That Was Fast: How Quick Does Your Team Give Up Answering Goals?

We'll see your goal, and raise you another - Bruce Bennett

Your team just scored a goal. The question is how well have they been doing at keeping the opposition off the board after they've lit the lamp? If you're the Islanders, the answer is not well.

There is nothing more deflating in the NHL than watching the opposing team score a goal mere minutes after your team put one up on the scoreboard. In Islanders Country, it seems like it happens at least twice a game.

Answering goals happen to every to every team in the NHL. Some goals are answered quicker than others, and fans seem to believe that it somehow shows the team's ability to hold a lead.

Through Monday Night (December 9), here are the Eastern Conference teams and the amount of answering goals they have allowed within 5 minutes, 2 minutes, and 1 minute. (Just to be clear, if a goal was given up within a minute of the team scoring, it will show up in all three totals, and so on.)

Team Games Goals For

Answered Goals

Within 5 mins
Within 2 Mins Within 1 Min
Blue Jackets 30 73 7 1 0
Bruins 30 84 10 4 2
Flyers 30 68 10 5 3
Panthers 31 71 11 2 2
Canadiens 31 85 11 4 4
Devils 31 69 12 5 2
Lightning 29 80 12 6 4
Rangers 31 69 12 7 5
Leafs 31 86 13 1 0
Sabres 30 52 13 5 2
Hurricanes 31 71 13 6 2
Senators 31 91 13 6 4
Penguins 32 98 15 7 4
Red Wings 31 85 16 5 3
Islanders 31 77 17 8 5
Capitals 30 93 22 14 7
Conference Avg -- 78.19 12.93 5.38 3.06

The Islanders are just below the conference average when it comes to goals scored, but they are well above average in giving up quick answering goals. The only team worse than the Islanders in giving up these goals is Washington.

But to give up an answering goal, you must first score a goal. These totals are a little skewed for some teams because they either score far fewer than other teams, giving them less chances to actually give up an answering goal, or on the flip side other teams score more goals than other conference teams (and have more chances to allow an answering goal).

In the following chart, instead of ranking totals I ranked the percentage of goals a team scored that were answered within the specified time frames.

Team Games Goals For

% of Answered Goals

Within 5 Mins

% Within 2 Mins % Within 1 min
Blue Jackets 30 73 .095 .014 .000
Bruins 30 84 .119 .048 .024
Canadiens 31 85 .129 .047 .047
Senators 31 91 .143 .066 .044
Flyers 30 68 .147 .074 .044
Lightning 29 80 .150 .075 .050
Leafs 31 86 .151 .012 .000
Penguins 32 98 .153 .071 .041
Panthers 31 71 .155 .028 .028
Devils 31 69 .174 .072 .029
Rangers 31 69 .174 .101 .072
Hurricanes 31 71 .183 .085 .028
Red Wings 31 85 .188 .059 .035
Islanders 31 77 .221 .104 .065
Capitals 30 93 .237 .151 .075
Sabres 30 52 .250 .096 .038

Again, the Islanders are at the bottom of the conference rankings. They are only one of three teams allowing an answering goal within 5 minutes over 20% of the time. They are also one of three teams allowing an answering goal within 2 minutes over 10% of the time.

So what does this all mean? Probably not much. But this confirms the eye test that the Islanders let up an abnormally high amount of quick goals after they score one of their own.

One out of every five Islanders goals will be followed by an opponent's goal within five minutes. At least as Islanders fans we know we have something to look forward to.

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