How the Long-change OT could cut NHL shootouts by a third

March 13, 2014

I just wrote my first article for Deadspin. A hot topic in the NHL community this week has been the possibility of tweaking the overtime rules to generate more goals and fewer shootouts. In the article, which is a followup to an article I wrote here a few months back, I look at the potential consequences of one of the proposed rules changes. I find that having the teams switch sides in OT, so that all 5 minutes are played with the long-change could drop the number of shootouts by a third.

A snippet:

“…we should expect that 34.29 percent of the games that go to a shootout under the current rules would instead be resolved by a game-winning goal in overtime (plus/minus 3.45 percent). In other words, if the NHL GMs adopt the proposal to make regular season overtimes use the long change, the number of shootouts in the 1,230 game season would drop from about 166 (13.5 percent of games) to about 109 (8.87 percent).”