Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/02/13 at 12:10 PM ET
from Sierra Rayne at CandaFreePress,
Playoff scoring and superstar-based entertainment was also at historic highs during the 1980s. If we look at the point-per-game average by the playoff scoring leader, we see that—once again—the 1980s are the peak, and following the end of the Gretzky-era, a return to the historical lows (and boring playoff hockey).
Goals-per-game for the goal scoring leader in each season increased steadily starting in the early 1960s, reached their peak during the Gretzky era (of which Gretzky, of course, holds the single-season, all-time, and many other goal scoring records), and has since declined back to historical lows in the post-Gretzky era.
The increased scoring in the Gretzky-era also corresponds with a historically elevated goals-against-average for the goalie with the most wins in each season.
The 1980s also saw the era of the high-scoring defenceman continue (e.g., Coffey), building on the pioneering offensive capabilities of Bobby Orr—who largely conceived the concept of a high-scoring defenceman when he burst into the league in late 1960s and achieved scoring prominence in the early—through mid-1970s.
High scoring wasn’t the only part of the 1980s hockey entertainment mix. There were a lot of penalties, and the behavior that led to the penalties was often more entertaining than we have in the current “cowardly thug” era. The 1980s saw a number of well-known (and regular) team brawls that were as enjoyable to watch as the scoring. If we look at the regular season penalties-in-minutes (PIM) for the highest penalized player of each year, we see more exceptionalism. Starting in the mid-1970s through to the mid- to late-1990s, the most penalized players were much more penalized on average than they were either prior to or after this timeframe. Lots of goals, lots of penalties (particularly fighting and brawls) = lots of excitement.
more, a long read but interesting...
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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