A few days ago I was watching the Tampa-Atlanta game and noticed how little hitting there was in that game. That got me to thinking if this was normal for Tampa (and it was). Well over the past few days I went through every box score on NHL.com and extracted the hits each team had in every game and I came up with the following results.
-Detroit had the fewest hits in a single game with just 2 hits in a game against Columbus. Pittsburgh and Atlanta were next with just 3 hits in a game.
-The fewest hits in a game by both teams is 10 which happened 3 times. Pittsburgh(3) vs New Jersey(7), Phoenix(4) vs Anaheim(6) and Columbus(4) vs Edmonton(10)
-The most hits in a game by a single team is 37 done by the Islanders (vs Montreal) and Toronto (vs Philadelphia)
-The most hits in a game both teams combined is 65 done in 2 games. Florida(34) vs Toronto(31) and NY Islanders(37) vs Montreal(28).
-Toronto is the most physical team averaging 24.4 hits per game and surprisingly Montreal is the next most physical team with 21.5 hits per game. Toronto is a big team so that makes sense, but Montreal is a smaller team so it is surprising to see them average so many hits per game.
-The least physical teams are the Tampa Bay Lightning with just 8.4 hits per game and the New York Rangers with just 10.7 hits per game.
-The team least likely to be hit is the Pittsburgh Penguins. Opponents only hit a Penguin an average of 9.4 times per game. I guess no one wants to hit Lemieux or be the guy to give Crosby an injury. Or maybe teams just felt sorry for them with the bad start they had and didn’t want to kick them while they were down.
-The team most likely to get hit was the Montreal Canadiens. Opponents hit a Montreal player on average 21.2 times per game. Next was the Ottawa Senators who were hit 20.7 times per game. It seems having speed doesn’t mean you can avoid hits.
-There doesn’t seem to be any correlation between playing physical and scoring goals or winning. Some good teams throw a lot of hits (i.e. Ottawa – 20.6 hits/game) and some good teams don’t throw a lot of hits (i.e. Carolina – 11.5 hits/game) and some good teams are right in the middle (i.e. Detroit – 15.1 hits/game).
The table below shows each teams goals for, goals against, total goals, hits for, hits against and total hits on a per game basis. The data is sorted by hits per game.