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Comparison of Men's and Women's Olympic Hockey

Men's Olympic hockey still has yet to reach parity - with 12 teams in the Olympic tournament, five are bound to be bad.  Here are the cumulative stats in games among the good teams (CAN, USA, RUS, SWE, FIN, CZE, SVK) and the bad ones:

 

Men GVG GVB BVG BVB
Shots 27.1 39.3 20.1 28.8
Goals 2.4 4.8 1.3 2.9
Sh% 9.0 12.3 6.5 10.0

 

Games between good teams are not substantially different from NHL games - perhaps slightly more defensive.  And when bad teams play each other, the results are similar.  But when good teams play bad teams, the results are ugly.  Good teams outshoot their opponents almost 2:1 and outscore them by more than 3:1, benefiting from both bad goaltending and bad defense.  The bad teams are also incapable of getting good opportunities.

Let's look at the women's side:

 

Women GVG GVB BVG BVB
Shots 28.4 46.9 11.3 28.0
Goals 2.4 9.1 0.7 2.8
Sh% 8.4 19.3 6.5 10.1

 

Here there are only two good teams, Canada and the US, so I've included their head-to-head performance in top international tournaments since 2004.  Again, games between two good teams have shooting statistics similar to NHL levels, as do games between bad teams.  But in games between good and bad teams?  I was too quick to use up the 'ugly' adjective for the men's games.  Canada and the US have out-shot their opponents 4:1 and outscored them by more than 10:1.  The bad teams generate the same relative quality of scoring chances as in men's hockey, but the Canadian and American shooting percentage is simply ridiculous at 19.3%.

Bottom line: women's hockey has nothing resembling parity at the moment.