Bård Edlund is a multidisciplinary artist available for freelance assignments in motion design, illustration, data visualization, and more. Consider me for your next project! Get in touch.

This video is either an animated data visualization, or ambient data art – or just a labor of love. Goals representing all 2012 NHL Stanley Cup playoff teams are arranged in a circle, with Western Conference teams on the left, and Eastern Conference teams on the right. Higher-seeded teams are at the top of the circle.

The goals tally cumulative scoring for each team (rather than goals against). When a puck crosses the goal line, a musical note plays. There's one instrument sound for Western Conference teams, and another for Eastern Conference teams. Higher-seeded teams are assigned a higher pitch. This means you can actually hear whether higher- or lower-seeded teams are scoring more, and if Western or Eastern Conference teams are producing more goals. A melodic loop of lap steel guitar plays in the background, tying the sounds together into some kind of pseudo-ambient, pseudo-listenable music. Pucks drop at center ice twice per second (except for pauses between periods or goal-less periods), and all in all there are 414 goals scored!

The teams' scoring is shown in chronological order, so that the first goal shown is the Penguins at 3:43 of the 1st period of their game 1 in round 1, and the next goal shown is the Blackhawks' 4:04 goal in their game 1. There is nothing indicating which teams are playing each other. You could see that as a failing, or as an abstraction that lets you focus on the cumulative scoring of all teams relative to each other throughout the tournament.

The red radial bar graph growing from center ice shows the penalty minutes accruing for each team. To prevent clutter, no specific numbers are given, but you can get a good general sense of how the teams stack up against each other. I would have thought that a key to winning the Stanley Cup would be minimizing your penalty minutes, but as you can see, the Los Angeles Kings ended up with more penalty minutes than any other team. Of course, teams that aren't eliminated continue to take penalties, so it's to be expected that the final four teams were the most penalized. Overall though, teams got more careful the deeper into the playoffs they got.

Follow me on Twitter for more crazy projects and amusing banter: @edlundart

And, check out my new cartoon series or Is The Internet Awake?