Hockey analytics pioneer Rob Vollman is ESPN Insider's armchair GM this season, exploring how modern statistics can inform front-office decisions.
With a 4-3 victory over St. Louis on Friday, the Anaheim Ducks improved their record in one-goal games that were decided in regulation time to an amazing 28-4 during the past two seasons. That's an absolutely jaw-dropping record, but can it continue?
No other team has experienced anywhere near this level of success over the same time span. As shown in the following chart of the league leaders, the next best active record is Nashville's. At 22-9, the Predators are the only other team over .700:
Going back to the 1997-98 season, the 2000 Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils have come the closest to this feat. That team posted a combined 30-11 record (for a .731 winning percentage) in such games during the previous two seasons.
Before celebratory parades (or parking lot rallies) start getting planned, remember that Anaheim's regulation-time record is an otherwise modest 33-25 during the past two seasons. If the Ducks' success in close games is a reflection of their true talent rather than just a really hot streak, where is that skill the rest of the time?
Let's take a closer look at Anaheim's amazing feat, and determine whether it can realistically last.