When it comes to the NHL’s best records playing back-to-backs in 2016-17, the Blues were by far the cream of the crop.
St. Louis went 10-2 on the tail end of back-to-backs, collecting an average of 1.67 points in that situation. When the Blues weren’t playing for the second time in as many nights, they were actually just an average team, as they earned 1.14 points per outing (the NHL average last year in that situation was also 1.14) with a 36-27-5 mark.
Compare those numbers and St. Louis stunningly averaged 0.53 more points per game when playing on short rest than it did when it had the previous day off.
While no other team came close to the Blues’ success playing the second game of back-to-backs last year, nearly half of the teams in the NHL fared better in that situation than when they weren’t playing for the second straight night. The Panthers, Hurricanes, Blackhawks and Red Wings led the way in that department as each collected at least 0.2 more points per game on the tail end of back-to-backs than when playing with rest.
And though the Avalanche was still a losing team when playing for the second straight night, its average of 0.73 points per game in that situation was a 28% improvement from the woeful 0.57 points per game it averaged otherwise.
On the other end of the spectrum, the President’s Trophy-winning Washington Capitals were the worst team in the NHL when playing the second game of a back-to-back. The Caps were just 7-8-1 when playing for the second straight night, averaging 0.94 points per game. When Washington played with full rest, it averaged 1.56 points per contest – a massive difference of 0.62 points per game.
Other teams that were much worse on no rest were the Toronto Maple Leafs (6-11-1 for 0.72 points per game, compared to 1.28 points per game when rested) and the Boston Bruins (4-8-2 for 0.71 points per game, compared to 1.25 points per game otherwise).
Here’s a complete look at how each NHL team fared in back-to-back situations last year, ranked in order by the discrepancy in their points-per-game compared to when playing on full rest.
*NOTE: Our article “How Much Does Playing Back To Backs Hurt Win Probability?” dives into why some teams seem to thrive in back-to-back situations while others struggle so badly.
NHL Teams’ Records In Back-To-Backs In 2016-17
|Team||Points Per Game With 0 Days Rest||Points Per Game With 1+ Days Rest||Difference|