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Puck Luck and the wildly abbreviated, probably totally insane 2013 NHL season...

Puck Luck and the wildly abbreviated probably totally insane 2013 NHL season


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I suddenly find myself super excited about hockey, because in a short season anything can happen. Unlike most seasons, the 2013 NHL is not about sustained efforts.

This is about streaks, luck, forcing OT as much as possible, and aggression paying off.

Grantland says puck luck will play an outsized role and the standings will look like a car pileup because there's not enough time to separate the winners from the "loser point" teams:


But this year will have a few key differences: a more compressed schedule, no preseason, and only the faintest glimmer of a training camp. The first few weeks will be a hotter mess than that Esquire profile on Megan Fox.1 The result is that there are sure to be individual players and entire teams whose performance may not have enough time (or time off) to properly and predictably regress (or rise) to the mean by the end of the season.

Expect to see what old-timers call "puck luck" and young wizards call "PDO" get all out of whack. We'll have teams with good records built like shaky sand castles atop tidepools of questionable goal differential (like last year's Minnesota Wild) and players whose shot percentages drift far below their career averages (Ryan Getzlaf nods sadly). Of course, both these examples show that statistical anomalies happen even in 82-game seasons — but there's a good shot that this year they'll be both more widespread and more pronounced. (Add that together with the "loser point" that teams get for overtime or shootout losses, and the standings could look like a car pileup. I, for one, won't be able to look away.)


Half the defenders on the San Jose Sharks are injured, so watch for them to play super aggressively -- the best defense is a great offense!

I'm just happy the LA Kings don't get to keep the Stanley Cup a second year without a fight.

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