The Evolution of Hockey Statistics by Bruce McCurdy

Scoring chances

A chance is counted any time a team directs a shot cleanly on-net from within home-plate. Shots on goal and misses are counted, but blocked shots are not (unless the player who blocks the shot is “acting like a goaltender”). Generally speaking, we are more generous with the boundaries of home-plate if there is dangerous puck movement immediately preceding the scoring chance, or if the scoring chance is screened. If you want to get a visual handle on home-plate,

Neilson Numbers

  • Based on ideas of Roger Neilson
  • Assignment of individual responsibility on scoring chances for and against
  • Requires an extra degree of qualitative judgement over and above deciding whether a scoring chance has occurred
  • Eliminates false positives/negatives, however individual numbers don’t reconcile to team totals
  • Fewer recording errors than on-ice scoring chances as players are identified as part of the process
  • Same system can be used to assign unofficial assists on GF or errors on GA
  • Reliant on a knowledgeable scorer, but as with other scoring chance systems, would work better if 3 or 5 scorers worked independently, then pooled results

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