Whether you’re into advanced stats or not, you should definitely give PDO, a terribly named measure of “luck,” a chance.
Our own Cam Charron (well, he’s everywhere, but you get the point) laid it out for us in plain english here, but in a nutshell, it’s a combination of a player (or team’s) on-ice shooting percentage plus his team’s save percentage while he’s on the ice. Basically, if a guy’s PDO is really high he’s had some good luck, really low and he hasn’t, and the idea is that everyone will regress back to 1.000 (or 1000, however you want to write it), because nobody can shoot 20% all year, and nobody is going to be on the ice while the goalie has a .600 save percentage all year. Those numbers are impossibly unsustainable in the NHL today barring them putting me in net and starting me on the daily with magazines taped to my shins for pads.
Only…a lot of good teams tend to have high PDOs, and a lot of bad teams tend to have low PDOs, and I’m unwilling to say that those teams are good and bad because of their luck. One of my current beefs with the advanced stat community in hockey is an over-attribution of luck to success. Hockey players are taught to create luck, and I think some players and teams are better at doing it than others. I’ll get more into that in a sec, but let’s take a look at the numbers.