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Highest single game ice time

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Old
12-10-2011, 10:50 AM
  #1
Lupul1990
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Highest single game ice time

What is the record for most ice time for a forward in one game and who holds it? I've been able to find that Pavel Bure played 40:12 in a 3-3 tie against San Jose in 2001. Has anyone ever played more in a single game?

I hope I phrased it well enough for you guys to understand .

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Michael Russo - - Sun-Sentinel
March 27, 2001
Set a team record and NHL season high with 40:12 of ice time vs. San Jose on March 7. Has recorded over 30 minutes in 13 of his past 19 games and averaged more ice time than any other NHL forward.


Last edited by Lupul1990: 12-10-2011 at 10:56 AM.
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12-10-2011, 11:22 AM
  #2
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In the early days of NHL when the rosters were much shorter the top forwards probably played the whole game quite often.

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12-10-2011, 12:20 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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It was not that uncommon for Gordie Howe or Bobby Hull to play 45 minutes in a game, though they likely averaged closer to 30.

We should probably narrow the timeframe to the short shift game, which started sometime in the mid-late 80s.

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12-10-2011, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupul1990 View Post
What is the record for most ice time for a forward in one game and who holds it? I've been able to find that Pavel Bure played 40:12 in a 3-3 tie against San Jose in 2001. Has anyone ever played more in a single game?

I hope I phrased it well enough for you guys to understand .
I believe that is the highest total for a forward in a regular season game since the NHL started tracking ice time in 1997.

Even after including defencemen, I think only Adrian Aucoin beat Bure's 40 minutes.

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12-10-2011, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by overpass View Post
I believe that is the highest total for a forward in a regular season game since the NHL started tracking ice time in 1997.

Even after including defencemen, I think only Adrian Aucoin beat Bure's 40 minutes.
If we include playoff games, I believe the record for most ice time from a forward (since the stat was officially tracked) was from the infamous quintuple-overtime Philadelphia-Pittsburgh game in 2000. Hard to believe that was over 11 years ago already! Jagr played 59:08.

The record for a defenseman (again, as far as I can tell) was from another quintuple overtime, Dallas-Anaheim in 2003. Zubov played 63:51!

Zubov has played in three of the four longest overtime games of the modern era; during those games he played 64 minutes (Dallas-Anaheim in 2003), 55 minutes (Dallas-Vancouver in 2007), and 54 minutes (Dallas-San Jose in 2008)


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12-10-2011, 02:46 PM
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Iain Fyffe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
It was not that uncommon for Gordie Howe or Bobby Hull to play 45 minutes in a game, though they likely averaged closer to 30.
We have no way of knowing whether this is true or not. Given the number of players on the roster in their days (and the spread of their counting stats), it's unlikely they played that many more minutes than the top forwards do now. Hull probably played about 23 minutes per game in 1967-68, for instance.

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
We should probably narrow the timeframe to the short shift game, which started sometime in the mid-late 80s.
Indeed. If you go back far enough, playing every minute of every game was the norm. So the answer from that era would be at least 70 minutes, and perhaps more if more overtime was played.

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12-10-2011, 10:12 PM
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Ogie Goldthorpe
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So, goalies don't count?

I don't know his ice time, but in game 2 of the 1987 Canada Cup, Wayne Gretzky had played so much and so hard that in the first overtime period his pissed his pants on the Team Canada bench. That's gotta be a lot of hockey.

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12-11-2011, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
We have no way of knowing whether this is true or not. Given the number of players on the roster in their days (and the spread of their counting stats), it's unlikely they played that many more minutes than the top forwards do now. Hull probably played about 23 minutes per game in 1967-68, for instance.


Indeed. If you go back far enough, playing every minute of every game was the norm. So the answer from that era would be at least 70 minutes, and perhaps more if more overtime was played.
I have a game Chi/Det game from the 65 playoffs and Hull & Howe sure logged a lot more than 23 minutes of ice time. Hull was out there for every power play & every PK. He played with his regular line on LW and centred a 4th line. He was easily out there for 40 minutes.

