1

It feels like over the last few years and specially this season (16-17) more games are going to overtime. So I'm wondering what has been the trend of Stanley Cup playoffs games that go to overtime in the past 20 years? I'd like to see how the rate has fluctuated over many seasons.

I chose 20 years as it seems to be long enough to have a meaningful sample size. If you can find data for more seasons that'd be great.

2

Playoff games have gone into overtime 376 times from the 1996-1997 NHL season to the 2015-2016 NHL season (ie, "in the past 20 years")(1).

Using Hockey Reference's Team Game finder, I specified the following criteria: "For single games, from 1996-97 to 2015-16, in the playoffs, in overtime games, sorted by descending Game Date."


Rate of NHL playoffs going to the overtime

In the past 20 years, from the 1996-1997 NHL season to the 2015-2016 NHL season, there have been 1646 playoff games played(2).

Thus, the 20-year average (376/1646) is around 22.8%.


I'd like to see how the rate has fluctuated over many seasons.

Note: results are divided by two to account for each team being represented per game.


It feels like over the last few years ... more games are going to overtime.

Not entirely true. Although there was an higher than average trend from 2012-2014, the average in 2015 and 2016 was behind the 20-year average.

Other seasons of note include 2001 (~5% higher than the next highest percentage outside of 2012-2014) and 2000 (~8% lower than the next lowest percentage and 12% lower than the 20-year average).

  • Ah I should've been more specific with my question. I'm wondering about the trend. As in what the rate has been in each of these years, or a bar graph showing that to see how the rate has been changing over the years. I'll modify my question – alamoot Apr 20 '17 at 0:06
  • @alamoot Done. I left the "20-year average" for comparison to yearly trends and removed 2016-2017 from my dataset as it is incomplete (until a Stanley Cup winner emerges). – user527 Apr 20 '17 at 2:04
  • Interesting. I could remember there weren't too many overtime games last year, but not the year before that. Guess I had biased view. specially with all the OT games this year. Thanks for the answer – alamoot Apr 20 '17 at 2:11

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