Pace is something that can often lead to high-scoring games in many sports, but in hockey, what does this mean, and how do we find out which games will have a high pace?
Measuring Pace in Hockey
Pace in the game of hockey is simply a measure of shot attempts. The amount of shot attempts, both for and against, generally tells us how fast a game goes back and forth from one end of the rink to the other, and thus, how many “events” are occurring.
For DFS purposes, the more shot attempts, the better, as these lead to shots on goal, blocked shots, goalie saves, and of course, goals and assists.
To measure pace, we simply need to add the average number of Corsi For and Corsi Against – per 60 minutes.
In order to calculate this, we can head back over to www.NaturalStatTrick.com and click on the “Teams” section.
Change the “5v5” filter to “All Strengths”, and the “Counts” filter to “Rates”.
Now, you’ll see a list of all 31 teams, and their CF/60 and CA/60 can be added to determine that team’s pace. Here is a list of the top 4 teams thus far in 2018-19:
- Toronto Maple Leafs (124.6)
- Carolina Hurricanes (122.0)
- Ottawa Senators (121.4)
- San Jose Sharks (119.4)
…and here is a look at the 8 games played between these four teams in 2018-19:
12/11/18 | Toronto 4 @ Carolina 1 | SOG: TOR 29 CAR 30
12/5/18 | Carolina 1 @ San Jose 5 | SOG: CAR 40 SJ 23
12/1/18 | San Jose 2 @ Ottawa 6 | SOG: SJ 38 OTT 27
11/28/18 | San Jose 3 @ Toronto 5 | SOG: SJ 41 TOR 29
11/21/18 | Toronto 2 @ Carolina 5 | SOG: TOR 32 CAR 45
11/15/18 | Toronto 5 @ San Jose 3 | SOG: TOR 34 SJ 45
10/26/18 | San Jose 3 @ Carolina 4 | SOG SJ 23 CAR 41
10/6/18 | Ottawa 5 @ Toronto 3 | SOG: OTT 24 TOR 37
We have an average of 7.1 goals scored between these teams, which is almost a full goal higher than the 6.2 league average. Also of note, the average number of SOG per game between the top 4 highest-paced teams is 67.3, which is slightly higher than the 62.6 league average.
These numbers aren’t surprising, of course, but it is something to keep in mind, as it does offer more evidence to support the theory that more shot attempts = more scoring.