# "It's a 48 game season, so every game matters."

Derek Zona
January 17 2013 08:52PM

Sports writers love the cliched and the inane, and the NHL lockout has given them a cornucopia of delights.  Of those delights, one is being used, nay abused, by nearly all of them.  "In a 48 game season, every game matters/counts."  And fans love the narrative.  Don't believe me?  Check out Twitter.  Though, to be fair, only about half of those tweets are from fans - the rest are sports writers.  Check the news

Apparently, this season, each win is worth more than normal, and each team has to focus early and drive hard through the end of the season and capture these meaningful games.  Watch this fancy math:

Total games in a shortened season * points per win = possible points

48*2 = 96

Compare that to:

Possible points in a regular season / games = points per win

164/82 = 2

## What does it all mean?

Therefore 2 = 2

Huh.

The idea that early season games don't matter, that only games near the end of the season in the midst of a playoff race matter has been a core tenet of the Oilers' philosophy since the lockout.  Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini experiment and play with their rosters early in the season, typically at the expense of points, ostensibly because the games don't matter, then scramble around after that trying to fill roster holes.

Judging by the mass of conversation about the importance of every game, those two are not alone in their understanding of math.

We await the cliches and bad math from week one of the season.

#1 v
January 18 2013, 03:27AM

2/96 is a larger number than 2/164 so the games are literally worth a larger percentage of total point and therefore are "worth more", which is what they are trying to say (but lack the ability to articulate it)

This is kind of a shameful article honestly :/

#2 guiguiBob
January 18 2013, 07:33AM

There are less games available so the impact of cold and hot streaks will be higher. Less data points = a lower signal to noise ratio.

But yeah every game is worth the same as each other in a given season.

#3 dawgbone
January 18 2013, 11:11AM

Yes, it is horribly worded.

The point I think they are making is that it is harder to make up lost points.

Assuming you need 95 points in an 82 game season, you'll need about 56 points in a 48 game season.

Starting off 3-6-1 gives you 7 points in 10 games.

In an 82 game season you need 88 points in 72 games (1.22 points per game).

In a 48 game season you need 49 points in 38 games (1.28 pointers per game).

And the difference between 1.22 and 1.28 over 38 games is about 2.5 points, so an extra win.

This obviously compounds itself as you increase the bad stretch.

#4 Pinch
January 18 2013, 03:26PM

Bing search? I expect better from NHL Numbers.