November 7, 2007

Where have all the OTs gone?

If anyone can answer this simple question it would be great.

In 2003-2004 there were 47 overtimes in 209 games.
In 2005-2006 there were 44 overtimes in 210 games.
In 2006-2007 there were 46 overtimes in 210 games.
or 870 in 3690 games through 2003-2007 or 23.5%
In 2007-2008 there were 29 overtimes in 209 games. (13.9%)
This is a 40% reduction in overtimes!

Standard deviation = 6.

I noticed this in the first 100 games, but figured it could be an anomaly until it was repeated in the next 100 games. What is the NHL doing to prevent overtimes? Have team's incentives changed? Do teams see overtime as a bad thing because it gives the opponents a free point [more than last season]?

Something worth noting:
- scoring in the third period is the same as last year.

4 comments:

Earl Sleek said...

I've noticed this too, though I'm not sure as to explanations. Maybe just that teams are getting better at playing ahead?

It's kind of a nice trend for teams struggling out of the gate--the bar to make the playoffs is seemingly lower.

Sunny Mehta said...

Yeah it's weird because, if anything, a team's incentive is quite the opposite. In other words, a team has GREAT incentive to get to overtime every game. If they went to overtime every game, they'd be guaranteed 82 points. Even if they had a less than average chance of winning in OT/SO - say 40 percent = they'd be looking at a 115 point season!

Itlan said...

I have noticed there are more shut-outs this season.

David Johnson said...

It seems we might be getting back on track as there have been 13 OTs in 47 games (27.7%) since you made this post. On the season we now sit at 42 OTs in 256 games or 16.4%. Still off previous seasons paces but the gap is closing.