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Defining A Clutch Or Winning Goal


Guest Harvey

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Guest Harvey

The game winning goal is often misconstrued as the most clutch goal in a game. Let's take game 1 as an example:

1st Period

Montreal 0:34, Sergei Kostitsyn 1 (Patrice Brisebois)

Montreal 2:02, Andrei Kostitsyn 1 (Tomas Plekanec)

Boston 8:34, Shane Hnidy 1 (Andrew Ference, Phil Kessel)

2nd Period

Montreal 5:16, Bryan Smolinski 1 (Tom Kostopoulos, Mike Komisarek)

3rd Period

Montreal 7:24, Tom Kostopoulos 1 (Maxim Lapierre, Mark Streit)

Andrei Kostitsyn is credited with the GWG, but was his goal any more clutch than Smolinski's? Each gave the Canadiens a two goal lead, but Smolinski's occurred far later in the game. It could be argued that Sergei Kostitsyn's goal was the most clutch for the Habs, as it set the tone for the game. Or that Kostopoulos' goal was the most clutch, as it pretty much cinched the win for the Habs.

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Guest thefooligan5
The game winning goal is often misconstrued as the most clutch goal in a game. Let's take game 1 as an example:

1st Period

Montreal 0:34, Sergei Kostitsyn 1 (Patrice Brisebois)

Montreal 2:02, Andrei Kostitsyn 1 (Tomas Plekanec)

Boston 8:34, Shane Hnidy 1 (Andrew Ference, Phil Kessel)

2nd Period

Montreal 5:16, Bryan Smolinski 1 (Tom Kostopoulos, Mike Komisarek)

3rd Period

Montreal 7:24, Tom Kostopoulos 1 (Maxim Lapierre, Mark Streit)

Andrei Kostitsyn is credited with the GWG, but was his goal any more clutch than Smolinski's? Each gave the Canadiens a two goal lead, but Smolinski's occurred far later in the game. It could be argued that Sergei Kostitsyn's goal was the most clutch for the Habs, as it set the tone for the game. Or that Kostopoulos' goal was the most clutch, as it pretty much cinched the win for the Habs.

Hey Harvey,

As far as I know, the Game Winning Goal is the goal which gives the team one more goal than the opposing team finishes the game with. In a 6-3 win, the 4th goal in the GWG; In a 2-1 win, the 2nd goal is the GWG; in a 10-0 win the 1st goal is the GWG.

Does that clear it up?

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Guest Harvey
Hey Harvey,

As far as I know, the Game Winning Goal is the goal which gives the team one more goal than the opposing team finishes the game with. In a 6-3 win, the 4th goal in the GWG; In a 2-1 win, the 2nd goal is the GWG; in a 10-0 win the 1st goal is the GWG.

Does that clear it up?

I am aware that's how the GWG is calculated. But since it doesn't appear to measure clutch or the most important goal, what's the purpose of the GWG stat?

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Guest thefooligan5
I am aware that's how the GWG is calculated. But since it doesn't appear to measure clutch or the most important goal, what's the purpose of the GWG stat?

How is it not the most important goal? It literally won the game.

Okay, granted you can argue that all goals are equally as important and heck, maybe it was a team's PK which 'won ' the game but you cannot deny the fact that due to the GWG, the game was won.

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Guest thefooligan5
I am aware that's how the GWG is calculated. But since it doesn't appear to measure clutch or the most important goal, what's the purpose of the GWG stat?

How is it not the most important goal? It literally won the game.

Okay, granted you can argue that all goals are equally as important and heck, maybe it was a team's PK which 'won ' the game but you cannot deny the fact that without the GWG the team would have remained tied and/or lost.

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Guest Harvey
How is it not the most important goal? It literally won the game.

Okay, granted you can argue that all goals are equally as important and heck, maybe it was a team's PK which 'won ' the game but you cannot deny the fact that without the GWG the team would have remained tied and/or lost.

Andrei's goal didn't win the game. I don't know how you came up with that.

And without his goal, (assuming everything else remained the same), the Habs still would have won 3-1. So where do you come up with the logic that the game would have remained tied and/or lost without Andrei's goal?

