1.06.2007

The Most Meaningless Statistic In Hockey

The Capitals, if you hadn't noticed, recently completed the first half of their season with a win over the Montreal Canadiens to give them a 17-17-7 record. Many people have said that it is quite an accomplishment to see this team finish the first half of the year with an even .500 record. What those people fail to realize is the utter meaninglessness of the term ".500" in the New NHL. Take a look at the standings and you'll see that, for all games completed through January 5th, there are 21 NHL teams with "above .500" records, while there are only eight who are "below .500".

By comparison, the NFL's recently completed season saw a total of 12 teams above five hundred and twelve teams below (with eight teams finishing even). The MLB's 2006 season had fourteen above and sixteen below, and the NBA to date has fourteen teams above and fifteen below (with one team even).

Can someone explain to me how it is that having twenty-one teams with supposedly above five hundred records is supposed to be good for the sport? I get that it creates the illusion of parity so that just about any fan can look at his or her tema and think "Hey, we're still right there in it!" but I think most fans are smart enough to look at the standings and realize that Gary Bettman is trying to pull the wool over their eyes. I get that complaining about the overtime loss rule is nothing new or original, but with the owner of the team saying "We are halfway through the season and we are a 500 team" as a way of encouraging fan support, we are all deluding ourselves a little bit. Say what you will about the shootout, the fact is that this team has lost 24 times so far this year.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This whole thing has a much more negative edge than I intended. I'm not trying to take anything away from what the Caps have accomplished. I assure you I am still wearing rose colored glasses and drinking plenty of Kool Aid. All I really wanted to do was rant about how stupid Gary Bettman's "New" NHL is.)

1 comment:

Fauxrumors said...

1) There is no 'Illusion of parity', there IS parity! Whether that is a good thing is a subjective assessment
2) We don't particularly like it, but its what Gary Betman wanted for the New NHL, and so far he's got his wish!