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"They played yesterday so they were probably tired." Is that a legitimate excuse?

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02-01-2013, 05:34 PM
  #1
Dwight Schrude
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"They played yesterday so they were probably tired." Is that a legitimate excuse?

Seriously. Rather it be an NHL game or an NBA game. A team plays its second game of a back-to-back and loses to a team who hasn't played for maybe 1 or 2 days, there's almost always that excuse. "They played yesterday." I hear it more often than not from fans, sports analyst, and commentators. Is that a legitimate excuse as to why they lose the second game of a back-to-back?


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02-01-2013, 05:41 PM
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cynicism
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It's a partial explanation. Other things factor in a loss, but fatigue is always going to be among them, especially in a shortened season like this.

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02-01-2013, 05:42 PM
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JJmcD
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Yes. I mean...no. I mean I don't know.

Seriously there are many other factors that come in to play, for example if the game was very emotional or not. However, more often then not, that is the excuse used. It's never simply that the better team won, there must be an excuse. And the easiest to use is that the team is fatigued from back-to-back games.

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02-01-2013, 05:48 PM
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jimmythescot
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Of course it is. Notice the analysts who say this are occasionally ex-players. I've always thought the 'injuries are no excuse' argument was foolish, but this one is nearly as bad. They're human. Physical and mental fatigue have an effect of your ability to perform. It doesn't mean you can't win or even excel, but it will have an effect on your ability more often than not.

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02-01-2013, 05:48 PM
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Fordy
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Uh yeah.

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02-01-2013, 05:49 PM
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Hero
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I don't know. I know your muscles need time to recover, but when I play if I sleep well eat well and rest the whole next day, I feel pretty good to play again the next day.

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02-01-2013, 05:51 PM
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MastuhNinks
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It would be interesting to see a long-term study done on what the W/L record of teams are on the 2nd night of a back to back. It would be extremely tedious though.

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02-01-2013, 05:57 PM
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Samzilla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmythescot View Post
Of course it is. Notice the analysts who say this are occasionally ex-players. I've always thought the 'injuries are no excuse' argument was foolish, but this one is nearly as bad. They're human. Physical and mental fatigue have an effect of your ability to perform. It doesn't mean you can't win or even excel, but it will have an effect on your ability more often than not.
Here's what I don't get about that argument: let's say a player leaves as a free agent so they're not playing, people go "oh well now that team won't be as good". Let's say a player gets injured so they're not playing, people go "injuries aren't an excuse." Lol. In either case, they're not playing but depending on the reason they're not playing, people expect entirely different outcomes. So weird.

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02-01-2013, 06:10 PM
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pt_mck
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Sens just played 5 games in 7 nights 3-1-1 finishing with 2 wins and arguably played their strongest game in game 5

So no

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02-01-2013, 06:17 PM
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Lidstromfan5
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Yes and no. It seems to me that in the early stages of the game it takes less for the team who played last night to get/stay loose and up to full speed. Though by late 2nd into the 3rd you can notice the fatigue in the players. Just what I think

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02-01-2013, 06:20 PM
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blue bleeder 24-7
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At the very least, second games in a back-to-back generally seem more defense-oriented. Everyone's lost a step and is gassed, and so instead of relying on offense, teams are going to try to work from the back more often.

Less pinching, more positioning, etc.

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02-01-2013, 06:25 PM
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Nolanitis
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Excuse or reality. So far from what I have observed is the team that played the night before has good first periods and then seem to lose their jump as the other team finds their game. I think it is even more legitimate this year so far because players are still not in top hockey shape yet.

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02-01-2013, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pt_mck View Post
Sens just played 5 games in 7 nights 3-1-1 finishing with 2 wins and arguably played their strongest game in game 5

So no
Anecdotes = statistics?

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02-01-2013, 06:28 PM
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TCL40
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Quote:
Sens just played 5 games in 7 nights 3-1-1 finishing with 2 wins and arguably played their strongest game in game 5

So noSens just played 5 games in 7 nights 3-1-1 finishing with 2 wins and arguably played their strongest game in game 5

So no
I don't think you can take an anecdote and say 'look they did well so that means it isn't an excuse" because there is a lot that goes into playing a B2B. If both teams are on B2B, how much travel, how close was the game (if a team can roll all 4 lines in a mostly easy win compared to a super tight, very physical, hard fought game or a game with few penalties compared to a game with a lot-special teams play can wear a team down too).

