Simple Statistics - After Each Period

This is my first posting to the site. I thought I would start with a little about myself. I am a professional accountant who is a bit of a stats junkie. I have always appreciated the detailed analysis that Copper and Blue has provided and thought I might try to contribute a few observations.

I have often found that the simplist analysis can provide some very interesting results. I wanted to demonstrate this by looking at some charts showing how the Oilers have done after each period. The first one is the results after 1 Period.

After 1 Total W L OTL
Leading 12 6 3 3
Tied 11 2 5 4
Trailing 7 3 4 0

The most unexpected part of this table is that the Oilers have only trailed 7 times after the first period and wound up winning 3 of those games. The four losses when trailing were the home opener against San Jose, the only game against Calgary, and the shutout losses to Nashville and St. Louis. The other 23 games they have looked good going into the second, leading 12 times and tied 11 times.

After 2 Total W L OTL
Leading 10 6 0 4
Tied 8 1 6 1
Trailing 12 4 6 2

Now we are seeing a downward shift. If I had not watched a game this season, I would look at these numbers and determine that the team is able to get early leads, but they can not defend them.

Let's say for argument's sake, a team should get 75% of the available points when leading after 2 periods, 50% when tied, and 25% when trailing. The Oilers are slightly ahead of that percentage when leading (80%) and far ahead when trailing (42%). The problem is that they are way off the curve when they are tied after 2 periods. One win and one OTL is 3 points out of a possible 16 (18.75%).

The simple analysis is that the Oilers are much better when trailing after two periods than when they are tied. The numbers indicate that when this team is allowed to try and chase a lead, they can score. When they have a lead in the third, they can defend it. When they have to balance offence and defense, bad things happen. Frequently.

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