Quick thoughts on the effects of the shortened NHL season

Here are some brief thoughts roughly 3.5 weeks into the NHL’s season.

1) Thus far, 25.3% of all games have gone to overtime, including a ridiculous 5 of 10 games last night. Before making any conclusions about this percentage, it’s important to note that every game played in this year’s schedule is a within conference game. I compared this season’s overtime frequency to the frequency of overtime among within-conference games from the previous seven seasons which used the current scoring system. The current 25.3% is the higher than any of those seven seasons.

2) Over the last seven seasons, 42.5% of all games were decided by two goals or less. This year, that fraction is up to 65.5%. 

3) The two teams most likely to have gone to overtime, thus far, are Edmonton (6 of 13 games) and Nashville (6 of 13). Those two teams have not yet played one another, but do so three times in March.

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