The New .500

Mike Ridewood

What does it mean to be a .500 team in the NHL now?

Ron Wilson is famous (infamous?) for one talking about how the Leafs were close to being a.500 shortly before he got canned. As many said at the time, because of the Bettman loser, .500 isn't really .500. But it stopped there. Anyhow, with Tapeleg's tweet I got the urge to find out just what exactly is ".500 hockey" in the Bettman loser point era.

So what I did was jot down all the point totals in the league since 2006 and then average them out by game and per 82 games:

Games Played Wins Losses OTL Points
Total 18660 9330 7154 2176 20842
Per Game 0.5 0.38 0.12 1.12
Per 82 41 31.44 9.56 91.59


(All the data can be found here)

When you also look at the average point totals for teams who finished 15th and 16th in the league over the seasons, you get nearly the same result:

Games Played Wins Losses OTL Points
Total 1244 634 473 137 1405
Per Game 0.51 0.38 0.11 1.13
Per 82 41.79 31.18 9.03 92.61

Virtually identical, though in some years obviously the 15th and 16th place teams were not in the playoffs due to unbalanced conferences.

So what is a .500 team in today's NHL? It's one with 1.12 pts/game, or on a 92 point pace which is exactly the pace the Leafs are currently on this season after 56 games played.

The 2013-14 Toronto Maple Leafs; a .500 team.

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