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Marvin, Sabres Fan

Crucial Situation Analysis

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Crucial Situations

Originally Created: Early 1980s

Creators: Roger Nielson, Al Arbour, Emile Francis, Jeff Z. Klein, Karl Eric-Reif, writers for the old hockey annuals

Inspiration: Find out who the Joe Schlabotniks are who score goals in borderline irrelevant situations, make spectacular saves when the game is out of hand, etc.

Logic: Track who is making key plays that preserve leads or tie games

How to Measure It: What you measure and how you use it varied wildly from statistician to statistician.  I will concentrate on tying or go-ahead goals, although you can do a lot more than this


  1. Cruicial scoring
    1. Goals and assists scored when tying the game or gaining the lead.
  2. Crucial +/-
    1. A player's plus-minus stats during crucial situations.
  3. Crucial Perseverance rating
    1. Which goaltenders are not allowing "the next goal."

Adjustments and other examples:

  1. Who is put on the ice defencively in crucial situations
  2. Who is put on the ice offencively in crucial situations
  3. Who gets the puck out of the defencive zone after a crucial defencive zone start
  4. Who gets into the offencive zone when down 1 or tied.
  5. Who makes these plays in the 3rd period
    1. At the time of the creation of this stat, 70% of 3rd period leads were "safe".
      1. Performance in this part of the game was often called "critical"
  6. Defencive players who start a shift against a top offencive line.
  7. Goaltenders who replace injured goaltenders and do not have a back-up.


Edited by E4 ... Ke2

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