Score Effects in the NHL

We’ve known for a long time that the score affects how much NHL teams shoot and I decided to look into where they shoot from as the score varies.

This is all at 5v5 over the past five regular seasons. Red means “more shots than league average” and blue means “fewer shots than league average”.

Big takeaway for me is that being the road team really sucks. The home team gets above-average shot rates in the slot until they’re up by at least three goals. Road teams don’t start generating average even average amounts of shots until they’re losing and don’t get much extra in the slot until they’re down by three or more.

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(This is modified slightly from a thread I posted on twitter the other day, specifically, modified to have fewer errors)

how plausible is that home scorers tend to undercount rebound shots from in close for the away team? that’s an area where there could be some bias I feel.

What makes you suspect this?

From my tracking experience, I have seen what I perceive may be trackers’ bias for rebounds (I have no concrete evidence), but I have my doubts that these rare instances could have such a large effect.


this is from a while ago re: shot counting across the NHL

It’s undeniable that there IS a significant difference in home and away shot volume & locations in the NHL’s raw data. this you’ve shown in a way that is convincing to me.

what I’m not sure about is what causes this difference - are home teams actually playing better than away teams at a 52-48 rate AND getting to the slot on a much more regular basis, or are the guys sitting in the pressbox a bit more trigger-happy on rebound shots when it’s the home team taking them.