A hockey team's ability to win one-goal games is widely regarded as a great indicator of a battle-tested team full of mettle and guts. Never mind that there is only a small correlation in a team's season-over-season skill in winning one-goal games, and those toughness adjectives are more story than reality.
The true measure of a team's talent is the ability to win games by two or more (non-empty net) goals. There's a much larger correlation in year-over-year two-goal winning percentage. For further discussion, see here. In fact, clear victories are better at predicting a team's talent than even their won-loss record.
We've talked a lot about clear victories, and Scott has tracked the clear victory standings for a number of years. With that in mind, we might be able to look back which 2012-13 teams were more solid than originally thought and which teams might run of out of luck in 2013-14.
|Clear Victories, 2012-13|
It comes as no surprise to see Chicago and Boston along with Pittsburgh at the top of the list. Los Angeles was hindered by extremely poor goaltending early in the season and it shows here. Florida, Colorado, and Calgary were the pits and Carolina's AHL -level goaltending did them in as well.
In the table below, I've left the clear victories rank in tact but I've sorted by one-goal game win percentage:
|One-goal games, 2012-13||Clear Victories, 2012-13|
Now both the lucky and unlucky become obvious. On the extremely lucky side, we have Winnipeg, 26th in clear victories, and 3rd in one-goal games. Winnipeg pushed for a playoff spot but fell apart late - don't expect a repeat. Minnesota, no stranger to getting lucky, is 6th in one-goal games and made the playoffs on that run of luck, but they were a losing team in the clear victory standings.
On the opposite side - Tampa Bay took it on the chin. The two results are so disparate, it's almost like the Lightning iced two different teams last season. Detroit also got a bit unlucky with the losing record in one-goal games, and should that right itself this season, combined with a move east, the Red Wings could be killers.