Besides comments from these two team executives a study of NHL fighting has been released over the past few days. Several hockey news sites picked up on the study and have their own take on its meaning – check out the links at the end of this blog. In summary; the good news is that fighting is down by 25% in the current season. If you review the data it shows that the NHL is on pace for 418 games with fights this season (33.97% of all games) and that there has been a steady decline over the past 3 years.
The importance of fighting to the outcome of NHL games has long been debated. Another study, by the Canadian company PowerScout Hockey, reported on their analysis of 1,563 NHL fights between October 2009 and Dec. 21, 2011, to determine fighting's impact.
"Ultimately our focus is on what happens in the game that contributes to winning," PowerScout CEO Mark Appleby said. "Fighting was an interesting piece of research that we looked at and determined, 'OK, it doesn't really have an impact on winning.'" Most hockey people think a fight changes momentum of a game, and Appleby said research showed that it does after 75% of all fights, but the boost is short-lived. "You can't predict which way it's going to happen," Appleby said. "And it doesn't increase goal scoring significantly."
Overall a very good week. Burke’s press conference made the anti-fighting discussion a lot more public, Devellano adding his reasoned and personal opinion on the subject and studies showing that fighting doesn’t make a difference and is on the decline.
Because it’s not part of the game.