The Rust Factor

Posted by Richard Pollock in Columns,Frozen Assets on April 28, 2009 — 1 Comment’s Ari Baum-Cohen wrote an article for examining the effect that rust can play on teams heading into the second round of the playoffs:

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.

Read Ari’s entire piece here.

Interesting data from Ari.  Considering each of the four teams who advanced to the second round prior to last night (Boston, Pittsburgh, Vancouver and Detroit) will have significant time off, we will have an opportunity to determine just how telling this data turns out to be.

  • Rust vs. Getting healthy. Obviously a long lay off can be detrimental to a team doing well in game 1 and possibly 2 but hopefully it is offset by the returning health of some players who were nursing minor (or not so minor) injuries.