Updated with short handed goals for and against and expanded to all teams in the Central Division. The tables below reveal a pattern that is largely logical, predictable, and linear. They also indicate how easy it is to overstate or understate the importance of special teams play. It clearly varies by team. A lot of info below, so there's a highlight and a bullet point for each team
- The Blackhawks' record this year when the special teams score more than they yield is astonishing. Only once in 22 times have they failed to get a point when they win the special teams contest. The fact that even at a mere +1 they are at 1.76 points per game supports Coach Q's observation that it's more about the momentum that is lost or gained on the PP than scoring itself. Bad clown shoes are deflating.
- How important are special teams? When Columbus yields a goal on the PK, they lose. When they tie the special teams contest, their record is comparable to Chicago and Nashville.
- How important are special teams? Detroit is atrocious, but have already clinched a playoff spot. It doesn't seem to matter whether their power play produces or not. It's not really a mystery, though it's not obvious--they've had a shorthanded goal problem, yielding 10 and only scoring 2. Their mediocre PP has neutralized itself. Excellence at even strength and Vezina candidate goaltending have overcome the burden of bad special teams play.
- For every other team in the Central, scoring 0 PP goals is the most likely occurrence, but Nashville produces more often than not.
- Even mighty St.Louis has a losing record when outproduced in special teams goals.