Brief Introduction to NHL Stats
Created in 1917, the National Hockey League (NHL) is considered the world’s premier ice hockey league and attracts the best players around the world. Teams play 82 games in the regular season and need to win 16 games over four playoff rounds to win the Stanley Cup.
Important team statistics, outside of wins and losses, include goals scored, goals allowed, and goal differential. These stats, and others like total shots, paint a more complete picture of how good a team actually is. They’re also used to help sportsbooks set NHL odds and picks.
The two primary individual statistics the league tracks are goals and assists. The player who scores the most goals during the regular season wins the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. The Art Ross Trophy is awarded to the player who has the most combined points (goals and assists).
Key stats for goaltenders, meanwhile, include goals-against average, save percentage, and shutouts.
Understanding NHL Stats
Other noteworthy team stats include penalty minutes, power-play percentage, penalty kill percentage, and face-off win percentage. Generally, a good power-play percentage is anything over 25, meaning teams score once every four attempts. Anything over 80 is considered above average for the penalty kill. Individual player stats have changed dramatically in the 21st century. Goals and assists are obviously still very important, but coaches and executives alike also use advanced stats to gauge player performance.
Corsi, also known as Shot Attempts, is essentially a measure of how much action occurs when a specific player is on the ice. It takes into account all shot attempts for and against, including those that hit the net, missed the net, and were blocked. Other player advanced stats include Relative Corsi, Expected Goals, and points-per-60.
For goaltenders, the save percentage is calculated by dividing shots saved by total shots and listed at three percentage points. Anything lower than .900 is considered poor, while the best goaltenders typically have percentages in the .915-.925 range.