NHL POWER Rankings: January

First of all, these POWER rankings have absolutely nothing to do with straight up wins, they are simply describing how well a team is playing, regardless if they end up with the win, or not.

This month I’m switching it up a bit because of complaints. The single month isn’t really long enough to determine a teams skill, or “POWER;” so I have instead set every team to a 25 GP mark to determine these rankings.

I have made more changes into how I calculate the rankings as well. I have removed adjusted Fenwick save percentage. Instead I used the adjusted Fenwick save percentage in the PDO (Shooting% + save%) to give the teams who have actual shooting talent be rewarded, and vice versa.

There are 6 major components that factor into these POWER rankings (all components adjusted for score, and venue (home/away).

1. Corsi for percentage, or shot attempt percentage (CF%). Weighted at 29%.

2. Expected goals percentage (xGF%). Weighted at 36%.

3. Scoring chances for percentage (SCF%). Weighted at 29%.

4. Special teams expected goals percentage: add power play expected goals for and penalty kill expected goals against, then divide power play expected goals by the total sum of expected goals (STxGF%). Weighted at 6 percent.

5. Penalty differential per 60 minutes (PD/60). Added onto total.

6. Adjusted PDO (Adj.PDO): This years last 25 GP shooting percentage, weighted at 70%. Added onto last years shooting percentage (to stabilize, help reduce effects of potential luck), weighted at 30%. Then you get the shooting percentage added onto the Adjusted save percentage (using Adj.FenSV%) to help account for the quality of the defense in front of the goalie. This is a multiplier on the total.

Before we jump into the rankings, I wanted to state the game-by-game predictive ability of this. So through a fairly small sample size of 179 games (since the time I started this since in the season), this ‘model’ has predicted 59.8% of the games. This doesn’t account for home/away, games played in x days prior to game, or anything like that, though. Maybe I could do that in the future.

Now, onto the POWER rankings. I will display their rank, team name and score. In brackets will be how many spots up or down a team has changed from the POWER rankings back in December. I will also list their top 2 forward point scorers and their top defensive point scorer in the month of January.

1. Minnesota Wild 56.9 (+2)

The Wild rank number one after January. They come into these rankings doing very well at 7-3-0 in their last 10 games. This is a team completely loaded with depth, once they get to the playoffs, they will be a force to be reckoned with. Devan Dubnyk had a worse month than usual, posting a 8-2-0 record with a .910 save percentage. Their top scorers were Mikael Granlund (15P in 14GP), Jason Zucker (13P in 14GP), and Ryan Suter (9P in 14GP).

2. Washington Capitals 56.0 (+6)

Evgeny Kuznetsov has awoken, and so have the Capitals. All of their top players are producing phenomenal numbers, with 4 players in their lineup posting over point per game since January 1st. Braden Holtby has probably cemented himself as the Vezina trophy winner this month, posting a 10-0-0 record with a .932 save percentage. Their top scorers were Evgeny Kuznetsov (22P in 16GP), Nicklas Backstrom (21P in 16GP), and Matt Niskanen (11P in 16GP).

3. Montreal Canadiens 55.4 (-2)

The team is on a bit of an unlucky cold streak recently. They have had injuries to key players such as Brendan Gallagher, and Alex Galchenyuk. Never the less, the Canadiens have still had a good month statistically. Carey Price put up a less than stellar month for the second month in a row, with a 5-6-1 record, and a .906 save percentage. Their top scorers were Alexander Radulov (13P in 15GP), Max Pacioretty (12P in 15GP), and Shea Weber (10P in 15GP).

4. Los Angeles Kings 54.3 (+1)

Currently riding high on a 4 game win-streak surrounding the all-star break. Goalie Peter Budaj continues to impress, posting Jonathan Quick-calibre numbers with a 8-4-0 record and a .927 save percentage. Their top scorers have been Jeff Carter (15P in 14GP), Anze Kopitar (15P in 13GP), and Drew Doughty (12P in 14GP).

