• “Schedule Compression” Is A Lie

    by  • February 8, 2014 • Hockey • 0 Comments

    I’m watching the Leafs-Canucks game and they’re talking about the schedule being compressed because of the Olympics. The theory seems to be that this is leading to injuries. For some reason, they always talk about this when the Olympics roll around but nobody ever does the work to figure it out. Let’s do that.

    In 2011-12, the NHL season started on October 6, 2011. As of February 8, there had been 800 NHL games played. This year, the season started on October 1, 2013. As of February 8, there will have been 881 games played. AH HA! Schedule compression!

    Well, no. There’s been an extra five days of NHL games this year because the season started earlier. If you take those five days into account, you’d look at how many they’d played in 2011-12 as of February 13. That makes it 881 this year to 839 in 2011-12. Ah ha! Schedule compression!

    Not yet. In 2011-12, they had an All-Star Game. And an All-Star break. The All-Star break wiped out five days of games. So add another five days to the 2011-12 season to get a comparable. That means that we’re interested in how many games have been played as of February 18, 2012. The answer? 872 games. This year, 881 games by the Olympic break. In 2011-12, 872 games. 18 teams have played one extra game and 12 have played as many games in as many days as they usually do, albeit without an All-Star Break. Which the players get now. And is three times longer than usual.

    Maybe the schedule compresses later on, I haven’t looked. To date, it’s been pretty much as many games in as many days as it was in 2011-12. Probably boring to say that on TV though.

    Email Tyler Dellow at tyler@mc79hockey.com


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