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The Two O’Clock Number: 31.1%

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The Flyers sure do love them some overtime.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Philadelphia Flyers
Here is a picture from the Flyers’ last overtime (non-shootout) win. They have since lost four straight games that have gone to extra time.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

31.1 - the percentage of regular-season games played by the Flyers under Dave Hakstol that have gone to overtime.

The NBC Sports Philadelphia broadcast mentioned before the start of the extra period in Tuesday night’s overtime loss to Dallas that the Flyers have gone to overtime 24 times this year, three more than any other team. That statistic ended up going out of date quickly, as Nashville ended up going to OT for the 22nd time this season in their game against Minnesota, but the Flyers still hold a healthy lead over the rest of the NHL in games that need overtime to determine a winner.

This has actually been something of a trend under Hakstol. In 2016-17, the Flyers were tied for second (with New Jersey) in the NHL in games played in OT with 24; only the Red Wings, with a whopping 29 games that needed an extra session, had more. And in 2015-16, Hakstol’s first year behind the bench, their 27 overtime games again led the league, just ahead of Carolina’s 26.

In fairness to Hakstol, this isn’t necessarily something that started under him — in 2014-15, Craig Berube’s final season with the Flyers, they had 26 overtime games, second in the league behind only Boston. But it’s continued under him, and during his time as an NHL coach no team has played in more overtime games than his has. The average NHL team has gone to overtime in about 23.1 percent of its games over the past three seasons. The Flyers have done so in about 31.1 percent of their games — roughly an extra six or seven games per season compared to an average team.

NHL Overtime Records, 2015-18

Team Games OT Games OT % Reg W-L OT W-L SO W-L
Team Games OT Games OT % Reg W-L OT W-L SO W-L
Philadelphia Flyers 241 75 31.1% 81-85 25-18 12-20
Detroit Red Wings 241 70 29.0% 67-104 19-29 16-6
Carolina Hurricanes 241 65 27.0% 82-94 15-28 8-14
New Jersey Devils 240 62 25.8% 74-104 22-17 10-13
Ottawa Senators 240 61 25.4% 77-102 17-13 14-17
Toronto Maple Leafs 240 61 25.4% 86-93 14-17 14-16
Nashville Predators 240 60 25.0% 108-72 11-24 12-13
New York Islanders 241 60 24.9% 90-91 18-20 10-12
Chicago Blackhawks 241 59 24.5% 97-85 25-23 6-5
Los Angeles Kings 241 59 24.5% 91-91 32-13 6-8
Anaheim Ducks 241 57 23.7% 111-73 10-23 10-14
Pittsburgh Penguins 241 57 23.7% 109-75 22-14 10-11
Buffalo Sabres 240 55 22.9% 72-113 15-20 5-15
Edmonton Oilers 241 55 22.8% 80-106 20-14 12-9
Vancouver Canucks 241 55 22.8% 65-121 15-22 9-9
Arizona Coyotes 240 54 22.5% 66-120 16-21 9-8
Washington Capitals 240 54 22.5% 125-61 22-15 9-8
Calgary Flames 241 54 22.4% 82-105 25-11 8-10
Columbus Blue Jackets 241 54 22.4% 94-93 19-11 14-10
Montreal Canadiens 241 54 22.4% 86-101 17-16 10-11
Vegas Golden Knights 76 17 22.4% 38-21 7-4 3-3
Florida Panthers 238 53 22.3% 95-90 11-15 15-12
St. Louis Blues 240 53 22.1% 106-81 22-15 10-6
Boston Bruins 239 51 21.3% 109-79 15-19 9-8
Tampa Bay Lightning 240 51 21.3% 107-82 19-11 13-8
Dallas Stars 241 51 21.2% 100-90 16-21 7-7
San Jose Sharks 241 50 20.7% 109-82 16-16 11-7
New York Rangers 240 48 20.0% 102-90 16-12 9-11
Minnesota Wild 240 47 19.6% 111-82 9-22 9-7
Winnipeg Jets 240 46 19.2% 101-93 11-19 10-6
Colorado Avalanche 240 38 15.8% 80-122 15-13 7-3

(“OT Games” in the above table includes shootout games. All numbers courtesy of NHL.com’s statistics page.)

Unsurprisingly (to anyone who has watched them in a shootout in this century, at least), the Flyers perform better in the regular 3-on-3 overtime period than they do in the shootout, and the two balance each other out a bit to the point where the Flyers have basically had a coin flip’s chance to get the second point once they secure a first one. But no one has been “better” at securing that first point than the Flyers have in the past few seasons.

Why is that, though? Is this a point that suggests that Flyers teams under Hakstol play more conservatively in the third period, simply trying to get to overtime, and if so is that something to pin on the coach? Is this just what happens when you have a team as thoroughly average as this Flyers team is, in that they find themselves tied with teams after 60 minutes fairly often? Is it something else? I don’t know. But the Flyers have given their fans Free Hockey more than any other team over the past few seasons. Do with that information what you will.