The plus-minus statistic in hockey is used to measure a player’s impact on the game by tracking the number of goals scored for (+) or against (-) their team while they are on the ice. Here are five supporting facts to help understand how it works:
1. Calculating plus-minus: To calculate a player’s plus-minus, you subtract the number of goals scored against their team while they are on the ice from the number of goals scored for their team while they are on the ice.
2. Positive vs. negative plus-minus: A positive plus-minus indicates that a player has been on the ice for more goals scored by their team than goals scored against, while a negative plus-minus means the opposite.
3. Impact on team success: A high plus-minus is often associated with a player who contributes positively to their team’s success. It reflects their ability to contribute to offensive success while also preventing goals against.
4. Limitations of plus-minus: While plus-minus is a useful metric, it should be interpreted with caution. It can be influenced by factors beyond a player’s control, such as the performance of their teammates and the strength of the opposition.
5. League leaderboards: The plus-minus statistic is commonly used to rank players based on their defensive abilities. League leaderboards often feature players with the highest plus-minus values.
Now, let’s address some frequently asked questions about plus-minus in hockey:
Q1: Does the plus-minus statistic account for power play and penalty kill situations?
A1: Yes, the plus-minus statistic does account for goals scored and allowed during both power play and penalty kill situations.
Q2: Can a player have a negative plus-minus even if they score a lot of goals?
A2: Yes, it is possible for a player to have a negative plus-minus despite scoring many goals if their team allows more goals against while they are on the ice.
Q3: Are defensive players more likely to have a higher plus-minus?
A3: Generally, players with stronger defensive skills and playing primarily in defensive roles are more likely to have higher plus-minus values.
Q4: Can a player’s plus-minus be influenced by their teammates’ performance?
A4: Yes, a player’s plus-minus can be influenced by their teammates’ performance, as it is a team-based statistic that depends on the collective performance of the entire unit.
Q5: Is plus-minus a reliable indicator of a player’s overall skill level?
A5: While plus-minus can provide insights into a player’s defensive contributions, it should not be considered as the sole indicator of their overall skill. Other factors like offensive production, playing time, and individual play should be taken into account.
Q6: How does plus-minus differ from a player’s overall point total?
A6: Plus-minus and a player’s overall point total are separate statistics. Plus-minus focuses on goals scored and allowed while a player is on the ice, while a player’s overall point total includes both goals and assists they have personally earned.
Q7: Can plus-minus be used to compare players from different teams?
A7: Plus-minus is most reliable when comparing players within the same team or division, as the strength of opposition and team strategies can vary and impact plus-minus values.
BOTTOM LINE: The plus-minus statistic in hockey provides an indication of a player’s impact on the game by tracking goals scored for and against their team while they are on the ice. While it can be a useful metric, it should be considered alongside other factors and interpreted with caution due to the influence of various external factors.