Can Hockey Fights Help NHL Teams Win Games?

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A company that provides advanced NHL hockey statistics has created the first-ever system with real-time data that can help determine the impact of hockey fights on NHL games. has created the Momentum Meter™ which allows NHL fans, journalists and team professionals to see the effects of an NHL fight on a team’s performance just after it occurs. Considered the “Moneyball” of NHL Hockey because of its cutting-edge sports analytics and its focus on the elements that lead to winning, the site provides the most advanced analysis tools made public, promising to be a game-changer for how NHL fans follow hockey.

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The Momentum Meter tracks how often shots on goal happen to estimate the ups and downs of team momentum in real-time for every NHL game. This makes it the first and only way to see and measure the true impact of every NHL fight at-a-glance.”

The controversy over NHL hockey fights has prompted, known as the ‘Moneyball’ of the NHL, to become the first known company to measure and publish the statistical impact of fighting on NHL games.

The results will surprise many NHL hockey fans because the PowerScout advanced graphs do show that some fights can have a significant impact on a game, even be game-changers in some cases. To evaluate this impact, they used a graph called the Momentum Meter™.

“The Momentum Meter tracks how often shots on goal happen to estimate the ups and downs of team momentum in real-time for every NHL game,” says Marc Appleby, President of PowerScout Sports, Inc. “This makes it the first and only way I know of to see and measure the true impact of every NHL fight at-a-glance.”

NHL fans can see how a specific fight changed the New York Rangers' momentum in the December 23rd game against the Philadelphia flyers when Brian Boyle was involved in a fight with Tom Sestito in the 2nd period, resulting in a Ranger goal. Fans can view the actual Momentum Meter for that game by visiting

“The Momentum Meter shows that this fight actually had a negative impact on the Flyers momentum,” says Appleby. “They did not create any offensive pressure minutes after the fight, while the Rangers maintained even momentum and capitalized with a Ruslan Fedotenko goal.”

To gain a larger scope of the influence of fights on NHL games, the company analyzed 1,563 fights going back to the 09/10 season using their game archives. They have determined that a fight has a positive effect on at least one team's momentum in 76% of fights and increases the momentum for both teams about 1 out of every 4 fights (23%). This research was done using the Momentum Meter, looking specifically at the increase in team momentum in the three minutes following the fight.

Appleby agrees that the controversy is far from over and believes that PowerScout's unique momentum perspective and research will likely add to the controversy as fans can now clearly see how fights impact games.

“I believe that this new way to look at hockey will fuel the passion of NHL fans and will generate more debate at every level.”

The Momentum Meter is part of a more advanced package designed for hockey professionals and NHL General Managers, but PowerScout is making many parts of it available to all NHL fans because they believe it will change the way people look at NHL hockey.

Busy fans can see the Biggest Impact Fight from any NHL game played the previous night by visiting the daily Games-at-a-Glance or see the latest research into the impacts of fights at their Fighter’s Corner blog sections located on the home page of


A Canadian survey published by Angus Reid in November shows that hockey fights are still a draw to more than half of all NHL fans. However the mood may be shifting because another survey by Forum Research published by on December 16th shows that 60% of Canadians who watch and follow hockey believe fighting should be banned from the NHL.

Although a hockey fight can create an exciting hockey game, the controversy intensified this past summer after the tragic deaths of NHL enforcers Derek Boogaard (New York Rangers), Rick Rypien (Vancouver Canucks & Winnipeg Jets), and Wade Belak (Nashville Predators).

As a result of these events, former NHL player Chris Nilan was interviewed and quoted in a September Toronto Sun article saying that it was time for NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to snuff out fighting for good. A well-known former enforcer, Nilan played with the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, and New York Rangers.

Nilan later clarified his position in a follow-up October Sun article by Mike Zeisberger. He said that he had not called for a complete ban on fighting but that he believed the NHL itself doesn’t want fighting in the game, therefore challenging them: “why don’t they just take it out.”

NHL hockey fights have been a safety and health concern for years. Some encouraging research by a professor at Georgetown and Washington Hospital Center has provided some encouraging news recently in an article published this October by the National Post.

The Post quoted the conclusion of Dr. David Milzman that the NHL is correct to be concerned about the link between blows to the head and concussions, but that his research has convinced him that hockey fights are not causing concussions.

One of the world’s leading concussion experts has recently made a different conclusion. Professor Blaine Hoshizaki and his team at the University of Ottawa’s Neurotrauma Science Impact Lab shared some surprising lab research during a Rogers Sportsnet broadcast in late November.

Hoshizaki was asked to reproduce the speed and power of hockey punches to the head and to study their effects. He found that players who get punched either in the jaw or receive a traditional headshot are likely to get one of two types of concussions. He strongly recommends that players not take their helmets off during hockey fights.

About PowerScout Sports Inc.

PowerScout Sports Inc. is the leader in real-time sports analytics and statistical scouting. Using its cutting-edge technology platform for analyzing sports statistics, PowerScout provides the most innovative tools for fans, media and professional managers to track teams and players with unprecedented detail. Their flagship NHL hockey system uses advanced tools like their real-time game Momentum Meter and Dominance Curve, enhanced NHL standings, as well as daily NHL Power Rankings, advanced NHL teams and players, and a ground-breaking way to get NHL scores. PowerScout's core business values are to harness passion, innovate to elevate, learn and grow, and to strive for excellence.

For media or blog interviews, contact:
Marc Appleby
CEO, Solutions Architect
PowerScout Sports, Inc.
Tel: 819-459-2745
Email: media(at)powerscouthockey(dot)com


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