NHL Stats to Know Before Betting the Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Hurricanes and Panthers are the top two seeds in the NHL's Eastern Conference.
The Hurricanes and Panthers are the top two seeds in the NHL's Eastern Conference. / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

The NHL Playoffs are one of the best betting events of the year. There's nothing quite as electric as playoff hockey, but it'd be nice to win some money along the way.

Are you new to betting on the sport? Are you looking to improve on last year's results?

I'm going to break down some key stats you should know before placing your bets. You can see how each team ranks in these stats at NaturalStatTrick.com.

Who moves out of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs? BetSided's Iain MacMillan and Donnavan Smoot break down their first round bets below!

Key Stats for the NHL Playoffs


We might as well start with the most common, but also most polarizing advanced analytics. CORSI% is defined as:

"an advanced statistic used in the game of ice hockey to measure shot attempt differential while at even strength play. This includes shots on goal, missed shots on goal, and blocked shot attempts towards the opposition's net minus the same shot attempts directed at your own team's net".


Fenwick is the same as Corsi, except it excludes blocked shots. Therefore, it measures all shots on goal and missed shots on goal. Many people think they blocked shots is a defensive skill, and avoiding shots getting blocked is an offensive skill, therefore excluding them shows a better indication of possession and shot attempts.

Expected Goals For/Against

Expected goals for and against is defined on NHL.com as:

"In the broadest sense, expected goals (xG) is a measure that seeks to address the concern that not all shots are created equal. xG considers a variety of factors and then mathematically assigns a value to each shot attempt that represents the probability of that shot becoming a goal. That value can come in one of two forms: it can be a percentage - which directly represents how likely a goal was to follow; or it can be a straight value which factors in probability."

If we've ever watched a sport, especially hockey, you know that there are sometimes that a team seems like they should have scored more goals than they actually did based on chances. This stat helps show that, because the final score isn't always indicative of who the best team on the ice was.

High-Danger Scoring Chances For/Against

High-danger scoring chances is similar to expected goals against, but it measures shot attempts that come from what's called "the slot", which is the area directly in front of the opposing team's nets. Using the graph below, which shows high-danger scoring chances for the Panthers back in January, the red area would be considered the "high-danger zone"

Shooting Percentage

Shooting percentage is much more straight forward, but a good shooting team can find high-levels of success despite not thriving at the advanced analytics like CORSI.

Shooting percentage simply measures the amount of shots on net that result in a goal. If you're a basketball fan, it'd be the same as field goal percentage. This percentage only counts shots that are on the net, therefore missed shots and blocked shots aren't counted like they are in CORSI%.

Heading into the playoffs, the St. Louis Blues lead the NHL in shooting percentage at 12.4 percent.

Save Percentage

This is the opposite statistic from shooting percentage. It measures how many shots on net the goaltender stops.

Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers leads all NHL goals in save percentage at .935. That means that for every 100 shots on net that he faces, he'll only allow an average of only 6.5 goals. A good goaltender is key to going on a Stanley Cup run.