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12-11-2011, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
We have no way of knowing whether this is true or not. Given the number of players on the roster in their days (and the spread of their counting stats), it's unlikely they played that many more minutes than the top forwards do now. Hull probably played about 23 minutes per game in 1967-68, for instance.


Indeed. If you go back far enough, playing every minute of every game was the norm. So the answer from that era would be at least 70 minutes, and perhaps more if more overtime was played.
Yes we do. Just ask them or many of the thousands/hundreds of thousands/millions of hockey fans who were watching games back then.

btw - how did you come up with the figure of 23 minutes for Hull in 67-68? I'm curious if this is just an arbitrary # you came up with or if there was more involved in determining that TOI

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12-11-2011, 08:05 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Zubov has played in three of the four longest overtime games of the modern era; during those games he played 64 minutes (Dallas-Anaheim in 2003), 55 minutes (Dallas-Vancouver in 2007), and 54 minutes (Dallas-San Jose in 2008)
That's actually a really incredible piece of trivia.

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12-11-2011, 09:24 PM
  #11
Iain Fyffe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappyline View Post
I have a game Chi/Det game from the 65 playoffs and Hull & Howe sure logged a lot more than 23 minutes of ice time. Hull was out there for every power play & every PK. He played with his regular line on LW and centred a 4th line. He was easily out there for 40 minutes.
Okay...even if that's true that's not the same thing as frequently playing 45 minutes per game, which was the claim.

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12-11-2011, 09:45 PM
  #12
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Originally Posted by Preisst View Post
Yes we do. Just ask them or many of the thousands/hundreds of thousands/millions of hockey fans who were watching games back then.
Unless they specifically kept track at the time, and still have those notes now, there's little purpose in asking them, for at least two reasons:

1. Most people are pretty terrible at estimating something like that based on their eyes, if they're not actually making an effort to specifically track that. Someone might guess a player played 30 minutes in a game, while another might guess 40. It's understandable, you're there to watch the game, not keep one eye on the clock and one eye on Hull, while ignoring everything else.

2. Human memory is pretty terrible in general. It's not a tape recorder, not remotely. Someone who thinks they remember Hull playing 40 minutes per game all the time may simply remember the one time he did it, and their brain has expanded that to cover all his games.

Your eyes often lie to you. And even when they don't, your brain often lies to you about what your eyes originally saw. Human memory is full of holes, which is why we write things down if we want to be accurate.

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Originally Posted by Preisst View Post
btw - how did you come up with the figure of 23 minutes for Hull in 67-68? I'm curious if this is just an arbitrary # you came up with or if there was more involved in determining that TOI
That's a calculation based on the counting stats we have available, relying largely on team GF and GA when the player was on the ice (the plus-minus components), which is less subject to influence by the player's ability than most stats, but unfortunately is only available starting in 1967-68.

For example, in that season we know Hull was on the ice for 44% of his team's non-PP goals for, 76% of the team's PP goals for, 34% of the team's non-PP goals against, and 27% of the team's PP goals against, while playing 96% of his team's games.

The number I provided can only ever be an estimate (which is why I said "probably" and "about"), but if someone says that Hull must have averaged 30 minutes per game, then they have to explain the above, factual numbers, which do not fit with that idea. These facts can't be ignored or denied, because they were recorded at the time the things happened. They also have to explain the numbers (points, shots) recorded by the team's other forwards, because if Hull eats up such a large portion of the ice time (while producing points and shots at a higher rate than anyone else on the team, presumably), there shouldn't be much left for the rest of them.

The system I use actually figures Mikita played about 25 minutes per game that season, 2 more than Hull.

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12-11-2011, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Okay...even if that's true that's not the same thing as frequently playing 45 minutes per game, which was the claim.
The claim was "it was not uncommon" for them to play that much, not that they "frequently" played that much. Not even close to the same thing. In fact, in the very same post, I said they probably averaged closer to 30 minutes.