5. Boston Bruins 54.1 (+5)

The team with debatably the best line in hockey, with Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak. The team as a whole had just a .500 month of February, but it seems as though lots of that blame can be placed on a certain somebody. Tuukka Rask posted a 6-6-1 record with a .874 save percentage, which is just not good enough. Their top scorers were Brad Marchand (23P in 15GP), David Pastrnak (15P in 15GP), and Torey Krug (10P in 15GP).

6. Anaheim Ducks 52.8 (+12)

A team that didn’t score very many goals in January, but also didn’t allow any. It worked just fine for them in the end. John Gibson posted a phenomenal 8-2-1 record with a .946 save percentage. Their top scorers were Ryan Kesler (9P in 14GP), Ryan Getzlaf (9P in 10GP), and Cam Fowler (5P in 14GP).

7. San Jose Sharks 52.7 (+2)

One of the only teams that I believe has been in the top 10 in these POWER rankings for every month so far. Brent Burns has emerged as a front-runner for the Norris Trophy; and Patrick Marleau has had a resurgence in goal-scoring, getting his first ever 4 goal game. Martin Jones posted a 8-3-1 record with a .917 record this past month. Their top scorers were Brent Burns (20P in 15GP), Patrick Marleau (12P in 15GP), and Joe Pavelski (12P in 15GP).

8. Carolina Hurricanes 52.5 (+3)

Cam Ward’s age is playing a factor in his play recently, I’m not quite sure he can handle starting nearly every single game for much longer. Carolina has one of the easier schedules in the league for the rest of the season, and thus still has a chance to make the playoffs. Cam Ward posted a 6-6-0 record with a .883 save percentage. Their top scorers were Jordan Staal (11P in 13GP), Sebastian Aho (10P in 13GP), and Justin Faulk (6P in 12GP).

9. Pittsburgh Penguins 52.3 (-3)

Justin Schultz has posted yet another point per game month, in the absence of Kris Letang. Sidney Crosby and Evgeny Malkin continue to lead the Penguins to greatness, but Conor Sheary is a big loss. Matt Murray posted a 5-3-0 record with a .911 save percentage. Their top scorers were Sidney Crosby (14P in 11GP), Conor Sheary (13P in 11GP), and Justin Schultz (11P in 11GP).

10. Dallas Stars 51.8 (-3)

They have some of the best 5v5 goaltending in the NHL, and they also have some of the worst special teams goaltending in the NHL. What those goalies are doing over there is a mystery. Kari Lehtonen ranks 2nd in 5v5 save percentage since December 1st, but in January he posted a 2-4-3 record with a .900 save percentage in all situations. Antti Niemi on the other hand, had a 3-2-0 record with a .862 save percentage. Their top scorers were John Klingberg (12P in 14GP), Patrick Eaves (11P in 14GP), and Jamie Benn (11P in 10GP).

11. Winnipeg Jets 51.4 (+1)

Ondrej Pavalec proves to be an offensive superstar, as the Winnipeg Jets have been scoring over 4 goals per game with him in the cage. Pavalec has posted a 4-2-0 record with a .901 save percentage. Counter-part Connor Hellebuyck put up a 4-1-0 record with a .903 save percentage. Their top scorers were Mark Scheifele (20P in 15GP), Nikolaj Ehlers (16P in 15GP), and Jacob Trouba (11p in 15GP).

12. Columbus Blue Jackets 51.0 (-10)

A big fall from the Blue Jackets in the POWER rankings, which shouldn’t be too concerning, since they’re almost guaranteed a playoff spot. They could use a rebound month from Sergei Bobrovsky, who’s been great thus far, but not in January. Bobrovsky had a 4-4-0 record with a .908 save percentage. Joonas Korpisalo posted a 3-1-0 record with a .893 save percentage. Their top scorers were Seth Jones (10P in 14GP), Alexander Wennberg (10P in 14GP), and Cam Atkinson (9P in 14GP).

