After having a chat on Twitter this afternoon about whether Nathan Gerbe would be too small to make the team with me saying “We do not need more small forwards, Gerbe would have been good immediately after the lock out, but now things have changed.” PhilBBG ,of Black & Blue & Gold, responded with “Gerbe may be small, but he’s a serviceable grinder despite his size. He’s tough, can take a licking, and is a puck-thief.” Then I threw in a classic line I hear year after year, “Oh I’m well aware, but in a 7 game series, size tends to win out over spunkyness.” He agreed by saying, “Very, very true. The Ducks ushered that era back in to the NHL in 2007 and it hasn’t changed since.”
After that I began to think if size really does win out over spunkyness, so I took to the statistics. An hour and a half later, after crunching numbers I came to the conclusion. Evidently size does matter, but not that much.
Of the 15 total series played these playoffs the larger team won 8 times, with the smaller team winning 7 times. The larger team also won the Stanley Cup, that team obviously being Chicago. Chicago came in at 73.1 inches and 203.4 pounds. While Philadelphia was 72.5 inches and 198.3 pounds. (The numbers were gathered by taking 13 forwards who played the most games for each team. Defense was not taken into account, which could change the numbers slightly with players like Chara not being factored in, so sue me.) The team with the smallest group of forwards was Montreal who came in at 71.7 inches and 198.2 pounds. The largest team was Washington at 74 inches and 207.3 pounds. The Buffalo Sabres were 72.3 inches and 201.9 pounds.
If not for Halak and the miracle run the Canadiens went on, the larger team would have won 10 of the 15 games.
With the Sabres bringing in bigger players, and drafting larger players maybe our future playoff runs will be a little bit longer.