Nonverbal Influence in Hockey – Sports Stat for September 21

Nonverbal Influence in Hockey

This week’s sports stat is back to hockey. I do my best to mix in the sports, but . . . I guess I have a first love. Growing up it was football – Joe Montana – no competition, but for business, it’s been hockey. Every game is like watching the life cycle of a business.

Constantly changing market conditions = opposing team changing lineup
Hiring and firing of employees = Methodical but necessary attrition of team members (is there really a trade deadline??)
It’s not whether you win or lose today, what can you do for the long haul?
Endurance, perseverance, tenacity

So how about a little nonverbal influence in hockey.

Do the teams who have better boxers go the long haul? Is there a correlation with post season success and fisticuffs? Specifically are teams who earn the most fighting majors – 5 minute penalties for throwing off gloves and socking each other until someone falls over – are they the teams who make it to the playoffs?

While this is similar to the post on Penalty Minutes versus Team Performance, it isn’t quite the same, and it gives me an excuse to pour over a few spreadsheets.

So the numerical correlation between teams that do well in the post season and the number of major penalties during the year is -.31. Translated to English there is a reasonable tendancy for teams that DO NOT earn fighting majors to do very well in post season. Indeed, in the seasons that a team went deep in the playoffs they typically received the fewest majors during the regular season.

So is that the whole story?

Not exactly.

In the comparison of post season majors to post season finishes, the correlation is +.31. In English – there is a tendency for those teams who throw punches in the post season to make it all the way….

As it turns out,the smart teams are saving their punches for post season.

P.S. Thank you to the post-gazette for the photo in the featured content slideshow of little desert weasel Carcillo (a punk by any other name would not be so punky) landing a punch.

11 thoughts on “Nonverbal Influence in Hockey – Sports Stat for September 21”

  1. Wow! Cool! That is very interesting information, Kate.
    By the way, we live next door to a professional hockey player. He is known around the neighborhood as the guy that never wears a shirt (he literally never wears a shirt).

    • I love it! You’re in Atlanta right? Can you bounce a quarter off of him at 20 paces?

      Imagine how hot ATL must be compared to being on the ice or living in Canada, eh. He can’t keep his closes on. 🙂

  2. By hockey I assume you mean ICE hockey as opposed to proper hockey; and by football, I assume you mean AMERICAN football rather than the football played everywhere else in the world!!
    😉 sorry, couldn’t resist!

    Great metaphor, interesting blog and nice use of video.

    Not sure what all the punching is about, though?!

  3. The interesting part to me is the sport or activity you use as a metaphor to describe something. If you always use hockey or football to relate something then it affects how you approach business and life. Your perceptional world and your experience of it is much different than someone who uses another comparison.

    Steve Chambers, B2B Sale Trainer

  4. Kate:

    Fascinating analysis. I never would have thought of a hockey game as a metaphor of the business life.

    The video added a real nice touch to your story.

    Great work.


  5. I’ve heard ice hockey is a tough sport that is fast moving and lots of fighting. Seems fun to watch.

    Keri Eagan

  6. I prefer football myself but that is so true about the hurt player being hauled off the field where as hockey they can be a little more brutal and not look back – it’s the game.

  7. As a Minnesota boy, I played and watched hockey while growing up. The explosions of violence seem to come from nowhere but when you have been playing physical for a while, and your opponent gets a little to forceful with the stick, you get really pissed and you explode.

    Hockey is a great sport- I miss the North Stars! We have the Atlanta Thrashers who have never achieved anything (yet) and I get to a couple games a year but mainly I go to local ECHL games for 20% of the cost.

    Seize the Day,

  8. Hockey! Did someone mention HOCKEY! you IMMEDIATELY captivated MY attention (lol) and I started to froth over at the mouth. I wonder if watching all that testosterone skating around bumping each other has the stupifying affect on women that looking at pix of sexy beautiful women has on men?

    It is important for the team relationships to have An Enforcer who ensures that no one touches my virgin baby sister, aka The Goalie. Owen Nolan was that for the San Jose Sharks when he was there. *sniff* Miss him.

    Of course in Stanley Cup aka The Cup and #CupCrazy on Twitter, there is the whole issue of taking STUPID penalties.

    A very interesting post. I’m going to go tell twitter because I do well with the #Hockey hashtag. Others just might come look at your hot blog, lady! Richly deserved.

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell

    Single Baby Boomer Dating Success Expert

  9. I love this post! Expecially when the commentators mention these guys are great friends…off the ice.

    I have always said that hockey players are the toughest athletes in sports.
    Football players twist their ankle and get carried off the field while the hockey player gets his teeth knocked out, bloody nose, keeps swinging, and keeps playing. You have got to love that!

    Jen B

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