13. Nashville Predators 50.8 (+1)

Recently placed centre Mike Ribero on waivers. Dealt with injuries to key players in Colin Wilson, PK Subban, and Roman Josi. Pekka Rinne posted a 7-3-1 record with a .939 save percentage. Their top scorers were Ryan Johansen (11P in 15GP), Filip Forsberg (10P in 15GP), and Ryan Ellis (8P in 15GP).

14. New York Rangers 50.3 (+6)

Henrik Lundqvist continues to oddly be the problem in the big apple this year. Lundqvist has posted a 6-5-0 record with a .890 save percentage in January, which is quite underwhelming. Their top scorers have been J.T Miller (12P in 12GP), Michael Grabner (10P in 12GP), and Brady Skjei (5P in 12GP).

15. Detroit Red Wings 50.2 (+1)

The Wings have been just around .500 in their last 10 games played, so just average. This is another team who has struggled with poor goal tending in this season. The Wings have some secret ability to basically always be getting on the power play, as they are at a +22 penalty differential this past 25 games, which is the highest in the NHL. Petr Mrazek put up a 1-4-2 record with a .888 save percentage, whereas Jared Coreau had a 3-1-3 record with a .898 save percentage. Their top scorers Thomas Vanek (11P in 13GP),  Anthony Mantha (10P in 14GP), and Mike Green (6P in 10GP).

16. New York Islanders 50.1 (+3)

The Islanders picked the right time to get hot. They are now right back in contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Thomas Greiss had a fantastic month, having a 6-2-3 record with a .935 save percentage. Their top scorers were John Tavares (14P in 12GP), Nick Leddy (12P in 12GP), and Josh Bailey (8P in 12GP).

17. Toronto Maple Leafs 50.0 (-13)

The Leafs are still actually good, but they did have a down month statistically. Not to worry though, Leaf fans, they’re still in playoff contention. Frederik Andersen had his worst month since October, posting a 6-3-2 record, with a .896 save percentage. Their top scorers were Mitchell Marner (16P in 14GP), James van Riemsdyk (16P in 14GP), and Nikita Zaitsev (6P in 14GP).

18. Ottawa Senators 49.4 (+5)

Having 6 players with at least 10 points this month is clearly a positive, and it looks like Craig Anderson could be back soon. Mike Condon has been a “revelation” apparently, –posting a 7-4-2 record, with a .911 save percentage in January. Their top scorers were Mike Hoffman (12P in 12GP), Kyle Turris (12P in 13GP), and Erik Karlsson (12P in 13GP).

19. Philadelphia Flyers 49.0 (+5)

Their special teams performance, and penalty differential have been their strong points in these rankings. Oddly, Steve Mason has continued to struggle, posting a 2-4-2 record with a .883 save percentage. Michael Neuvirth on the other hand had a good month, putting up a 4-2-0 record with a .921 save percentage. Their top scorers were Brayden Schenn (12P in 14GP), Jakub Voracek (10P in 14GP), and Ivan Provorov (6P in 14GP).

20. Vancouver Canucks 48.9 (+6)

Surprisingly to almost everybody,  the Vancouver Canucks are actually competing for a playoff spot. At the time of writing this, they’re only 5 points out, with 3 games on hand on the Calgary Flames. Unfortunately for them though, they have one of the most difficult schedules to finish off the season. Ryan Miller has been fantastic, putting up a 5-3-2 record, with a .937 save percentage. Their top scorers were Henrik Sedin (8P in 13GP), Bo Horvat (7P in 13GP), and Troy Stecher (4P in 13GP).

21. Calgary Flames 48.9 (+1)

Matthew Tkachuk continues to prove that he too deserves some Calder Trophy discussion, unfortunately, this years Calder class is insanely good. Brian Elliott posted a 3-3-1 record with a .905 save percentage; whereas counterpart Chad Johnson had a 3-4-0 record with a .887 save percentage. Their top scorers were Sean Monahan (13P in 14GP), Mikael Backlund (10P in 14GP), and Dougie Hamilton (10P in 14GP).

