Statistical lessons from the playoffs 

May, 3, 2011

When you study the numbers, you don't always know what to make of things. The Boston Bruins, for example, can't buy a power-play goal (they're ohhhh-for-28 in the postseason); yet they've won six of their last seven games and they're two wins from the Eastern Conference finals. The Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens, meanwhile, all had good success on the power play in the first round, but none of them found a way to advance.

I don't think you have to dominate with the man advantage to win games, but I have to think it's tough to thrive without getting any production on the power play. Somehow, though, the Bruins are doing just that.

After eyeballing those power-play numbers, I figured I'd take a look at some other important statistical categories. That review left me with five questions:

1. How is Vancouver winning?

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.