FanPost

Protecting the lead

Looking to resolve a debate... a friend of mine has commented that, in hockey, 'running out the clock rarely works' - i.e. playing to protect the lead is a bad strategy - and I'm pretty sure he's wrong. I've read that 80+% of games this year are won by the team that carried the lead into the 3rd period, so, intuitively, it seems impossible that adopting a defensive posture doesn't work more than half the time. But is there any research to this effect? Is there a way to prove that, yes, playing defense and running out the clock is a good strategy? (And, perhaps, a comparison of this strategy to others?)

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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