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Guest FrozenPuck

A clutch goal for me is the short-handed goal that ties it up before a team goes ahead and wins, or a goal to tie with less than a couple minutes to go - that sort of thing.

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Guest gumper

GWG's should only be awarded in the event of a 1 goal game. In a 10-0 victory, the first goal really doesnt make much of a difference at all.

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Guest Harvey
GWG's should only be awarded in the event of a 1 goal game. In a 10-0 victory, the first goal really doesnt make much of a difference at all.
Do you or anyone else know what the purpose of the game winning goal stat really is? It makes sense in the case of a 2-1 game that is decided with one minute left in the game. But in a 10-1 game in which the winner led 10-0 late in the third period, it makes no sense at all.
A clutch goal for me is the short-handed goal that ties it up before a team goes ahead and wins, or a goal to tie with less than a couple minutes to go - that sort of thing.
How would the tying short-handed goal be any less clutch if that team ended up losing rather than winning?
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Guest Keith
GWG's should only be awarded in the event of a 1 goal game. In a 10-0 victory, the first goal really doesnt make much of a difference at all.

So if someone scores with a minute left to make it 3-2, and someone else scores an empty netter to make it 4-2 with 5 seconds left, that game winner isn't acounted for?

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Guest Harvey
So if someone scores with a minute left to make it 3-2, and someone else scores an empty netter to make it 4-2 with 5 seconds left, that game winner isn't acounted for?

You raise a good point. If there is a clutch goal stat, it should be clearly defined and be completely independent of what happens after the goal. The GWG stat is very dependent on what happens after the goal.

So here's my idea. Clutch goal:

In the final ten minutes of the game or in OT, a goal that does one of the following:

1) Reduces your deficit from two goals to one goal

2) Reduces your deficit from one goal to a tie game

3) Gives your team a one goal lead

4) Gives your team a two goal lead

As you can see, a game could have ten clutch goals or it could have zero. If the forefathers of the GWG thought they were measuring clutch, I sure wonder what they were smoking that day!

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Guest thefooligan5
Andrei's goal didn't win the game. I don't know how you came up with that.

And without his goal, (assuming everything else remained the same), the Habs still would have won 3-1. So where do you come up with the logic that the game would have remained tied and/or lost without Andrei's goal?

I never mentioned Andrei's name once.

Say a game ends up 3-1. The 2nd goal is the game winning goal. Before the second goal what might have the score been? 1-1 (possibly).

That is all I meant.

I have no idea where you got Andrei from.

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Guest thefooligan5
GWG's should only be awarded in the event of a 1 goal game. In a 10-0 victory, the first goal really doesnt make much of a difference at all.

Well without the 1st goal, you wouldn't have won the game. At some point a goal has got to be scored and that goal will be the 1st goal. Without the 1st goal, the game would have ended in a 0-0 tie so the 1st goal is highly important.

And all this talk about a clutch goal in nonsense in my opinion. It is too subjective to be a mathematical stat. How can you define one goal as being more important that another? The GWG stat is pretty cut and dry. It doesn't define that goal as being more 'clutch,' but rather simply states that that was the goal which gave the winning team the edge whether it was a come from behind win or a lead from the get-go. Plain and simple the GWG won the game.

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Guest Innis_Mor
Last year?
Did I type 'year'? Freudian slip or something I guess. <Musta thought that it had been about that long since his last one! LOL. Too funny.

Big clutch goal last NIGHT (double-check that). I like picture on the Canadiens. com page after the goal.

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Guest Harvey
Well without the 1st goal, you wouldn't have won the game. At some point a goal has got to be scored and that goal will be the 1st goal. Without the 1st goal, the game would have ended in a 0-0 tie so the 1st goal is highly important.

Not necessarily. You're operating under the assumption that because the first goal isn't scored, therefore no goals after that will be scored.

And all this talk about a clutch goal in nonsense in my opinion. It is too subjective to be a mathematical stat. How can you define one goal as being more important that another? The GWG stat is pretty cut and dry. It doesn't define that goal as being more 'clutch,' but rather simply states that that was the goal which gave the winning team the edge whether it was a come from behind win or a lead from the get-go. Plain and simple the GWG won the game.

