Johnny B got asked the following question in his mailbag:
"Mr. Buccigross,According to the data I was able to find, the NHL plus/minus mark for all 912 skaters from [the NHL's] last [season] was a minus 313. Now this made no sense, so I tried to figure out how that was possible. This is what I found out. Plus/minus considers it an EVEN situation when, at the end of the game, the goalie is pulled (since technically this is NOT a special teams situation). I was able to find 189 empty-net goals that were scored last year. Therefore, since it was technically a five-on-five situation, the regular plus/minus applies. But since the goalie was pulled, it would actually be a six-on-five situation, meaning that there would be an aggregate score of DEFENSE (minus-5) and OFFENSE (plus-6) for an overall total of plus-1. That means the 189 ENG would make the league's overall plus/minus a plus-189. However, if you simply add together the plus/minus numbers of all skaters from the 2003-04 season, their total for plus/minus is minus-313.
What gives? Can you help to answer this mystery? Thanks for your time.
Johnny B's considered response?
"My head just exploded."