Hockey Statistics – Other Stats & Luck

The NHL is beginning to board the statistics train and in addition to the Corsi/Fenwick umbrella and plus/minus, there are a number of other stats we can look at to examine play.

Takeaway/Giveaway – these are possession stats again. Possession = success. You need to have possession of the puck to give it away, likewise for a team to take the puck then they weren’t in possession of it to begin with. If you spend the season racking up high numbers for these two then it shows that the other team’s you’re competing against tend to have the puck a lot more than you; possession is positively correlated to wins.

Those two are real time stats, hits are included in this, but they are subjective and unreliable, for example as a result of home/away bias in the rink.

Face Offs  – Face offs occur in the offensive, defensive, and neutral zones and can result in a win or a loss for the player involved, so this is another stat we can use to examine their effectiveness.

Time on Ice – Players like Duncan Keith rack up a lot of minutes on the ice, and we know he’s a good player, then we have 4th liners who don’t get a lot of ice time, but it’s not really much more informative than that.

Statistics are all well and good, but there will always be an element of chance. Gabriel Desjardins estimates that 75% of wins are due to Corsi scores plus luck.


PDO is also known as SPSV% by the NHL. PDO was proposed by Brian King, who happened to use those three letters as his online handle.

PDO = (shooting%) – (save%)

It is used as a proxy of how lucky a team is. This is because shooting% is primarily luck driven, and save% is primarily luck driven. It’s based on the theory that most teams will regress towards a PDO of 100. Anything that is significantly above or below that is extremely lucky or unlucky.




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