Ranking the 10 Best NHL Teams at Protecting Leads

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Ranking the 10 Best NHL Teams at Protecting Leads
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Is there any NHL team better than Chicago at protecting leads? Probably not, but looking at the fascinating data provided over at NHL.com over the years, we can see which teams are the closest. Surprisingly Boston and Detroit are not among them, two teams with outstanding reputations for defending leads.

According to the data, teams have a .796 winning percentage when leading after the first period, or .810 over the past three seasons. After the second period that goes up to .894 (regardless of date range). In this case, and throughout the article, the lockout refers to the 2005 season, not 2012.

A rarely publicized fact is how teams are normally outshot when they're sitting back and protecting leads. In fact, a great way to win a beer off a buddy is to wait until late in the second period, and bet them that the team in the lead will get outshot the rest of the way. You'll drink more often than you pay.

But watch out, because some teams continue to dominate opponents even when protecting leads, according to data made available at Behind the Net. That site keeps track of the percentage of all on-ice shots attempted by each team when they're leading by one or two goals, and there are a handful of teams that will cost you a beer. Turn over to the find out which ones.


All winning percentages are sourced from NHL.com and attempted shot percentages from Behind the Net


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