Preliminary Round - Full   First look at the Preliminary Round not shows that in 20 games there were 33 more goals scored on the larger ice surface in Sweden than in Canada's NHL rinks.


1.65 More Goals Scored per game in Preliminary Round in Sweden​


SwedenCanada
Total Goals: 144/20 gms. Total Goals: 111/20 gms. 
Group A:  71 / 10 gms.Group A:  62 / 10 gms.
Group B:  73 / 10 gms.Group B:  49 / 10 gms.

Group A:

Finland

Norway

Russia

Sweeden

Switzerland

Group B:

Canada

Czech Rep.

Germany

Slovakia

United States

Group A:

Czech Rep.

Denmark

Sweeden

Switzerland

Russia

Group B:

Canada

Finland

Germany

Slovakia

United States

















In Sweden the two non playoff teams only won one game (Germany over Czech Republic 3 - 0) and were out scored 53 to 10, and an amazing 53 to 7 in their 9 losses.


In Canada the two non playoff teams also won only one game (Switzerland over Czech Republic 5 - 2) and were outscored 35 to 11 and 33 to 6 in their 9 losses.


Taking away the non playoff teams' games and the goal difference is reduced, but there is still a significant goal differential between the two ice surfaces.

Summary   Saw someone referred to the World Juniors as Canada's March Madness and it truly is in terms of excitement for fans, but it should be more than that.  The World Juniors should be seen as where the game is going not where it has been and the NHL should study it forward and backward to improve its product.  The tournament is back in Europe this year before returning to North America for the next 2 years and hopefully goal scoring will just be one of the game's aspects that will be analyzed thoroughly and without subjective bias.


Our World Junior Scoring Summary by NHL team and Draft Status will be up after each team has played their 3rd game, in the meantime the final standings for the last 2 World Juniors are still available.

Excitement Equals Wins Not Goals

Increasing Goal scoring in the NHL has been a recent flash point with NHL Governors, journalists and fans alike with ideas such as bigger nets and/or smaller goalie equipment just two of the more popular 'Soup du Jours'.   And despite the NHL's stated goal of implementing 3 on 3 overtime to reduce the number of Shootouts, the reality is it is just another attempt to increase scoring.


The AHL is becoming a testing grounds for new ideas such as 3 on 3 overtime and this practice is clearly good for the game but at the same time it should not be the only forum for the testing of new ideas.  The NHL may not have the same influence on the World Juniors as it does with the AHL, but with the league's future stars consistently playing in the World Juniors it is time for the NHL to look at what it happening in the annual Junior tournament.   (Note: There is a glimmer of hope as he NHL has shown it can learn; In the AHL in 2014-2015 - 3 on 3 Overtime settled 75% of the games as compared to 35.3% with 4 on 4 Overtime in the AHL in 2013-2014).


Two years ago when the Word Juniors were held in Sweden with its larger ice, North America fans were quick to point out that there were not increased scoring chances and the game was not as exciting as those in North America.  Then last year in the familiar confines of Montreal and Toronto the hockey was viewed as exciting.  However, analysis of the last 2 World Juniors shows it is not a case of  'Goal Scoring Equals Excitement' rather it is 'Excitement Equals My Team Winning'.


2014 Sweden & 2015 Canada  The format of the World Juniors has settled into two preliminary groups of five teams with 8 of the 10 teams advancing to the Quarter Finals.   This translates into 20 preliminary games and 4 Quarter Final games for a base of 24 games to compare.


Despite what everyone may say there is a difference in scoring based on the ice surface size in the last 2 World Juniors.

Preliminary Round - Playoff Teams  Removing Preliminary Games involving Norway and Germany in Sweden and Switzerland and Germany and Canada leaves 12 Preliminary games.


1.33 More Goals Scored per game in Preliminary Round in Sweden​ in Games only involving Quarter Finalists


SwedenCanada
Total Goals: 81/ 12 gms. Total Goals: 65/ 12 gms.  
Group A:  39 / 6 gms.Group A:  35/ 6 gms.
Group B:  42 / 6 gms.Group B:   30 / 6 gms.

Group A:

Finland

Russia

Sweeden

Switzerland

Group B:

Canada

Czech Rep.

Slovakia

United States

Group A:

Czech Rep.

Denmark

Sweeden

Russia

Group B:

Canada

Finland

Slovakia

United States
















We Can't Change Rink Size   Baseball with its different size ballparks is unique is major sports when it comes to varying field sizes, but that was not always the case.  Montreal's Forum with its deep corners, Buffalo's Auditorium and Boston's Garden with their smaller ice surfaces all are forgotten with today's cookie cutter arenas but does that have to be the case? 


Rinks in Montreal, Boston, Buffalo, Toronto, Chicago and other cities are all of the new genre, but with the next generation of rinks the NHL should ensure they are able to accommodate larger ice surfaces.  The speed of the game keeps increasing and if what we looked at here is consistent over bigger samples the most direct way to increase scoring may be through larger ice surfaces or allowing some rink variation.

Quarter Finals   Just as each Group had one very weak team in both Sweden and Canada, each Quarter Finals had one weak team.  In Sweden Slovakia was shut out by Sweden 6 to 0, and in Canada the tournament host shut out Denmark 8 to 0.


As in the Preliminary Round, there was more scoring in Sweden's Quarter Finals by a margin of 27 to 25 (half a goal a game) and even more so when the results of the blowouts of the weak teams were removed; with scoring favouring the Swedish tournament by 21 to 17 mark over 3 games.

NHL Draft Analysis

WJr 2016 - Ice Size & Goals  / Hot Stove 2015/12/28