Here’s a quick stat dealing with NHL playoff teams and how they’ve fared after a long layoff since the lockout from Ari Baum-Cohen of Covers.com.
Looking at historical data since the lockout, it appears there is an argument to be made that a lack of rest can contribute to playoff success, particularly when playing against a well-rested team. The caveat, of course, is that only three years worth of data was examined.
Teams with seven days off or more are 1-5 in the first game of the next round and are 2-4 overall in those series. The only Game 1 victory by a team with seven days of rest or more came last year, when the Penguins erased a 3-0 second period deficit to defeat the Rangers.
Teams with two days off or less are 4-3 in the first game of the next round and 4-3 in those series.
The sharpest contrast is noticed when teams with long layoffs play a side that is just fresh of the prior series. Clubs with seven days of rest or more playing against teams with three days of rest or less are 0-4 and are 1-3 in their respective series. Teams with two days of rest or less are 3-1 and are 3-1 in their respective series playing against teams that have “out-rested” them by three days or more.
Finally, teams with three days of rest or less playing a team that has at least four more off days are 4-1 and are 3-2 in the series overall.
MK: This is from gambling site, but these numbers or still worth pondering when looking ahead to the Boston Bruins’ current layoff, which will total at least nine days by the time they play another game.