# 2 hockey questions

1. What the hell, exactly is a “one timer?”

2. What is the +/- statistical catagory, ie; what does it refer to and how does it work?

Y’know, I’m not quite sure what a one-timer is. I’ve never really thought about it. I think, however, that it’s a goal scored “on the spur of the moment”: the player doesn’t really think about it, but shoots when the opportunity arises.

The plus/minus, howeever, i do know. If a player is on the ice when his team scores an even-strength or short-handed goal, he gets a “plus 1”. If his team is scored upon, he gets “minus one”. The pluses and minuses are all added up, giving you the +/-.

(1) A “one-timer” is a goal scored by shooting as soon as the puck arrives on your stick. IOW, you don’t corral the puck after you receive the pass, move it from forehand to backhand, etc, before shooting. As the pass arrives, you aim and fire in one motion.

(2) The “+/-” rating means when you are on the ice, does the other team score, or does your team score. If you’re on the ice for two of your goals, and not on the ice for the other team’s one goal, you’ve got a “+2” for the game. If you were on the ice for the other team’s goal, you’ve got a “+1” for the game. Make sense?

Dooku is right about the one-timer. For example, if a player makes a pass from the corner to a defenseman standing at the blueline and the defenseman just steps up and shoots the puck straight off the pass, that’s a one-timer.

To expand on the +/- rating: I believe that anyone on the ice during a power play goal, no one killing the penalty gets a minus, and no one on the power play gets a plus. However, if a short-handed goal is scored, then the players killing the penalty get a plus, and the players on the power play unit get a minus.

I’m too late. Nothing to add. Good job, guys.

Fun +/- facts: In 1984/85, Wayne led the NHL in points (208) and set the official mark for highest +/- at +98 (he would break his own scoring record with 215 the next year). However, back in the early 70s, before the stat was officially kept, Bobby Orr racked up a +124 for the Bruins, while leading the league in points with 139.

Analysis: assuming Boston scored no other goals while Orr was on the ice, he was only out there for 15 goals against, compared to Gretzky, who was on the ice for 110 opposition goals. That’s the beauty of the stat: it can give you a very clear picture of a player’s defensive contribution to the team. Orr, the consummate two-way player, not only scored a lot, but he helped keep the puck out of his own net. Gretzky, for all his scoring prowess, rarely took care of business in the defensive zone.

So there’s my lesson on why they keep that stat.

Dooku is a little bit off on his one-timer definition. One-timer refers to the shot, not the goal; so you can take a one-timer and not necessarily score.

WSLer, would you stop posting sports questions in Cafe Society?

I think it’s a bit unfair to say that about Gretzky, since he was an offensive player first and foremost, while Orr was a defensive player who changed how defensemne played the game, changing it from an defensive to an offensive position.

I don’t know, I would certainly agree with you if the difference was fairly small, we are talking about a difference of 95 goals. I don’t think you need to worry about being unfair to Wayne on this, of all the great things about him as a player, “great two-way center” is not one you often here. That said, Gretsky’s +98 rating is incredibly impressive, since it is so rare that a forward leads the league in that stat.

hmmm, when I posted that, I was sure I had a point. however, I’m now at a loss to tell you what it was.

I’ve always thought that if the other team scores while you are in the penalty box, that the goal should count against your +/- since you contributed to it by drawing a penalty.

WSLer: Point taken, especially since Wayne was the best offensive player of all time, nevertheless, it does illustrate the difference between a great one-way player and a great two-way player. Perhaps I should have used the example of defenseman Paul Coffey, who had Orr’s scoring touch, but none of his defensive talent. Example: in 1988/89, Coffey racked up 110 points and still managed to be a -10. Or how about his best season with the Oilers (85/86) when he finished with 138 points (1 shy of Orr’s record for defensemen) and a +61 – not bad, but less than half of Orr’s +/- for the same number of points.

Or Phil Housley, about whom one columnist once wrote:

One thing that needs to be added to this discussion is that power play goals don’t count toward +/-, but they do count toward points. I don’t have the stats around, but I bet that Gretzky scored many more power play points than Orr, thus narrowing the gap by a bit.

Of course, in the end, Orr was by far superior to Wayne defensively.