For objective hockey analysts, we sure talk about luck a lot. Yet in his annual NHL Review, Alan Ryder reminds us that Wins are 94% predicted by goals for and against, marginal goals totals or goal differentials, suggesting that only the remaining 6% is luck.
And speaking of goals, theyre generated by getting into position to shoot, shooting, and the quality of the shot itself, each of which involve no luck, a little luck, and mostly luck, respectively. Overall, Gabriel Desjardins computed that 35% of a goal is luck.
Given these two findings it probably comes as no surprise that in a separate study, Desjardins, whose approach has been backed up by others like Tyler Dellow, discovered that 38% of winning percentage is luck.
If thats true, there are obviously teams that are getting the lions share of that good fortune. For example, Alan Ryder has always defined a lucky team as one requiring comparatively few marginal goals for each point in the standings, like the 2006-07 Boston Bruins or 2007-08 New York Islanders, while an unlucky team requires far more marginal goals, like the 2006-07 NY Rangers or the 2008-09 Minnesota Wild. Of course, Ryder is focusing only on the 6% of winning that cant be explained by goals. Is there a system that captures the other 32-35%?