But in general I think fatigue can be a factor in a loss. I don't necessarily think you can say "they're tired, so they can't help it" but I think it is ridiculous to think fatigue from a B2B doesn't come into play either.

I know in a discussion earlier this week elsewhere it was brought up that stats wise the team that is fresh playing against a team on a back to back wins twice as often as the b2b team. I think it is hard to rule out the issue of fatigue with that state.

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02-01-2013, 06:30 PM
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SilverSeven
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Absolutely. I cant find the stat, but teams that are on the second game of a back to back have HORRIBLE records. They win like 25% of the time or something insane like that.

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02-01-2013, 06:32 PM
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mizzoublues29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pt_mck View Post
Sens just played 5 games in 7 nights 3-1-1 finishing with 2 wins and arguably played their strongest game in game 5

So no
Well, that's an extremely flawed argument.
Getting back on point, over the course of a season, the back-to-backs will most certainly have an effect on performance. An excuse to lose a game? No, not necessarily, but it is without a doubt one of the many factors that play a role in determining the outcome of a hockey game. It's mental and physical fatigue, and two games in 24 hours at the NHL level will definitely expose fatigue is some players over time.

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02-01-2013, 06:33 PM
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Buck Aki Berg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pt_mck View Post
Sens just played 5 games in 7 nights 3-1-1 finishing with 2 wins and arguably played their strongest game in game 5

So no
The important thing is that you used a statistically significant sample size.

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02-01-2013, 06:35 PM
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TCL40
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Not sure what the record is for the teams with back to backs, but I think this season the fatigue could be more of an issue because of the 1 week training camp.

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Old
02-01-2013, 06:40 PM
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MadLuke
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If both team played yesterday no, but otherwise yeah it is a factor.

The no excuse mentality and talk for player and coach is a correct attitude in a way (a good lie).

But being affreid of using the possibility of explaining factor (fact that explain in part the result of the event) by commentator and fan is plain ridiculous imo.

If your best defenceman and starting goaltender was not playing in a 4of7 series againts a full heatly team, it is a valid factor in the loss (a good excuse to explain the poor result if the team had one).

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Old
02-01-2013, 06:45 PM
  #20
MadLuke
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Excuse: To explain (a fault or an offense) in the hope of being forgiven or understood

I thing the two games in two nights can be a thing that can explain and help forgive or understand some player with big minutes having some issues at the end of the 3periods of the seconds games for an examples.

Completely.

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Old
02-01-2013, 06:49 PM
  #21
Asher
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Yes, especially if the team playing back-to-back games had to travel in between, which happens a lot in the NHL.

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02-01-2013, 07:06 PM
  #22
SJGoalie32
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Excessive fatigue is most certainly a factor in a team's performance......but it doesn't guarantee defeat.

If two teams are evenly matched, Team A essentially has a 50% chance of winning the game. If Team A played the night before, maybe the fatigue drops their likelihood of winning down to 45% or 40%.

Certainly far from automatically doomed to lose, and they still have a very good chance of winning the game if they work hard and execute well....but that fatigue also puts the team that played the night before at somewhat more of a disadvantage than if they had a day or two off prior.

Of course, there are many many other factors that go into a game and how an individual team responds to them can go a long way. Some teams actually do better on the second half of B2B's than normal. Sometimes, playing that many games that close together can allow players to develop good habits and a good rhythm. So even if they are a little fatigued, perhaps the good habits that developed in the short term are bigger positives than the negatives created by the fatigue. And if you have two teams that have had B2B's or 5 games in 7 nights, maybe Team A is better equipped to handle that workload than their opponent.

I haven't seen the actual stats to support this, but overall, I'd think most teams on the whole have lower winning percentages on the second half of a B2B than normal. Again, not by a large margin and there are plenty of opportunities to overcome those odds, but even slight disadvantages are still disadvantages.

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Old
02-01-2013, 07:09 PM
  #23
SabresFan44
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technically it should help them because they should be sharper, more alert and in the game, plus when you work out your body develops new cellls that deliver energy to your body, this is why many people who work nights go for a run or workout in the afternoon before their shift.

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Old
02-01-2013, 07:09 PM
  #24
number72
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Only if you are a homer and your team loses.

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Old
02-01-2013, 07:11 PM
  #25
NEWFowler
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Of course it can be an excuse, but it's a very weak one considering every team has to deal with it, too.

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