Luck is a controversial term in hockey, but it does exist. Goalies get hot, shooters get cold, refs miss calls, players get hurt and close games are lost when posts are hit.
Hockey is a game of tremendous skill, but it's also one with a lot of bounces and breaks that don't always cut in both directions. Which teams were most frequently on the wrong side of fortune's good graces this year?
We have recently found a way to use analytics to at least partially estimate the effect luck has had on each team. It involves measuring several distinct areas, each of which involve varying degrees of luck.
- Impact of injuries, including the number, the severities and the durations
- Unusually low shooting percentages and/or save percentages
- Particularly ineffective power plays or penalty killing
- Weaker record in one-goal regulation-time games
- Sub-.500 record in overtime and/or shootouts
It is yet to become an exact science, so analysts often come to their own conclusion by using the luck tool that is available over at Hockey Abstract. What follows is my personal interpretation.
Obviously the league's unluckiest teams all had highly disappointing seasons. Though Pittsburgh was stung with injuries, and Chicago's post-regulation record was the league's worst, they were fortunate enough overall to avoid making this top 10.
Turn over to find out which of this year's non-playoff teams were the unluckiest and to what extent.