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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NHL POWER Rankings: December

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. These rankings only include games that have taken place in the month of December.

I’m making a few more tweaks in how I do these rankings this month. First of all I have decided to weight every attribute in terms of how they relate to winning games, I will state their weights in the next paragraph. Secondly I have changed the penalties for and against from a percentage to a rate in per 60 minutes form.

There are 6 major components that make up 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. Adjusted Fenwick save percentage, or the teams actual save percentage minus the expected save percentage based on shot quality (Adj.FenSV%). Added onto total.

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

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 November. I will also list their top 2 forward point scorers and their top defensive point scorer. At the end of the article you will find the spreadsheet with all stats I used to create these rankings.

  1. Montreal Canadiens 61.48 (+15)

The Montreal Canadiens rise to number one in the monthly POWER rankings despite the the loss of number one centre Alex Galchenyuk. Luckily, they received an absolutely fantastic month from their captain Max Pacioretty. Superstar goaltender Carey Price actually had quite the underwhelming December, posting a 5-3-2 record with a .898 save percentage. Their top scorers were Max Pacioretty (15 P in 13GP), Paul Byron (9P in 13GP), Jeff Petry (8P in 13GP).

2. Columbus Blue Jackets 58.20 (+6)

The only team to not lose a single game in the month of December, just a terrific story, scoring from every single line, and a great performance from Sergei Bobrovsky. Bobrovsky posted an astounding 11-0-0 record with a .939 save percentage. Their top scorers were Cam Atkinson (15P in 13GP), Sam Gagner (15P in 13GP), and Seth Jones (8P in 13GP).

3. Minnesota Wild 56.76 (+9)

Another team with an absolutely huge win streak during this month. The two power houses in Minnesota and Columbus played on one of the last days of December, when Columbus beat them 4-2. Devan Dubnyk posted a fantastic 10-0-1 record and a .941 save percentage. Their top scorers were Charlie Coyle (15P in 13GP), Eric Staal (14P in 13GP), and Jared Spurgeon (8P in 13GP).

4. Toronto Maple Leafs 55.68 (+11)

#TheLeafsAreActuallyGood might be an understatement, they are GREAT. They actually have a good chance to make the playoffs this season. Frederik Andersen really had a phenomenal month, posting a 5-2-3 record with an outstanding .948 save percentage. Their top scorers were Auston Matthews (12P in 12GP), Jake Gardiner (9P in 12GP), and William Nylander (8P in 12GP).

5. Los Angeles Kings 55.66 (-2)

The Corsi Kings of the NHL find themselves ranking highly again this month, despite not getting the required amount of goals from anyone except Jeff Carter. Peter Budaj had a 3-3-2 record with a .930 save percentage. Their top scorers were Jeff Carter (11P in 13GP), Anze Kopitar (7P in 13GP), and Drew Doughty (6P in 13GP).

6. Pittsburgh Penguins 55.27 (-4)

Another excellent month from the Penguins. Former Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz has really stepped up and performed the way the Oilers originally envisioned. Marc-Andre Fleury posted a 5-0-1 record with a .923 save percentage, while rookie counterpart Matt Murray posted a 6-1-1 record with a .926 save percentage. Their top scorers were Sidney Crosby (20P in 14GP), Evgeny Malkin (19P in 14GP), and Justin Schultz (17P in 14GP).

7. Dallas Stars 54.91 (+2)

Dallas has oddly ranked highly the entire season, this month, goal tending has actually been GOOD! That’s an oddity to hear in Dallas, but it is finally true! At least for this month. Kari Lehtonen posted a 5-3-0 record with a .928 save percentage. Their top scorers were Tyler Seguin (13P in 13GP), Jamie Benn (13P in 13GP), and John Klingberg (7P in 13GP).

8. Washington Capitals 53.48 (+16)

The Capitals had some beastly goal tending this month, but it seems as though their goal scorers just decided to take the month off. Braden Holtby posted a  5-3-3 record with a .938 save percentage. Their top scorers were John Carlson (10P in 13GP), Justin Williams (9P in 13GP), and Marcus Johansson (9P in 13GP).

