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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Numbers Game: Team SOG

Last week’s Numbers Game revealed that, as expected, players that took more shots on goal (SOG) scored more goals and had more assists. In today’s Numbers Game, I look at how team SOG translates into team success.

Over the last two seasons, teams that shot more did score more goals. However, the correlation between SOG and wins were not as consistent. Last year, teams that finished in the top 10 in SOG had, on average, only 2 more wins than teams in the bottom 10 in SOG. The Florida Panthers, for example, were 2nd in the league in SOG, but finished 12th in the Eastern Conference. Conversely, the Nashville Predators finished 4th in the West, but ranked 26th in SOG.

In 2005-06, on the other hand, a correlation between SOG and wins did exist. Teams that finished in the top 10 in SOG had almost 8 more wins than teams that finished in the bottom 10. Furthermore, only 4 of the 16 teams that qualified for the playoffs had SOG below the league average.

As is the case with individual players, more SOG was not correlated with shooting percentage. However, teams that had a better shooting percentage had more wins in each of the last two seasons. In 2006-07, teams in the top 10 in shooting percentage scored, on average, 48 more goals which led to almost 9 more wins. In 2005-06, the effect was even more pronounced. Teams in the top 10 in shooting percentage scored 76 more goals on their way to almost 18 more wins.

Now all that John Ferguson Jr. has to do secure his job and the success of the Leafs is to bring in 9 Jordan Staals (last year’s league leader in shooting %) to fill the forward spots.

For Illegal Curve, I am Adam Gutkin.

(Click on image to enlarge)

(Click on image to enlarge)

Ballhype: hype it up!

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