As John Kreiser notes in his NHL.com column, only 15% of games have not been settled in regulation. Thus, the average NHL game awards 2.15 points. In each of the last two seasons, 281 games (nearly 23%) have reached OT so the average game in those seasons awarded 2.23 points.
There were 2,741 points awarded last year -- an average of 91.4 per team. (92 points made the playoffs in the East and 96 points in the West) At this year's pace, the average team would record 88.15 points.
John's numbers are below.
<<60 minutes getting it done this season
John Kreiser | NHL.com columnist
Nov 9, 2007, 11:46 AM EST
Six weeks into the new season, NHL teams are doing a much better job of deciding games in the regulation 60 minutes than they have in the last two.
Through Thursday night, 227 games have been played and just 34 (15.0 percent) have gone past regulation. Fifteen of those have been settled in overtime; the other 19 went to a shootout.
That's a 33-percent decline from last season, when 51 of the first 227 games (22.5 percent) were decided after regulation, and also markedly lower than 2005-06, when 46 of the first 227 games were decided after regulation time.
The biggest drop from last season has been in the number of shootouts. Just 19 of the first 227 contests this season (8.4 percent) went to a shootout; in the same number of games last season, that number was 32 (14.1 percent). In 2005-06, the first season of the shootout, 18 of the first 227 games went to a shootout, but 28 others were decided in overtime.
In each of the last two seasons, a total of 281 games have gone past regulation time. At this pace, that number this season would be 184.
This season's shooters have been slightly more successful than in the first two years of the shootout. So far this season, 41 of the 120 shooters (34.17 percent) have been successful, up from 32.76 last season and 33.64 percent in 2005-06.
One change from last season is that home teams have been more successful. Twelve of the 19 shootouts (63.2 percent) have been won by the home team; last season, home teams were 79-85 (48.1 percent).
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of FSN statistician Eric Hornick. Eric, who has worked the Stanley Cup Finals four times, celebrated his 25th anniversary as the statistician on Islander home telecasts on January 21, 2007. Often referred to on-air as an actuary, he is one of 3,044 Fellows of the Casualty Actuarial Society and is the President of the Casualty Actuaries of Greater NY. You can find him in the "Best Seat in the House", about six feet to Howie and Billy's left, at most Islander home games. For more on the actuarial profession, visit www.beanactuary.org