Breaking the Power Play Record by@kjcmalakai



The Penguins' Power Play has been impressive this season (last night not withstanding), but everyone knows that.  Let's take a look at some numbers so far.

Home Power Play Goals:
13 (Best in the NHL)

Home Power Play %:    
40.6% (Best in the NHL)

Road Power Play Goals:
8 (2nd in the NHL, but it should be pointed out in FIVE fewer games than #1)

Road Power Play %:      
29.6% (4th in the NHL)

Total Power Play Goals:
21 (Best in the NHL)

Total Power Play %:      
35.6% (Best in the NHL)

Through 14 games, or 17.07% of the regular season, the Pittsburgh Penguins are on pace to break the all-time best regular season power play % set by the 1977-1978 Montreal Canadiens at 31.88%.  It's still relatively early in the season, but I went ahead and attempted to figure out how many power play goals it would take for the Penguins to break this mark.

Through 14 games so far this season, the Penguins have played 7 games at home and 7 games on the road.  In those 7 home games, the Penguins have scored 13 power play goals out of the 32 times that they have had the man advantage.  On the road, the Penguins are 8 for 27.  The Penguins have 34 home games and 34 road games remaining, so based on the numbers so far:

HOME:  32 power play opportunities / 7 games played thus far = 4.57 power plays per home game
             4.57 power plays per home game x 34 games remaining = 155.38 home power plays

ROAD:  27 power play opportunities / 7 games played thus far = 3.86 power plays per home game
             3.86 power plays per road game x 34 games remaining = 131.24 road power plays

TOTAL:  155.38 home power plays + 131.24 road power plays = 286.62 potential power plays

The number that the Penguins are trying to beat is 31,88%, expressed as .3188 as a decimal, so how many goals would it take if the number of power plays were added to the number of potential power plays to reach this number?

59 actual power plays + 286.62 potential power plays = 345.62 total potential power plays

The formula to determine the number of goals needed as:

Unknown number of goals/345.62 potential power plays = 31.88% success on power play

To isolate the unknown number of goals, multiply the 345.62 potential power plays and .3188

345.62 x .3188 = 110.18 power play goals

Round the 110.18 power play goals up to 111 power play goals and the season % finishes as 32.12%.

The above method was the quick and easy way of attempting to determine how many power plays the Penguins are likely to receive based on 17.07% of the Penguins' season having been played.  Just figure out the rate at which the Penguins are receiving power plays and multiply it out.  Simple.  However, that method does not take into account the rate at which their opponents are shorthanded.


The above chart shows rate at which every team in the NHL is shorthanded on the road and at home.  If that chart is combined with the Penguins' remaining schedule:


Using this method the Penguins should receive 234.96 more power plays this season so then we use the same formula as before:

59 actual power plays + 234.96 potential power plays = 293.96 total potential power plays

The formula to determine the number of goals needed as:

Unknown number of goals/293.96 potential power plays = 31.88% success on power play

To isolate the unknown number of goals, multiply the 293.96 potential power plays and .3188

345.62 x .3188 = 93.71 power play goals

Round the 93.71 power play goals up to 94 power play goals and the season % finishes as 31.98%.

If you take the average of the two methods, you get 102.5 power play goals, round that number up to 103 power play goals, and that is the number that I think the Penguins need to hit to break the all time record.

The Penguins have already scored an astonishing 21 power play goals so they need to score 82 more power play goals to reach the magic number of 103.

Why even bother trying to figure this out when we can just look at the current percentage and know if the Penguins are beating the all-time best or not?  Because of streaks.  Maybe the Penguins are on an incredible streak right now and the number will tumble back down to closer to 20%-25%. Maybe it won't.  Maybe the current power play is what the Penguins' power play is. Attempting to determine how many goals it will take to get to the record accounts for cold streaks when the number could dip below 31.88% until a hot streak brings it back up.





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