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why is a stat recorded as time INTO period as opposed to time left?


cheberly603
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Since the game clock is a timer (time is set and runs down to 0) i can't for the life of me understand why game events (penalties, hits, goals, etc) are recorded in a stop-watch format (time starts at 0 and moves up).  

 

Can anyone give some perspective that i might be missing?  To me it seems like it would make more sense, and be easier to cross reference game times with events if they both used the same format but i feel like just might not be understanding something.  

 

Any help would be appreciated as i couldn't find anything through searching google. 

 

Thanks!

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I've been a hockey fan for well over 40 years and would love an answer to the original question.

 

I think really it's just one of those bizarre hockey things that have "always been done that way," @cheberly603 but would like to know if there's an actual practical answer to it.

 

Same thing with points for games rather than just doing winning percentage like other sports (could just be "we use standard measure, they use metrics."  No real reason; just is).

 

@J0e Th0rnton

 

Game winning goals.  I'm not sure if that was tongue-in-cheek, but I prefer the way "game winning" is done in baseball.   In hockey, say the Sharks go up 4-0.  Thornton scores the first and Couture scores the next two and Thornton scores the fourth.  If the game ends 4-0, Thornton gets the "game winning goal."   In the last two minutes of the game, the Coyotes get a cheapy.  Now, Couture is credited for the "game winning goal."    In baseball, the lead never changed so Thornton would still get the "game winner."

 

In this example, eh.   But say the Coyotes were leading 2-0 and the Sharks came back and Thornton scored to make it 3-2.  He just scored a very important goal to take a lead.  Couture scores two more to make it 5-2.  Very late, the Coyotes get their cheapy making it 5-3.  Couture again gets the "game winner" in this instance.  In baseball, it's Thornton.   I like the fact that in baseball, it's the guy who got the team the lead and they retained it.  Not a big deal, but I think the Couture GW in this case kind of cheapens it later when someone is using that stat as an argument for "clutch."

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Since the game clock is a timer (time is set and runs down to 0) i can't for the life of me understand why game events (penalties, hits, goals, etc) are recorded in a stop-watch format (time starts at 0 and moves up).  

 

Can anyone give some perspective that i might be missing?  To me it seems like it would make more sense, and be easier to cross reference game times with events if they both used the same format but i feel like just might not be understanding something.  

 

Any help would be appreciated as i couldn't find anything through searching google. 

 

Thanks!

@cheberly603,

Welcome!

You kind of answered your own question. Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, they didn't have digital, count down clocks. They used a stop watch which later evolved into a large stadium (stop watch style) clock. It wasn't till the 1950s when the digital countdown clock came into existence/use in the NHL. People didn't want to do the math to figure out how much time was remaining in a football or basketball game so they started using the countdown method. The NHL adopted the countdown clock after the NBA and NFL started using it.

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When I started watching hockey (late '60s-early '70s) I'm pretty sure the clock counted up from 00:00 to 20:00 (like soccer). At some point (don't remember when) they switched to counting down from 20:00, probably because American audiences were too confused when a period ended with 20:00 showing on the clock. But they never changed the way they note the time of goals, penalties, etc so those are still counted up from 00:00.

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@AlaskaFlyerFan

I think it still begs the question why they don't, then, record events in the countdown version (hooking by timonen with 10:19 remaining in the third rather than the 9:41 mark).

I can think of one reason- what shows on the clock doesn't actually matter, in the sense that the period starts time goes by and the period ends. Doesn't really matter which way you count. But the stats go in the record book. So assuming that those old stats are still around somewhere, they would might feel the need to go back and retrofit the record books for the modern style of timekeeping.

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@JackStraw

Yeah, I think you nailed the reason. I'm trying to think what records would cause the need to retrofit but I'm certain you're right.

I also think you're right about the time. I swear in the seventies they counted up. I am not positive of the memory and wouldn't know when they made the switch but I do vaguely remember the counting up

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Wow, thanks @AlaskaFlyerFan for the great answer. That's exactly what i wanted to know!  Been watching hockey for 20 years and was always one of those things that bugged me.  It doesn't bother me that they count it that way, just that i didn't know WHY they counted that way. Makes total sense. 

 

As for the "game winning goal" question:  @ruxpin, i'm with you, i couldn't tell if it was a serious question or not.  I also agree that the game winner should be the one that actually creates the lead and not the last goal scored.  You only need one to win, so any other goals after that are essentially meaningless in the scheme of that particular game. 

 

I appreciate the thread and answers! This is my first time on the forum and you guys are great. Thank you. 

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Yeah, I think you nailed the reason. I'm trying to think what records would cause the need to retrofit but I'm certain you're right.

 

Maybe not so much records as game logs? They might still have logs where Gordie Howe got in a fight at 12:20 of the 3rd then got an assist at 17:50 and then the GWG at 19:35. That kind of thing.

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Wow, thanks @AlaskaFlyerFan for the great answer. That's exactly what i wanted to know!  Been watching hockey for 20 years and was always one of those things that bugged me.  It doesn't bother me that they count it that way, just that i didn't know WHY they counted that way. Makes total sense. 

@cheberly603,

Stick around and you will learn all kinds or useless trivia and bullshit. Emphasis on the bullshit!! Lol

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