Entertainment Index Version 2.0

A little over a week ago I posted a ranking of the most entertaing games and teams in the NHL. That post generated a fair amount of interest so I decided to create a new and improved ranking system – Entertainment Index Version 2.0.

I believe that fans want to see 3 things in a hockey game:

1. Lots of offense and scoring
2. Physical play and intensity
3. A close game

With this in mind I created the following point scoring system to evaluate every game played in the NHL so far through Sunday, November 13th. Here is the scoring system.

2 points for each goal scored
1 point for every shot over 50 shots (2 team total)

Physical Play
1 point for every hit above 30 (2 team total)
2 points for every fight

Close Game
35 points for a game ending in OT or a shootout
30 points for a 1 goal game
25 points for a 2 goal game
20 points for a 3 goal game
15 points for a 4 goal game
10 points for a 5 goal game
5 points for a 6 goal game

Since watching to see if a goalie is going to get a shutout, I have also given a bonus 2 points for a shutout.

Using that forumla the most exciting games so far are:

1. Boston 4 at Toronto 5 – Oct 24 (shootout) (Gamescore = 103)
2. Toronto 5 at Ottawa 6 – Oct 10 (shootout) (Gamescore = 97)
3. Los Angeles 4 at Detroit 5 -Nov 9 (overtime) (Gamescore = 86)
4. Florida 4 at Montreal 5 – Nov 1 (overtime) (Gamescore = 85)
5. Boston 3 at Montreal 4 – Oct 18 (Gamescore = 85)
6. NY Islanders 3 at Montreal 4 – Oct 22 (Gamescore = 83)
7. San Jose 7 at St. Louis 6 – Oct 8 (Gamescore = 82)
8. Philadelphia 5 at Ottawa 3 – Oct 30 (Gamescore = 82)
9. Montreal 3 at Ottawa 5 – Oct 27 (Gamescore = 82)
10. Boston 7 at Pittsburgh 6 – Oct 8 (overtime) (Gamescore = 81)
11. Chicago 3 at San Jose 4 – Oct 15 (Gamescore = 81)

And the least entertining games:
1. Tampa Bay 6 at Atlanta 0 – Oct 20 (Gamescore = 22)
2. Detroit 6 at Columbus 0 – Oct 22 (Gamescore = 22)
3. Los Angeles 0 at Phoenix 4 – Nov 3 (Gamescore = 25)
4. Carolina 6 at New Jersey 1 – Oct 15 (Gamescore = 27)
5. Atlanta 9 at Carolina 0 – Nov 12 (Gamescore = 27)

Next I calculated team scores by averaging the game score for all the average game score for each game the team played in. The following table shows the results.

Rank Team Entertainment Index
1 Toronto 64.5
2 Ottawa 62.3
3 Montreal 61.8
4 Boston 61.6
5 Philadelphia 61.2
6 Florida 57.9
7 NY Islanders 57.5
8 Dallas 56.6
9 Pittsburgh 55.9
10 Phoenix 55.5
11 Buffalo 55.2
12 San Jose 55.2
13 Calgary 54.2
14 Washington 54.0
15 Los Angeles 53.9
16 Anaheim 53.4
17 Carolina 52.9
18 Chicago 52.8
19 Vancouver 52.6
20 St. Louis 52.1
21 Colorado 52.8
22 Nashville 51.9
23 New Jersey 49.9
24 NY Rangers 49.6
25 Detroit 47.9
26 Edmonton 46.8
27 Atlanta 46.6
28 Minnesota 46.6
29 Comumbus 45.1
30 Tampa Bay 44.7

The northeast division is clearly the most entertaining division with the top 4 teams being from the northeast. Make sense because games between Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Boston have all been fairly high scoring and generally close. Plus these teams are among the most physical teams in the NHL.

(Statistics used were gathered from browsing box scores at NHL.com and Yahoo.com as well as fight data at HockeyFights.com)

This article has 11 Comments

  1. Awesome. I was going to re-do your last index with fight data, thinking of all the moments when people are cheering or standing up.

    If you ever need me to provide you with anything that’s not easy to copy and paste, just let me know.

    Can’t say I’m too surprised by the list, I have to admit the teams near the top are the ones I normally tune into. I think Nashville has the potential to climb the charts if they bring up Jordin Tootoo, Kariya keeps playing well and Darcy Hordichuk gets a little busier.

  2. What about the Toronto Montreal game on Nov 12? That game finished 5-4 in overtime, and by your formula, finished with an entertainment value of 87. The announcers on CBC (Harry Neale & Bob Cole) called the game “the most entertaining of this young season” which adds some credibility to your formula.

    Another element that would be interesting to incorporate into the formula would be shots that hit the post/crossbar. Unfortunately, I don’t believe these even count as a shot, and so it may be difficult to find those numbers for each game.

    Something else that would be interesting, but difficult to measure are “missed chances”. For example, when a skater’s got a wide open net, but fans on the shot. That creates excitement, but may unfortunately be difficult to measure.

    I think your formula is a great start. An excellent idea, too.

  3. You are correct. I actually used the wrong formula in my calculations. I used 1 point for every shot over 50, not over 40. I originally had it at 50 and intended to change it to 40 but guess I didn’t. I’ll update the post to read 50 in the game score point system. Dropping it to 40 won’t make a huge difference anyway since most games will just have their score rise by 10 points. There are only 32 games in which teams scored between 40 and 49 points. Those games will see their point totals rise between 0 and 9 points and most of those games already score very low.

  4. Good stuff here. I still think you should have some kind of minus factored in when Pierre McGuire is on the telecast.

  5. Would this be appropriate?

    -25 for having to listen to a far to easily excited colour man who talks substantially more than the play by play guy.

  6. Yeah, that sounds about right…I actually enjoy listening to his “Monday Monsters” podcast, cause at least I know what I’m getting into, and he becomes so over the top, almost a parody of himself…with phrases such as “He’s a Monster of a Monster!” It’s like a cheaper, hyper “Coach’s Corner”.

    But for live game coverage, he’s pretty annoying. Not looking forward to the World Junior Championship this year as much, for this reason. He talks to us as if we’re all coaches, and we each have about six kids playing Junior A. Way too much strategy, stats, guesses of “what the player is thinking”, too much hype when stuff isn’t even happening, and he rarely stops to take a breath.

    But, I will say, he seems to be better this year. Maybe I’m wrong, but he doesn’t seem to be amped up to 110% quite as much…maybe someone had a talk with him?

    Although, honestly, some of those Sportsnet guys have no personality at all, they kind of blend into the arena ambience. So I guess it’s a question of which can you put up with longer? Bob and Harry forever! Disclaimer: Yes, I’m a Leafs fan.

    Thanks for letting me vent!

  7. I agree. You don’t tune in to a game to listen to the hyper colour commentator. Well, I don’t know about the rest of you people, but when I turn to hockey games on my NHL Center Ice package, I wanna see people ramming each other into the glass. That makes it all the more interesting.

  8. Also, what is a colour man’s job? Isn’t it to just take an in-depth analysis of the game he is covering? That guy you are describing is just telling us every single detail that we won’t even be able to remember as he tells us.

  9. I think one factor that would be hard to pull out of game totals is how often the lead changes in a game. e.g. 10 goals in a 6:4 game where one team had a lead for 50 minutes is not as suspenseful a game as one which finishes 3:2 where both teams had the lead.

    I think a combination of both total goals and lead changes would be useful in a ranking like this.

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