FanShot

Statistical Analysis: Do the refs favor the Pittsburgh Penguins?

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Wrap up from the article "Two-thirds of the season looms ahead and the sample from which to draw conclusions is small. The current data set lacks a "smoking gun" that would definitively support claims of referee favoritism, especially in the latter half of the games studied, wherein the Penguins were penalized equally to or more than the competition for three-quarters of the stretch. If any conclusion negative to the officiating could be drawn, it is this: The Penguins were given the benefit of the doubt to open the season, but that advantage (and a largely unfruitful advantage at that) eroded as the season developed. However, even that conclusion is a difficult one to credibly draw, as several other explanations may be possible (i.e. the Penguins played a less physical game to open the season, so were less penalized but ultimately less successful / the Penguins started the year with more seasoned players but began inserting rookies and otherwise inexperienced players, due to injury, as the season progressed, etc.). I'm curious to find out what the numbers say to you, the hockey fans, and what other arguments you'd make for either side."

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