Wednesday, 12 June 2013

NHL Stanley Cup Final (Blackhawks vs. Bruins) - Goal Probability Map

With the Stanley Cup Final beginning tomorrow, I thought it might be topical to make a quick post about it.

Using data provided by the NHL website, I have collected shot data from the regular season up until the conference finals for both play-off finalists: the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks. From this, I constructed a map of each teams percentage of scoring from a given spot in the offensive zone:

The differences are interesting. Boston is quite clearly a more defensive team than Chicago, with a lower probability of scoring all around, and many of their chances coming from behind the hash marks (likely from defencemen). This fits in with their style of play though; the Bruins frequently win games not from scoring a large quantity of goals, but rather from a solid defence.

Chicago on the other hand resides on the other side of the spectrum with very high probabilities of scoring near the crease. An interesting feature of the Chicago map is its asymmetry: when looking at shots taken behind the hash-marks, the Blackhawks have a higher probability of scoring from shots taken on the right side of the ice. This skew is caused by their first and third best scorers in the regular season, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa, both right wingers. It's amazing that these two players can make such a huge difference when this sort of data is viewed at a high level.

All that said, we will see if this data holds true come tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Cool map! Think you could do something similar with goals against, and try to overlay them (goals against boston + goals for chicago, etc)? Thanks for doing this