What Twitter told us about the first half of the 2018/2019 NHL season

By Christopher Doyle
Thursday, 24 January 2019

The first half of the new @NHL season was full of top players, top teams and the emergence of the league’s next batch of All-Stars. Across North America, #HockeyTwitter became the hashtag that helped unite the pro hockey conversation on Twitter. 

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Here’s a look back at the talent and teams that owned Twitter during the first half of this @NHL season.

Top Players

Players from Canadian teams dominated the Twitter conversation during the league’s first half. 70% of league’s 10 most mentioned player accounts this season are from Canadian teams.

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Auston Matthews (@AM34) of the Toronto Maple Leafs is once again the league’s most-mentioned player account. Matthews was also the most-mentioned account during the 2017/2018 regular season.

These were the players with the most Twitter account mentions during the season’s first half.

  1. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (@AM34)
  2. William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs (@wmnylander)
  3. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (@cmcdavid97)
  4. P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators (@PKSubban1)
  5. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (@ovi8)
  6. John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs (@91Tavares)
  7. Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks (@_EPettersson)
  8. Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs (@Marner93)
  9. Max Domi, Montreal Canadiens (@max_domi)
  10. Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins (@BMarch63)

Top Teams

With Canada-based players owning #HockeyTwitter for much of the season’s first half, it’s not surprising that Canada’s seven teams were also quite popular on the platform.

 

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These were the teams with the most Twitter account mentions during the season’s first half.

  1. Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights)
  2. Pittsburgh Penguins (@Penguins)
  3. Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs)
  4. Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres)
  5. Montreal Canadiens (@canadiensmtl)
  6. Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks)
  7. Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers)
  8. Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins)
  9. Washington Capitals (@Capitals)
  10. Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning)

In terms of the custom Twitter emojis that launched on Opening Night, the Canadiens are owning that conversation so far. The emoji that unlocks when you Tweet #GoHabsGo is the most used NHL team emoji so far this season, followed by #LeafsForever and #Blackhawks.

 

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Two other Canadian squads have seen significant growth in Twitter conversation compared to the 2017/2018 regular season. The Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) saw a 20% increase in account mentions during the first three months of the 2018/2019 campaign while the Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) saw a 16% increase over the same period.

Furthermore on the Jets momentum, the team has also seen their Twitter following grow by more than 50% since the start of the last @NHL season, helping to keep the #HockeyTwitter conversation strong in Manitoba and across Canada.

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@chrisdoyle

Christopher Doyle

‎@chrisdoyle‎

Head of Sports, Twitter Canada