Not always true. In the case of last night's Colorado-Minnesota game, Wolski scored the GWG, but that goal didn't win the game. It merely gave the Avalanche a 2-0 lead.

It's only cut and dry because it can be quantified.

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Guest thefooligan5
Not necessarily. You're operating under the assumption that because the first goal isn't scored, therefore no goals after that will be scored.

Not always true. In the case of last night's Colorado-Minnesota game, Wolski scored the GWG, but that goal didn't win the game. It merely gave the Avalanche a 2-0 lead.

It's only cut and dry because it can be quantified.

Well if the 'first' goal isn't scored then the 'second' goal becomes the 'first' goal.

And referring to your second point, Wolski's goal gave them a 2-0 lead yes, but how many goals did the opposition score? One. That means, that had a second goal not been scored theoretically the game would have gone to OT as a 1-1 tie. It doesn't matter if you are winning 10-0 and the opposing team comes back to make the game 10-9, the 10th goal is the GWG because it ultimately took 10 goals to win the game due to the opposition scoring 9 goals. I don't understand why you are having such a difficult time understanding this.

As you pointed out with Wolski's goal, you cannot determine which goal won the game until after the game is over because you have no idea what the outcome will be. But ultimately, as I have stated before, the goal which gives you one more goal that the opposing team (by the end of the game) is determined the GWG.

Your third statement is too obvious to comment on.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Well if the 'first' goal isn't scored then the 'second' goal becomes the 'first' goal.

And referring to your second point, Wolski's goal gave them a 2-0 lead yes, but how many goals did the opposition score? One. That means, that had a second goal not been scored theoretically the game would have gone to OT as a 1-1 tie.

Once again, that's not necessarily true. You're selectively making assumptions about what would have happened had that goal not been scored.

Let's take the example in question:

1st Period

Colorado 4:01, Andrew Brunette 2 (Ruslan Salei, Jordan Leopold)

Colorado 5:37, Wojtek Wolski 1 (Ian Laperriere)

Colorado 11:08, Tyler Arnason 1 (unassisted)

2nd Period

Colorado 7:42, Ruslan Salei 1 (power play) (Tyler Arnason, Jordan Leopold)

Colorado 16:14, Milan Hejduk 2 (power play) (Ryan Smyth, Joe Sakic)

3rd Period

Minnesota 3:11, Mikko Koivu 4 (shorthanded) (Keith Carney, Brian Rolston)

You've assumed that had Wolski not scored, that Arnason, Salei and Hejduk wouldn't have scored, but Koivu still would have scored. Can you please explain why Koivu still would have scored, but Arnason, Salei and Hejduk wouldn't have scored.

It doesn't matter if you are winning 10-0 and the opposing team comes back to make the game 10-9, the 10th goal is the GWG because it ultimately took 10 goals to win the game due to the opposition scoring 9 goals. I don't understand why you are having such a difficult time understanding this.

As you pointed out with Wolski's goal, you cannot determine which goal won the game until after the game is over because you have no idea what the outcome will be. But ultimately, as I have stated before, the goal which gives you one more goal that the opposing team (by the end of the game) is determined the GWG.

Your third statement is too obvious to comment on.

The only goal that gave the Avs one more than the Wild was Brunette's goal that gave them a 1-0 lead. That fact became solidified after the game was over. Wolski's goal gave the Avs two more than the Wild, as two is two greater than zero.

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  • 5 months later...

In the Canadiens 6-1 victory over the Maple Leafes, Kovalev's goal which put the Habs up 2-0 is credited as the Game Winning Goal

I disagree that this should be the way a GWG is determined, as it created the illusion that this goal was more important than any of the Habs other three goals. Does anyone know why the NHL determines the Game Winning Goal this way and what it is supposed to tell us?

