CRUNCHING THE OVERTIME NUMBERS
Before the Capitals and Bruins squared off in Game 7 last night in Boston, I predicted that all three of the Game 7’s that were to be played this week would go into overtime. Well, that’s one down and two to go.
Regardless of the outcome, the least surprising thing about last night’s game was how long it took to be decided. When Joel Ward scored at 2:57 of overtime, it was the ninth time in 15 overtime games (60%) this spring that a game has ended in the first five minutes of sudden death. Taking it one step further, 11 of the 15 games (73.3%) have been decided in the first 10 minutes.
Ending a game in the first 10 minutes of overtime has been the trend over the past seven postseasons. Of the 122 overtime games played since the lockout, 74 have ended in the first 10 minutes – an overwhelming 61 percent of the games. It’s also not uncommon for a game to end in the first five minutes like it did last night. Ward’s goal marked the 47th time in 122 games (38%) since the 2006 playoffs that a team has scored the game winner in the opening five minutes of overtime.
This year’s playoff teams are also going to overtime at a record pace. With 15 of the first 46 (32.6%) requiring extra time, they are on pace to play 29 overtime games. That would break the Stanley Cup Playoff record set in 1993, when 28 of 85 games went into overtime.
Following is a chart that breaks down the number of overtime games that have been played over the past seven postseasons, specifically detailing exactly at what point in the game the winning goal was scored.
|YEAR||TOTAL OT GAMES||FIRST 5 MINS||FIRST 10 MINS||10-15 MIN MARK||LAST 5 MINS||DOUBLE OT||TRIPLE OT||QUAD OT|