30 minutes per game might have been too high, but 23 minutes per game just seems too low, considering that's what star players play today.

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12-11-2011, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The claim was "it was not uncommon" for them to play that much, not that they "frequently" played that much. Not even close to the same thing. In fact, in the very same post, I said they probably averaged closer to 30 minutes.

30 minutes per game might have been too high, but 23 minutes per game just seems too low, considering that's what star players play today.
Considering how often you can find contemporary articles, quotes etc. talking about player playing 30,35,40,45 minutes a game, sometimes even mentioning "on average".. I really think we're missing something.

The player usage, shift length, pacing etc. has changed an awful lot over time. Not to mention things like TV timeouts now that didn't exist before. I'm not sure how much the estimates based on "factual numbers" tell us.

I'm would guess that they range from being very accurate against modern icetime (since they were calibrated to that) to being strictly ballpark the farther we get from modern.

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12-11-2011, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
If we include playoff games, I believe the record for most ice time from a forward (since the stat was officially tracked) was from the infamous quintuple-overtime Philadelphia-Pittsburgh game in 2000. Hard to believe that was over 11 years ago already! Jagr played 59:08.

The record for a defenseman (again, as far as I can tell) was from another quintuple overtime, Dallas-Anaheim in 2003. Zubov played 63:51!

Zubov has played in three of the four longest overtime games of the modern era; during those games he played 64 minutes (Dallas-Anaheim in 2003), 55 minutes (Dallas-Vancouver in 2007), and 54 minutes (Dallas-San Jose in 2008)
Zubov was playing in the Pittsburgh/Washington 4 overtime game as well. In fact he assisted on Nedved's goal. That game is up there too

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12-11-2011, 11:38 PM
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Iain Fyffe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The claim was "it was not uncommon" for them to play that much, not that they "frequently" played that much. Not even close to the same thing.
Feel free to be more precise, then. If, say, "uncommon" means 20% of the time (if it were as low as 10%, surely that would be "rarely" instead), then "not uncommon" would be more than that, say 30%. "Frequently" must be less than 50%, otherwise it would be "usually". So say 40%. I guess we're closer that you think!

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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
30 minutes per game might have been too high, but 23 minutes per game just seems too low, considering that's what star players play today.
"It just seems too low" isn't much of an argument, I'm afraid, because that's based on a preconception of what the number should be. Again, you have to explain away the facts I presented above if you want to argue a significantly higher number.

Bear in mind that the 23 minutes might be a relatively low amount for Hull. Maybe he was 24 or 25 in other seasons. In fact, using the system I do, Hull is at 24:16 in 1968-69 (including 5:07 PP and 1:07 SH). He was already in the decline phase of his career by the time the plus-minus numbers are available, so he was probably playing a bit less than in earlier seasons.

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12-11-2011, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveCanadian View Post
Considering how often you can find contemporary articles, quotes etc. talking about player playing 30,35,40,45 minutes a game, sometimes even mentioning "on average".. I really think we're missing something.
I've seen some of those posted before, and they're all vague (unclear if meaning a single game, a stretch of games, or a full season average), and they're always nice round numbers (30, 35, 40...), which suggests they're just guessing and not actually measuring.

I once saw mid-season ice time numbers for some Rangers forwards midway through a season from the 1950s, but for the life of me I can't remember where it was and have never been able to find it since. These were numbers that were actually measured, and not guessed. I'd love to find it again.

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The player usage, shift length, pacing etc. has changed an awful lot over time. Not to mention things like TV timeouts now that didn't exist before. I'm not sure how much the estimates based on "factual numbers" tell us.
I'd suggest it tells us quite a bit more than guessing does.

I mean, we know that Howie Morenz played under 43 minutes per game in 1927-28, despite his team playing over 62 minutes per game (compared to 60 for Hull), and his team using only 6.77 forwards per game (over 10 for Hull), and players having a much higher spread in counting stats than in Hull's day (which suggests the starters played a much higher proportion than first-liners in Hull's day) - the starting forwards for Montreal scored 83% of the points scored by Montreal forwards in 1927-28; the top line for Chicago in 1967-68 scored 53% of the team's points by forwards.

