Have you ever wondered who the most entertaining team in the NHL is? Is it Ottawa? What about Stanley Cup defending Lightning? Or what about those dreaded Maple Leafs or the high flying Red Wings. Do you have NHL Center Ice and are wondering what the best hockey game to watch might be? By doing a little bit of number crunching we can find out.
Before I get into the details of how one could determing the most entertaining hockey team I must say that this is purely for fun and not to be taken too serious if you find out your favourite team doesn’t rank that highly.
The first thing we need to do when determining who the most entertaining hockey team is, is to determine what is entertaining. I personally believe that the most entertaining hockey games are 1) close games, 2) have plenty of offense, and 3) have plenty of hitting and physical play. With this in mind I gave every game through Friday November 4th an entertainment factor score. The score is calculated in the following manner:
+6 points for every goal scored (i.e. a 5-3 game would get (5+3)*6=48 points)
+1 point for every hit recorded
+10 points if game is a 1 goal game (i.e. 5-4 final score)
+ 5 points if game is a 2 goal game (i.e. 5-3 final score)
0 points if a game is a 3 goal game
-5 points if a game is a 4 goal game
-10 points if a game is a 5 goal game
-15 points if a game is a 6 goal game
-20 points if a game is a 7 goal game
-25 points if a game is a 8 goal game
-30 points if a game is a 9 goal game
-10 points for games with 5+ goal differential (since channel surfing is likely more interesting)
+5 points for a game ending in overtime or a shoot out.
When you add it all up, here are the top 5 most entertaining games.
1. Toronto 5 at Ottawa 6 (shootout) – October 10
2. San Jose 7 at St. Louis 6 – October 8
3. Philadelphia 6 at Carolina 8 – October 28
4. Los Angeles 4 at Dallas 5 – October 5
5. Boston 7 at Pittsburgh 6 (overtime) – October 8
And the three least entertining games were:
1. Colorado 7 at Edmonton 1, October 21
2. San Jose 1 at Minnesota 6, October 19
3. Detroit 6 at Columbus 0, October 22
Next I averaged all the game entertainment factor scores for all games that a team participated in to get a team entertainment factor. Here is the list of teams sorted by most entertaining to least entertaining.
For somewhat of an adhoc algorithm it seems to have done a decent job of identifying the teams I would enjoy watching from those I wouldn’t. Tampa Bay being second from the bottom of the list is a bit surprising but that is largely due to the fact that they are the least physical team in the NHL. Florida, Columbus and Minnesota are probably well deserving of being in the bottom 4 though.
One thing that I might include in a future entertainment factor calculation is shots on goal since a 2-1 game in which two goaltenders stand on their heads saving almsost everything shot at them is just as, if not more, entertaining than a 6-5 game.