NHL Team Shifts per Game


Kevin Gibson at TSN asked me an interesting question this morning - which teams take the most  and fewest shifts?  Well, the answer may surprise you: (data since 1997-98 season)

 

Team Year S/G
col 2004 25.0
col 2002 24.4
min 2004 24.2
col 2003 24.2
min 2003 24.1
min 2007 24.1
col 2001 23.9
min 2008 23.9
min 2002 23.8
col 2007 23.6
min 2001 23.5
min 2009 23.4
van 2004 23.3
col 2006 23.1
min 2006 23.0

 

I'm willing to believe that Jacques Lemaire runs the shortest shifts in the league (New Jersey 2009-2010 came in 21st overall) but Colorado?  Across three coaches - Bob Hartley, Joel Quenneville and Tony Granato - and two general managers? Sounds like home scorer bias.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have an unsurprising result: the 28 teams that took the longest shifts all did it before 2002.  Shifts have gotten progressively shorter over the last decade, but here are the teams that took the longest ones on average since the lockout:

 

Team Year S/G
was 2010 19.2
nyi 2008 19.2
dal 2008 19.3
ott 2006 19.5
atl 2010 19.5
atl 2009 19.6
tam 2008 19.6
pit 2010 19.7
ott 2010 19.7
was 2009 19.7
pit 2009 19.8
buf 2008 19.8
atl 2008 19.8
tam 2007 19.9
mon 2008 19.9
ott 2009 19.9
was 2008 20.0
ott 2008 20.1
buf 2007 20.1

 

We see a lot of teams with strong power play players on this list - Ovechkin and Kovalchuk get double- and triple-shifted on the PP all the time.  The real insights here will probably come from analyzing even-strength shifts - I'll get to that another time.

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