Optimal Shift Length vs Average Shift Length for Forwards

A number of people emailed me to ask if forwards who took longer shifts on average were better later on in the shift than players who took shorter shifts. 

I split forwards into six groups based on shift length; I then looked at their even-strength Corsi percentage [SF/(SF+SA)] for the period from 0:07 to 0:45 in each shift, 0:46-1:00 and the period longer than one minute.  This is summarized in the table:

 

Avg Len (s) 51.5 47.5 45.7 43.8 41.8 38.6
Avg Corsi % 52.2 52.3 50.9 51.3 46.6 44.5
7-45 53.6 54.3 51.2 53.5 48.2 46.9
46-60 51.6 49.7 52.9 47.8 42.3 32.9
>60 45.5 42.4 45.5 37.4 37.0 32.0

 

The 72 forwards in the upper group were both better and retained more of their performance beyond 60 seconds than the group that took the shortest shifts.  But there was virtually no difference between the first group (average shift length = 51.5 s) and the third group (average shift length = 45.7 s).  In other words, forwards who take the longest shifts don't appear to have any special ability to take long shifts.

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