Impact of Back-to-Back Games on Game-Tied Goals and Fenwick

Friend of the blog Rich Pollock asked me how rest affected a team's performance. I wrote about this long, long ago, but I only looked at individual stats and not at actual team shot rates. (I also looked at the impact of travel distance.)

First, let's look at the frequency of rest combinations:

Away Team Home Team PCT of Games
Rested Rested 68.30
Back-to-back Away Rested 12.47
Away after Home Rested 7.69
Rested Return from Away Game 5.21
Away after Home Return from Away Game 2.82
Back-to-back Away Return from Away Game 1.64
Rested Back-to-back Home 0.98
Back-to-back Away Back-to-back Home 0.47
Away after Home Back-to-back Home 0.41

Next I looked at Fenwick, score tied - well, not really Fenwick, because I included special teams:

Home Team Stats Fenwick% SF/G SA/G Goal% GF/G GA/G
Both Rested 51.9 15.9 14.7 53.2 1.03 0.91
Away Travel, Home Rested 53.2 16.2 14.2 54.7 1.04 0.86

As we expected, the home team does better when its opponent is playing back-to-back games. The unrested team suffers both offensively and defensively. The overall difference is roughly 2.5 wins per 82 games:

Home Team Stats Exp Win% Spct F Spct A PDO
Both Rested 563 6.47 6.14 1003
Away Travel, Home Rested 594 6.43 6.05 1004

Unlike the shot total department, we can't conclude that there's a consequential change in shooting or save percentage when a team is playing back-to-back games.

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