Those are the sorts of conditions in which the very best forwards played 40 minutes per game.

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12-12-2011, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogie Goldthorpe View Post
So, goalies don't count?

I don't know his ice time, but in game 2 of the 1987 Canada Cup, Wayne Gretzky had played so much and so hard that in the first overtime period his pissed his pants on the Team Canada bench. That's gotta be a lot of hockey.
I believe he was listed as playing 50:01 that game, though I can't seem to find anything factual now to back it up.

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12-14-2011, 07:14 AM
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How is ice time tracked?

I've never seen anything that explains exactly how ice time is tracked. I would imagine it involves several people to cover just one team because everything happens so fast with players coming and going that one person couldn't handle it. Is each tracker assigned a certain number of players each to watch exclusively during the game? Do they jot down the "coming on" and "getting off" time for each player in a column then add it up at the end of the game?

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12-14-2011, 09:48 AM
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In recent memory I know that Jagr finished 8th overall (1st among forwards) in minutes per game with just below 26 minutes (25:51 to be precise) a game in 1998-99.

Since that season, slowly but surely forwards have played less minutes a game.

That year Sakic and Karyia also averaged over 25 minutes a game.

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12-17-2011, 12:21 PM
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You don't have to rely on the memory of individual fans to determine whether Howe, Hull and so on played an extraordinary amount of time on the ice. My memory is that they did, that Howe was on the ice for more than 30 minutes per game. But the question was discussed at the time in the contemporary media. There were occasional mentions of how much time stars like Howe and Hull spent on the ice during a game. No memory at issue there--unless you question my memory that were such mentions in the contemporary media. But my memory on that can be checked out.

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12-17-2011, 10:17 PM
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You don't have to rely on the memory of individual fans to determine whether Howe, Hull and so on played an extraordinary amount of time on the ice. My memory is that they did, that Howe was on the ice for more than 30 minutes per game. But the question was discussed at the time in the contemporary media. There were occasional mentions of how much time stars like Howe and Hull spent on the ice during a game.
Please feel free to post actual examples, preferably ones that don't use vague language and nice round numbers.

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12-17-2011, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Iain Fyffe View Post
Please feel free to post actual examples, preferably ones that don't use vague language and nice round numbers.
Please feel free to post actual examples that they didn't, preferably ones that don't use estimates calibrated to the modern environment and player usage.

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12-17-2011, 11:37 PM
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Please feel free to post actual examples that they didn't, preferably ones that don't use estimates calibrated to the modern environment and player usage.
You know what they say about proving a negative, yes? Or the burden of proof, where someone making a positive claim need to provide evidence of said claim, that it's not up to another to disprove it?

In my posts I was careful to use words like "probably" and "about", rather than positively claiming something that cannot be proven. The best I can do is estimate it, and my estimates consider not only the individual player in question but his team as a whole. You can't estimate Hull's ice time without considering the same for Stan Mikita and Pit Martin and Doug Mohns and Dennis Hull and Kenny Wharram and Eric Nesterenko and Chico Maki and all the other forwards who played for Chicago that season. You don't see the full implication of saying one forward played 40 minutes a game has unless you look at the numbers for all the other forwards on the team and what it would to mean for their stats.

Thus, the discussion of Howie Morenz's numbers that I provided above also strongly suggests playing 40 minutes per game was very unlikely in the 1960s. But no one had anything to say about that. I can provide questions that must be answered if you want to claim 40-minute forwards at that time, but there's nothing I can do to absolutely disprove it, without having actual numbers.

You can also keep claiming that calibration based on modern players makes the method invalid, but of course you haven't proven that, either. I don't see why it would make a large difference, considering that players were playing with and against other players being used in the same manner that they were at the time. We're not comparing players playing 2 minutes shifts to those playing 40 second shifts in the same season. The spread between the best players and the average player is probably a bit different, but is it enough to turn a 23-minute man into a 35-minuter? That would be one heck of a difference. A massive one, mathematically.

