QUALGRIT - Proof That Team Toughness Wins Cups! (And Stops The Shannahammer)

Bruce Bennett

The rhetoric is the teams need Grit to win. Many in the Oilers Fanbase decried the loss of Mike Brown saying that the team didn't need to get smaller (he is the same size as Gagner but who's counting) or less grittier.

It has been acknowledged by some that a DG(Designated Goon) doesn't make you a more grittier team, but rather team toughness is important. Players who can play but have a nasty side. The NHL has made the search for such players of the "Seabass" (Cam Neely) prototype. Especially in the playoffs where the tough get going.

So I made it my mission to come up with a QUALGRIT stat that accurately as possible represents the team toughness.

The Metric

This stat is thanks to this comment:

Returning to an earlier point, the original argument is not that enforcers’ fighting wins games, but "team toughness" wins games. So not number of fights, but who is doing the fighting. QUALGRIT, then should be a measure of how well distributed roughing and fighting penalties are distributed across the roster.

By cavalierrogue on Oct 28, 2013

So I took this to heart, and came up with the top 5 teams in QUALGRIT were Philadelphia, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Boston & Dallas, and when you look at the how those teams played last year it seems to correlate well. Pittsburgh & Boston being in the conference finals last year. So team toughness does win(apparently)...

Then I went further, I took the total number of injuries a team had, not man games, because you could have the same hit result in 5 games for player A, and 10 games for player B - based on conservatism of the management and the relative importance of the player to the team.

Then I went further, the hits we are looking at avoiding are generally the ones that result in a Shannaban or a Shannafine. So under DISP you will see the number of players on that team that suffered a hit that resulted in a disciplinary action.

To get QUALGRIT I took the total numbers of players on a team and assigned a value of .1 per player with a roughing penalty, then I took the total number of players on a team with at least 2 roughing penalties and assigned a value of .2 per player, did the same thing with 3 roughing, and 4 roughing penalties. I used the same formula for fights. Then I added it together.

Note that as well as putting the Injuries and Disciplinary - there is a (5) category, this is grouping the 5 teams below it, the reason is it helps put in perspective whether teams with more GRIT stop these events from occurring. If team GRIT works we will see the numbers at the top being smaller than the numbers at the bottom.

PHI 11.2 25 2 106 5
MON 10.3 22 1 97 7
PIT 10.0 19 0 92 6
BOS 9.1 22 1 90 7
DAL 8.8 18 1 86 6
MIN 8.7 16 4 87 5
STL 8.3 17 0 88 2
VAN 7.9 17 1 90 2
BUF 7.9 18 0 91 2
WAS 7.9 19 0 91 3
NYI 7.6 17 1 90 4
CLB 7.5 19 0 98 4
TOR 7.4 18 1 101 4
TB 7.2 18 1 102 3
NYR 7.2 18 1 106 4
COL 6.9 25 1 106 3
CAR 6.5 22 0 102 3
NSH 6.4 19 0 105 4
NJ 6.1 22 2 99 7
WPG 6.1 18 0 95 6
OTT 6.0 21 1 95 7
ANA 5.8 25 1 98 7
LA 5.8 13 3 91 6
PHO 5.3 18 1 105 3
EDM 5.2 18 1 106 2
CHI 4.9 24 1 108 2
FLA 4.5 18 0
CGY 4.4 27 0
SJ 3.9 19 0
DET 3.4 20 1


1) QUALGRIT does not stop injuries. The values start high and go down and back up again and down and up. Which indicates that over time with more data points, we would likely see a very even looking chart.

2) QUALGRIT does not stop the Shannahammer. If anything there were more Shannabans near the top of the chart. With Minnesota(6) one of the top QUALGRIT team suffering the most suspension worthy hits.

3) QUALGRIT does not help you win. Despite Boston & Pittsburgh doing well. The only other team in the top 15 of QUALGRIT to make it past the first round was the New York Rangers who beat a team with a higher QUALGRIT(Washington). Every other team was in the bottom half of the QUALGRIT. Look where Chicago and Detroit were on the chart. 3 of top 5 made playoffs and 3 of the bottom 5 made the playoffs.

My Headline should read:

QUALGRIT - Proof That Team Toughness DOES NOT Wins Cups! (And Stops The Shannahammer)

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