How valuable is win percentage in one-goal games?


“Bruce was an offensive guy and wanted to outscore teams, really cared about goals,” Knuble said. “I really feel like Dale can care less. We play a very stingy defensive game. He’s very happy with 1-0, 2-1. He’s comfortable playing in those games."

For one, I am not sure the goaltending is consistent enough to win while scoring just one or two goals a game.

As it stands right now, Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth have a combined .899 save percentage. The team is averaging 2.9 goals-for per game and 3.0 goals-against, meaning the chances they win by exactly one goal is 15 percent — hardly enough to make one's comfort level high.

Secondly, contrary to popular belief, a team's win percentage in one-goal games doesn't equate to playoff success.

Since the lockout, 23 teams have won more than 60 percent of their games by a margin of one goal. Here is how they fared in the playoffs:

■ Three (13 percent) missed the playoffs entirely.

■ Of the 20 that made the playoffs, 12 (60 percent) won less than three games, meaning they didn't make it out of the first round.

■ Just one team (Carolina, 2005-06) hoisted the Stanley Cup.

If a team's win percentage in one-goal games tells us one thing about a playoff team, it is they are most likely to be bounced in the first round.

Follow Neil on Twitter: @ngreenberg.

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.

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