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Why I like Chicago for this thing

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Exhibit A: 5v5 Shot % = SF/(SF+SA) for the last three seasons (the NHL started offering us this data just three years ago...hard to believe...)

Rank TEAM Year 5v5 Shot%
1 DET 2008 58.57
2 CHI 2010 58.04
3 DET 2009 56.22
4 S.J 2008 54.83
5 NYR 2008 54.77
6 CHI 2009 54.53
7 WSH 2009 54.44
8 S.J 2009 54.40
9 WSH 2008 54.36
10 CGY 2009 53.27

 

Precisely three teams have been 2+ standard deviations above the mean in this category: 2007-08 Detroit, 2008-09 Detroit and this year's Hawks.  Last year's Pens team - once they installed Dan Bylsma behind the bench - was also right up there.

Teams that can achieve this level of performance quite literally will make it to the Stanley Cup finals.  Philadelphia, while not a bad team, simply isn't in this realm.  Nothing's guaranteed in sports, but Chicago is one of the safest bets you can make.