hockey analysis

Wrapping Up The Penalty Kill Project

Last year, I tracked 1146 minutes of penalty kills, spread across 12 teams from the 2018-19 season. The teams were chosen semi-randomly (to get a decent distribution of shot attempt rates, both for and against), and games were selected randomly to end up with about a quarter of all penalty kill minutes for that team during 2018-19. I tracked zone time (so that I could track how well a penalty kill was able to keep a power play out of its offensive zone and also calculate shot rates for offensive zone time only), as well as zone entries and exits.

Examining Score Effects on Special Teams

Score effects in hockey are well-known, whether you’re watching the game or looking at numbers: teams that are losing tend to generate a greater share of the shot attempts. Micah Blake McCurdy developed an adjustment method for 5v5 events that is currently used to create the score- and venue-adjusted shot attempt metrics available at hockey stats websites like Natural Stat Trick and Evolving Hockey. Since I spend a lot of time looking at special teams data, I have long been curious as to whether score effects might also be a factor for power plays.