Article - Are NHL referees biased towards certain teams or home teams vs. away teams?

A research project using NHL API Live Feed json files from the 2010-2011 season until Jan. (incl.) of the 2017-2018 season.

I ran into an interesting website by Joshua Smith, and after reading some of the content and playing with the data I decided to look for some more detail. Using R (code) I downloaded the basic information I needed to analyze and visualize in Tableau Public.


After downloading all Game Summary files wit specific columns needed for my analysis I combined the files per season and cleaned them up in Excel (removing all repeating headers and a weird record at the end of the file). From there I loaded them in Google Cloud Storage, and used Google Big Query to union all files in to one (only Penalty events).


Things to look at:

  • penalties per period / game
  • penalties given to home or away team
  • penalties given per referee(-combo) per team (favoritism?)
  • when are the penalties called during the game?
  • at what score are penalties called?
  • penalty call locations
  • penalties over season since 2010, per penalty type
  • etc.

-to be continued-

Written on February 2, 2018