Title: A note on the importance of the first goal in a National Hockey League game

Authors: Jack Brimberg, W.J. Hurley

Addresses: Department of Business Administration, The Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario, K7K 5L0, Canada. ' Department of Business Administration, The Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario, K7K 5L0, Canada

Abstract: In their pregame assessments of which team will win an important hockey game, TV commentators will often point out the importance of scoring the first goal, suggesting that a team improves its chances of winning considerably by scoring it. In this note, we use some simple probability theory to calculate how a team|s chance of winning (and losing) changes after the first goal.

Keywords: conditional probability; first goal; NHL; National Hockey League; Poisson distribution; exponential distribution; goal scoring.

DOI: 10.1504/IJOR.2009.026539

International Journal of Operational Research, 2009 Vol.6 No.2, pp.282 - 287

Published online: 19 Jun 2009 *

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