If you believe such a difference would result, please provide your reasoning. Or will you continue to simply dismiss it out of hand, because it doesn't "seem" right?

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12-18-2011, 09:21 AM
  #25
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You know what they say about proving a negative, yes? Or the burden of proof, where someone making a positive claim need to provide evidence of said claim, that it's not up to another to disprove it?
Proving a negative? I'm not asking you to prove a negative. I'm asking you to come up with the evidence to support your claim that they played less than 30 minutes a game on average.

ie. the exact same thing you are asking from others to prove they did.

The claim in this case is based on contemporary articles, quotations and the memories of those who played with, and saw these players play first hand.

You cite them for having faulty memory and then offer up an estimate as "proof". My issue is that, however reasonable the estimate, it is - by definition - fallible too.

You know what hypocrisy is, yes?

I get that you have more faith in the numbers, but how can you not understand that someone who watched the actual games in question would have more faith in their memory - even if both are faulty in their own ways?

I'd put forward that the truth is probably closer to the middle.

Quote:
In my posts I was careful to use words like "probably" and "about", rather than positively claiming something that cannot be proven. The best I can do is estimate it, and my estimates consider not only the individual player in question but his team as a whole. You can't estimate Hull's ice time without considering the same for Stan Mikita and Pit Martin and Doug Mohns and Dennis Hull and Kenny Wharram and Eric Nesterenko and Chico Maki and all the other forwards who played for Chicago that season. You don't see the full implication of saying one forward played 40 minutes a game has unless you look at the numbers for all the other forwards on the team and what it would to mean for their stats.
Yes I know you use "probably" and "should" an awful lot.

Obviously so that you can easily continue to back out of any claim you have made when called on to prove it with the same rigour you seem to expect from everyone else on the board!

Being as this is a history board I would have thought that it was implied we were doing the best we could with what we have. In this case, that may in fact be your estimate, I just take issue with the double standard you feel free to apply by adding a "probably" here and there in your own posts.

Absolute proof on most of these issues is going to be an impossible standard. Are we really nitpicking so much because some people don't pepper their posts with "probably" and "maybe" and "should"?

Quote:
Thus, the discussion of Howie Morenz's numbers that I provided above also strongly suggests playing 40 minutes per game was very unlikely in the 1960s. But no one had anything to say about that. I can provide questions that must be answered if you want to claim 40-minute forwards at that time, but there's nothing I can do to absolutely disprove it, without having actual numbers.

You can also keep claiming that calibration based on modern players makes the method invalid, but of course you haven't proven that, either. I don't see why it would make a large difference, considering that players were playing with and against other players being used in the same manner that they were at the time. We're not comparing players playing 2 minutes shifts to those playing 40 second shifts in the same season. The spread between the best players and the average player is probably a bit different, but is it enough to turn a 23-minute man into a 35-minuter? That would be one heck of a difference. A massive one, mathematically.
I'm not disagreeing with you that it may be very unlikely mathematically.

The issue I have is using icetime numbers estimated using icetime averages for situations and players that are common in 2000 as the gospel for all time.

Especially when they don't come close to jiving with the historical contemporary accounts.

Isn't it possible that goals for and goals against might just be missing some important information related to ice time? I kind of think so, even if they are obviously correlated.

Quote:
If you believe such a difference would result, please provide your reasoning. Or will you continue to simply dismiss it out of hand, because it doesn't "seem" right?
I'm not dismissing historical accounts, the memory of first hand observers or your mathematical estimates. I think that they are all valuable.

My dismissing the mathematical estimate as the absolute truth because it doesn't jive with people who actually saw the games is no different then you dismissing those same contemporary articles and the first hand memories of people here based on your estimate - because they don't "seem" right.

As I said earlier in the post, I would put forward the actual number is probably somewhere closer to the middle.


Last edited by BraveCanadian: 12-18-2011 at 09:26 AM.
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