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The Official Site of the San Jose Sharks

Monday Mailbag - 3/5/2012

by Patrick Hooper / San Jose Sharks

Here is The Daily Chomp's Monday Mailbag answering your questions sent in by Twitter (tweet @SanJoseSharks using #AskSJS), Facebook, or email.

How do the stats for the payers get recorded? Is there an electric system, or is the play-by-play record all manually entered?
- RenoSharks01

TDC: All of the stats for players are recorded manually by a crew of off-ice officials sitting in a press box near the top of the arena. At every NHL game, there is a crew of 8-10 off-ice officials working behind the scenes to record the stats for both teams. Most of the crew are locals who work as NHL statisticians as a side-job on game nights. Although the stat-tracking system has evolved over time and used to be done by hand, the home team has always been responsible for keeping the game’s stats.

Known as the scoring staff, the crew tracks everything including goals, assists and shots, giveaways, takeaways, plus-minus rating and the amount of time taken between faceoffs. They track almost everything including stats like time on ice, shots on the power play, etc. These stats make it possible to find out more complicated things like how many shots a defenseman had in the second period on a power play. The stats are kept in a system called HITS, which stands for Hockey Information and Tracking System. These stats are kept real-time so if someone looks at the statsheet in the middle of the game, they will see the most up-to-date statistics.

During the run of play, a “manager” calls out the information to the crew, while they record the stats on their computers. If they are unsure how to record a play, such as whether the puck may or may not have been deflected, they will replay the sequence until they feel the correct stat is recorded to the correct player. This is why sometimes after a goal is scored, the stat sheet may sometimes say unassisted. Once the crew has a chance to rewatch the play, they will update the stat sheet with the correct scorer(s).

Why didn't play stop when the goal got shunted (in reference to a play in recent home game between the Sharks and Blues)?
- Aussie Phill

TDC: In last Saturday’s game, with the Sharks trailing the Blues by two goals in the third period, forward Logan Couture was involved in a race for the puck in his offensive end of the ice. While he and the opposing player raced up the ice, there was a battle for leverage and position that sent both players sprawling to the ground. Couture’s momentum carried him in to the post of the Blues net, dislodging it from its pegs. The referee made the decision that Couture knocked the net off on his own. Combining that with the fact that the Blues had seized possession of the puck and were now making their way out of their defensive zone, the referee delayed in blowing the play dead until a Sharks player made contact with the puck.

Here is how the NHL rule book describes the referees handling of the play:

When the net is accidentally displaced by an attacking player, and the defending side is in possession of the puck and moving out of their zone, play shall be permitted to continue until such time as the non-offending team loses possession of the puck. The resulting face-off will take place at a face-off spot in the zone nearest the location where the play was stopped, unless it is in the non-offending team’s defending zone, and as such the ensuing face-off would be outside the blue line at one of the face-off spots in the neutral zone. It is possible for a goal to be scored at one end of the rink while the net at the other end has been dislodged, provided that the team being scored upon is the team responsible for dislodging the net at the other end of the rink.

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