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Point total, goals plus assists, is an NHL player’s most important individual statistic; it is the best predictor of salary. However, an individual player's goals and assists are only indirectly important to his team because the team objective is to win games and not necessarily to watch individual players run up their point totals. Unfortunately, sometimes opposition teams score easy goals against a team's best goal scorers because these players do not always play well defensively.vAs a result of this conflict, hockey uses a statistic called the "plus/minus," (P/M), which purports to measure a player's offensive versus defensive ability.


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