Sports have become heavily analytical in recent years, and hockey is no exception. Knowing about various NHL statistics and their relevance will help you better understand the nuances of NHL betting. Let’s take a look at some of the key stats and how to wager with them.
STK – winning or losing streak: Winning and losing streaks, often called ‘hot and cold’ streaks, refer to when a team has either won or lost multiple games in a row. Wagering on a team to continue a hot or cold streak would fall under the prop bet category.
Goal difference: Goal difference, or goal differential, refers to the difference between how many goals a team has scored compared to how many they have allowed. For example, if a team scores five goals in a game but allows two, their goal differential would be +3. NHL bets featuring goal differential are usually tied to point spread bets.
Overtime wins/losses: Overtime wins and losses differ from regulation wins and losses, as they occur following the 60 minutes of regulation time allotted to each NHL game. Make sure you are careful when placing a moneyline bet on a certain team to win. It may only be a 3-way moneyline bet, meaning that an overtime win will not count. To win your wager on a moneyline bet, your team typically needs to win within regulation time.
Shootout wins/losses: Shootout wins and losses, like overtime wins and losses, are considered different than regulation wins and losses in NHL betting. As previously mentioned, be sure to check whether or not your moneyline bet covers winning outcomes beyond regulation time before placing it, unless you believe the team will actually win in regulation.
Goals for/against: Goals for and against are the two individual statistics that combine to form goal differential. Goals for simply refers to how many goals a team has scored, whereas goals against is concerned with how many goals a team has allowed. Goals for and against bets are usually over/under bets. A goaltender's goals against average is also an important metric on this front.
Shutouts: A shutout is when a goalie wins a game without allowing a single goal. Shutouts aren’t exactly common, but they aren’t necessarily rare either. Betting on a goalie to get a shutout can end up yielding a lucrative payout, given the somewhat low odds of it happening.
Power play goals/assists: Power play goals and assists occur when a team scores on the man advantage. A power play can either be a 5-on-4 or a 5-on-3, depending on how many penalties the other team has taken. To bet on this, you could place a wager on a player that you think will get a power play goal, or even just a power play assist (point).
Shorthanded goals/assists: Shorthanded goals and assists are like power play goals and assists, but in reverse. Power play points occur when a team scores while up a player, whereas shorthanded points happen when a team scores while down a player. Shorthanded goals, like shutouts, are somewhere in between common and rare.
Game-winning goals: A game-winning goal refers to a necessary goal scored by the winning team. For example, if a team wins the game by a score of 4-2, the player who scored the third goal would get the game-winning goal. The team couldn’t have won without his goal, whereas the fourth goal was just extra since the opponent did not end up scoring a third goal.
Penalties: In hockey, there are several infractions that a referee can call upon players. These are referred to as penalties. Most penalties are two minutes, but some can even be five and result in a game misconduct. Some examples of common penalties are hooking, holding, tripping, and boarding.
Regulation plus overtime wins: Regulation plus overtime wins refers to when a game is won either in regulation or overtime. This is an important distinction since, as previously mentioned, a lot of hockey moneyline bets only cover three outcomes. A winning bet would occur if the team you’ve wagered on wins in either regulation or overtime. It would not count if they were to win in the shootout.
Penalty infraction minutes: Penalty infraction minutes refers to the specific number of minutes given to a player for a particular penalty. For example, most penalties such as high-sticking are two minutes in length, but that specific infraction can be doubled to four minutes if the player who was on the receiving end is bleeding.
SOG – shots on goal: Shots on goal refers to any shot that a team takes on the opposing goalie, whether it ends up being a save or a goal. A shot on goal only counts as such if it is right on target. A shot that is close, but misses, is instead referred to as a shot attempt. Most shots on goal bets are over/under bets. For example, whether Connor McDavid will take over or under 4.5 shots in a given game.
Save percentage: This is the percentage of shots that a goaltender saves out of all that they face. Naturally, goaltenders with a higher save percentage can be considered more reliable at saving shots.
Shot percentage: This is the percentage of shots that a player scores out of all that they take. Clinical shooters are a good asset for any team to face, with 15% broadly considered a good shot percentage by the standards of the NHL.