Wayne Gretzky’s Goals

Let’s explore Wayne Gretzky’s goals (it’s his birthday tomorrow!). I’ve thought of some good questions and one “great” question that we can answer using this dataset. Finally, could Ovechkin break Gretzky’s goal record?


The Data-set

Thanks to data.world and hockey.reference.com for this data-set.


It lists all 894 regular season NHL goals Gretzky scored.

There are 16 columns. Columns I & J are for assists.



Power Query (Get & Transform) made it easy to answer this question:

How many different players assisted on Gretzky’s regular season goals?

Stack the assist columns, remove duplicates and count the players. Answer? Take a guess!



More Questions

Here’s an interesting question:

Did Gretzky ever score a short-handed empty net goal?


Here’s what I consider to be my “great” question:

Did Gretzky ever score a goal on a goalie who also assisted on one of his goals?

To clarify, not in the same game. Assisted on a goal when they were on the same team and Gretzky scored on the same goalie(s) before or after they were teammates.

I have 10 total questions. Can you think or an interesting question?



Excel File

Download it here. I used Pivot Tables and Power Query (also an alternative formula/pivot solution).

Pivot Tables

If a data-set is already perfectly arranged, consolidated and clean then just use Pivot Tables! If not, it’s often possible to add a few formula helper columns. However, the data-set might need major alterations and Power Query is the tool!

Power Query

It’s easy to clean-up, re-arrange and summarize data with Power Query. Yes it can get complicated at times but there’s so much that can be done with a few simple clicks of the mouse.

To see the queries select: sheet ‘Power Query’, cell A3, above ribbon ‘Query Tools’ &  ‘Edit’.










My Magic Era

When I was 8 years old I heard that 6 WHA teams were going to join the NHL for the 1979-1980 season. I was shocked and excited! I didn’t even know that the WHA had existed. I endlessly pestered my dad with questions about the WHA. Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull and several others had been playing in the WHA and would rejoin the NHL!

However, it was the 18 year old kid from the WHA that took the NHL by storm and changed the game forever! It was magical. I don’t remember seeing Bobby Orr play. Gordie Howe (in his prime) and Maurice Richard were well before my time. When I think of the NHL it was Wayne Gretzky. He was not big or tough, he wasn’t the fastest but he was a magician with the puck. Skill and 1000s of hours of practice.



Unbreakable Record?

Alexander Ovechkin currently has 692 regular season goals as of today January 25, 2019. He is 34.

He’s on pace for about 48 goals this year. If he does score 48 goals and plays another 5 seasons scoring on average 38 goals then he can do it! It might all depend on his health.

Download my Excel file. Grey colored cells are inputs that you can adjust. In the 2nd sheet uncheck the boxes to exclude seasons.



About Me

My name is Kevin Lehrbass. I’m a Data Analyst.

I live in Markham Ontario Canada (near Toronto).

I would say that my love of numbers started with hockey and baseball cards in the late 70s.

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