22. Edmonton Oilers 48.8 (-9)

Another big drop in the POWER for another young team. It’s a trend this month for whatever reason. The good thing is that Edmonton won games, and is now very likely to make the playoffs (finally). Cam Talbot had a 8-4-1 record with a .923 save percentage. Their top scorers were (of course) Connor McDavid (16P in 15GP), Leon Draisaitl (14P in 15GP), and Andrej Sekera (8P in 15GP).

23. Tampa Bay Lightning 48.1 (-6)

The Bolts find themselves at the bottom of the Eastern conference, just as everyone predicted. They’re definitely feeling the loss of Steven Stamkos at the moment. If they want any chance at making the playoffs, I think they would need to acquire a legitimate top-4 defenseman. Ben Bishop has a 2-2-1 record with a .893 save percentage; whereas Andrei Vasilevsky had a 1-7-1 record with a .892 save percentage. Their top scorers were Tyler Johnson (11P in 14GP), Nikita Kucherov (10P in 14GP), and Victor Hedman (8P in 11GP).

24. Chicago Blackhawks 48.1 (+1)

This is the first month all season where Corey Crawford has struggled. At least they had their 3 main stars up front produce some offense. Crawford had a 6-5-0 record with a .894 save percentage. Their top scorers were Patrick Kane (14P in 14GP), Jonathan Toews (11P in 14GP), and Duncan Keith (10P in 14GP).

25. Buffalo Sabres 47.8 (-10)

Had yet another great month for Ryan O’Reilly, who should be in consideration for the Selke Trophy in my opinion. The goalies were also good. Robin Lehner had a 4-1-1 record with a .916 save percentage; and Anders Nilsson put up a 3-4-1 record with a .920 save percentage. Their top scorers were Ryan O’Reilly (12P in 13GP), Evander Kane (11P in 14GP), and Cody Franson (7P in 14GP).

26. Florida Panthers 46.2 (-5)

A monster month from James Reimer, and receiving Aleksander Barkov, and Jonathan Huberdeau back from IR could help them make the playoffs. They can definitely sneak in, only 3 points out with a game on hand. James Reimer had a 3-1-1 record with a .920 save percentage; whereas Roberto Luongo posted a 3-4-1 record with a .918 save percentage. Their top scorers were Vincent Trocheck (13P in 13GP), Jonathan Marchessault (8P in 13GP), and Keith Yandle (7P in 13GP).

27. Arizona Coyotes 45.8 (+2)

This is probably the first time Arizona has gotten out of the bottom 3 teams in POWER. They actually won a fair amount of games this month, going roughly .500. Mike Smith went 4-5-1, and had a .905 save percentage. Their top scorers were Radim Vrbata (11P in 13GP), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (8P in 13GP), and Brendan Perlini (7P in 13GP).

28. St. Louis Blues 45.4 (-)

Their underlying numbers are completely abysmal. But, they have went just around .500 this month, as has every team (almost). Jake Allen had a 2-4-0 record with a .864 save percentage; whereas Carter Hutton put up a 4-3-0 record with a .904 save percentage. Their top scorers were Alexander Steen (16P in 14GP), Paul Stastny (14P in 14GP), and Kevin Shattenkirk (11P in 14GP).

29. New Jersey Devils 45.3 (-2)

Not a very good team, but they had a month good enough to still have some playoff hopes. They sit 5 points out of a spot with 0 games on hand, so it’s still possible, just very unlikely. Cory Schneider had a 5-3-2 record with a .928 save percentage; whereas Keith Kinkaid posted a 2-2-0 record with a .925 save percentage. Their top scorers were Kyle Palmieri (10P in 14GP), Taylor Hall (9P in 14GP), and Steven Santini (5P in 14GP).

30. Colorado Avalanche 38.6 (-)

My god. I’m so sorry Avalanche fans. At least you get Nolan Patrick, but you probably picked the wrong year to tank. Calvin Pickard posted a 1-5-0 record with a .912 save percentage. Their top scorers were Nathan MacKinnon (8P in 12GP), Gabriel Landeskog (6P in 12GP), and Tyson Barrie (4P in 8GP).

Statistics via Corsica.Hockey and NHL.com

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