1st Period

Montreal 11:00, Roman Hamrlik 1 (Guillaume Latendresse, Saku Koivu)

Montreal 12:39, Alexei Kovalev 1 (Tomas Plekanec, Ryan O'Byrne)

2nd Period

Montreal 2:50, Sergei Kostitsyn 1 (power play) (Alex Tanguay, Saku Koivu)

Montreal 4:15, Alex Tanguay 1 (power play) (Guillaume Latendresse, Sergei Kostitsyn)

Montreal 8:18, Sergei Kostitsyn 2 (power play) (Alex Tanguay, Andrei Markov)

Toronto 11:02, Jason Blake 1 (power play) (Mike Van Ryn, Alexei Ponikarovsky)

Montreal 11:24, Guillaume Latendresse 1 (Saku Koivu, Alex Tanguay)

3rd Period

None

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In the Canadiens 6-1 victory over the Maple Leafes, Kovalev's goal which put the Habs up 2-0 is credited as the Game Winning Goal

I disagree that this should be the way a GWG is determined, as it created the illusion that this goal was more important than any of the Habs other three goals. Does anyone know why the NHL determines the Game Winning Goal this way and what it is supposed to tell us?

I can't tell you why, but as far as I know, it has always been this way. I assume the logic is that if Montreal had not scored after Kovalev's goal, the final score would be 2-1, thus the 2nd goal is the winning goal. It actually makes sense to me. I am interested in how you feel that the GWG should be determined.

On the other side of the coin, one thing I could never figure out is how the NHL determines the winning and losing goalie. In a recent game, a team was losing 4-0 when they put in their backup. They eventually lost 6-2, but the 2nd goalie was credited with the loss. I could understand if they lost 6-5, but at 6-2, the 2nd goalie never had a chance at winning as his team was already down 4 goals when he came into the game.

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I can't tell you why, but as far as I know, it has always been this way. I assume the logic is that if Montreal had not scored after Kovalev's goal, the final score would be 2-1, thus the 2nd goal is the winning goal. It actually makes sense to me. I am interested in how you feel that the GWG should be determined.

On the other side of the coin, one thing I could never figure out is how the NHL determines the winning and losing goalie. In a recent game, a team was losing 4-0 when they put in their backup. They eventually lost 6-2, but the 2nd goalie was credited with the loss. I could understand if they lost 6-5, but at 6-2, the 2nd goalie never had a chance at winning as his team was already down 4 goals when he came into the game.

it's the Goalie (more precisely the 'Goalie of Record' since the GWG can be scored when the goalie has been pulled) when the GWG is scored... the game you describe is the Minnesota-Florida game from last Thursday and Vokoun took the loss as he should... any source that reports Anderson as the losing goalie is simply wrong...
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I can't tell you why, but as far as I know, it has always been this way. I assume the logic is that if Montreal had not scored after Kovalev's goal, the final score would be 2-1, thus the 2nd goal is the winning goal. It actually makes sense to me. I am interested in how you feel that the GWG should be determined.

I'm trying to figure out how you conclude the final score would have been 2-1 had Kovalev not scored. Perhaps you could share with me how you came to that conclusion. The way I see it is Kovalev's goal was so early in the game that had he not scored, we can't be certain what the final score would have been.

On the other side of the coin, one thing I could never figure out is how the NHL determines the winning and losing goalie. In a recent game, a team was losing 4-0 when they put in their backup. They eventually lost 6-2, but the 2nd goalie was credited with the loss. I could understand if they lost 6-5, but at 6-2, the 2nd goalie never had a chance at winning as his team was already down 4 goals when he came into the game.

I'm with you on this one that it doesn't make sense. I don't know precisely how it works, but what we can learn from it is to ignore goaltenders W-L-OTL records.

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I'm trying to figure out how you conclude the final score would have been 2-1 had Kovalev not scored. Perhaps you could share with me how you came to that conclusion. The way I see it is Kovalev's goal was so early in the game that had he not scored, we can't be certain what the final score would have been.

You misunderstood what I said. I will rephrase it as follows. I meant that Kovalev scored and made it 2-0. I then said to assume that Montreal did not score again, but the other team did to make it 2-1. That is why I am saying it is credited as the GWG.

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