a parade!).

After the game Hartnell prattled about the importance of power plays, can`t win without one, can`t win in the play-offs, gotta keep it simple, etc. He added a couple of `obviously`s` and a `hopefully,` plus more yakkity-yak until the sharp-as-tacks Nashville reporter had enough with which to build a column around.

Every coach and player can sling together a long line of clichéconcerning power plays, each forgetting Anaheim went to game seven of the Cup final last spring with an odd-man unit as useless as a wishing well.

Let`s construct a useful little table which might help us determine if Hartnell was indeed prattling or if he was on to something. The `G/game` column is goals per game and `percent` refers to power play goals as a percentage of total goals. `Rate` is the power play conversion rate, based on chances with the odd man, and `SHG` is short-handed goals. YEAR GAMES GOALS G/GAME PP GOALS PERCENT RATE SHGs 96-97 1066 6216 5.8 1442 23.1 16.3 266 97-98 1066 5624 5.3 1491 26.5 15.1 260 98-99 1107 5830 5.3 1533 26.2 15.8 220 99-00 1148 6306 5.5 1496 23.7 16.2 216 00-01 1230 6782 5.5 1877 27.6 16.6 est. 267 01-02 1230 6442 5.2 1601 24.8 15.8 220 02-03 1230 6530 5.3 1787 27.3 16.4 230 03-04 321 1626 5.07 493 30.3 16.8 62

Looking at column seven (Rate) we can see that power play conversions have remained in a range of 15.8% to 16.4%. The 97-98 season was abnormally low and this season is starting out higher than the range. So, using Hartnell`s remarks, he is wrong. The percentages have been stable six of the past seven years.

However, Hartnell does have a point if he had been considering power play goals as a percentage of total goals, which is unlikely. But it is true: this season power play goals have exceeded 30% as a proportion of total goals. Excluding the 01-02 season, power play goals have increased in significance three of the past four years.

Since the 96-97 schedule of 1066 games, scoring has remained pretty much stagnant, meaning that the league plays 1230 games now, or about 12% more, yet goal scoring in 02-03 is up 314 over 96-97 (6530 vs 6216). Goals/game over the same period has dropped from 5.8 goals/game to this year`s 5.07 after 321 games.

This season`s 5.07 goals scored is lousy but 5.8 is crap. In the 84-85 season of 840 games, the league produced 6531 goals, more than any year on the table. The percentage was a phenomenal 7.78 goals/game. Toronto Maple Leafs, that season`s worst team, pounded in 253 goals, a total which would have been tied for fourth best last season.

So why the drop off? There are the usual suspects: the trap, equipment, outdated rules, and so forth. But another guilty party might have been expansion. Weak teams play the trap, things snowball, you get the drift.

In a round about way our table could be an argument in favour of torpedo-ing a number of franchises.

Watching games with nearly eight goals every game is fantastic. Too bad newer fans have never seen games like that.

� inc

Please be advised that if you are wagering over the internet, this is illegal in many jurisdictions. A wagering site may be operating legally at their location but it may still be illegal for you to wager from your location. We suggest you check on the legal situation from any jurisdiction in which you may wager. - Your Information Source for Online Sportsbooks, Industry Information, Online Handicapping.
Sport News - NFL, NBA, NCAA, MLB, Football, Basketball and Baseball.

Site Map | Contact Us | Forums | Scores | Stats | Resources | Glossary | Gamblers Anonymous | Online Guide
Majorwager is part of the Major Network
Best View: 1024 by 768
Home Live Lines Contact Us Recommended Mediation Requests Chat