9. San Jose Sharks 53.32 (-5)

The Sharks fell just a bit from last months rankings, but that’s fine, because they’re winning. Joe Thornton has been playing Joe Thornton hockey, absolutely no goals, and basically no shots, but plenty of assists. Goal tender Martin Jones posted a great 7-3-0 record with a .919 save percentage. Their top scorers were Joe Pavelski (13P in 12GP), Brent Burns (13P in 12GP), and Joe Thornton (11P in 12GP).

10. Boston Bruins 52.87 (-5)

Another good month from Boston, however, they really have to stop taking so many penalties as they do. Their 5 on 5 play is excellent, top tier, however they just take far too many penalties. Tuukka Rask had a 6-3-2 record with a .910 save percentage. Their top scorers were David Krejci (10P in 15GP), Ryan Spooner (10P in 15GP), and Torey Krug (10P in 15GP).

11. Carolina Hurricanes 52.13 (-5)

I don’t think anyone predicted Derek Ryan to be the Hurricanes leading scorer this month. I also don’t think that anyone knew Derek Ryan was alive, so you can’t really blame them. Top defenseman Justin Faulk had a great month, but it ended 2 games short when he was injured in a game. Cam Ward was actually good this month, posting a 6-2-3 record, with a .920 save percentage. Their top scorers were Derek Ryan (10P in 13GP), Victor Rask (9P in 13GP), and Justin Faulk (9P in 11GP).

12. Winnipeg Jets 51.35 (-2)
No, you should not hate Connor Hellebuyck if you happen to be a Jets fan, be patient, as you were with Ondrej Pavalec. Hellebuyck posted a 4-3-1 record in December with a .908 save percentage. Their top scorers were Blake Wheeler (12P in 13GP), Patrik Laine (11P in 13GP), and Dustin Byfuglien (10P in 13GP).
13. Edmonton Oilers 50.67 (-2)
Psst… Connor McDavid is not the only number one centre on the Edmonton Oilers, they also have 2014 3rd overall pick Leon Draisaitl who put on quite the show this month. Goalie Cam Talbot had a 7-1-3 record in December with a .923 save percentage. Their top scorers were Leon Draisaitl (15P in 13GP), Mark Letestu (11P in 13GP), and Andrej Sekera (10P in 12GP).
14. Nashville Predators 50.54 (-13)
The re-emergence of bad Pekka Rinne made this a forgettable month for the Predators, however, their overall play was good, and rookie goal tender Juuse Saros looked great in the 4 games he played in. Rinne had a 3-5-2 record with a .875 save percentage, just not something a team can work with in terms of save percentage. Their top scorers were Ryan Johansen (11P in 14GP), Viktor Arvidsson (10P in 14GP), and Mattias Ekholm (8P in 14GP).
15. Buffalo Sabres 49.74 (+10)
Rasmus Ristolainen had a monster month for the Sabres, being one of the only point per game defenseman in the league. Robin Lehner had a 3-4-2 record with a .924 save percentage. Their top scorers were Rasmus Ristolainen (13P in 13GP), Evander Kane (10P in 13GP), and Jack Eichel (9P in 13GP).
16. Detroit Red Wings 49.71 (+1)
The Red Wings are very good at the penalty game, like the opposite of the Boston Bruins. The Wings went through both Petr Mrazek, who had a 3-3-1 record with a .876 save percentage; and Jimmy Howard, who posted a 0-2-1 record with a .917 save percentage. Their top scorers were Henrik Zetterberg (10P in 13GP), Thomas Vanek (10P in 13GP), and Mike Green (5P in 9GP).
17. Tampa Bay Lightning 49.23 (+2)
Steven Stamkos was obviously a huge loss for the Lightning, but 2013 3rd overall pick Jonathan Drouin has been dominant in his absence. Andrei Vasilevsky put up a 3-3-1 record with a .883 save percentage; whereas Ben Bishop posted a 2-2-2 record with a .922 save percentage. Their top scorers were Jonathan Drouin (14P in 12GP), Victor Hedman (14P in 13GP), and Valtteri Filppula (8P in 12GP).
18. Anaheim Ducks 49.05 (-10)
Anaheim had a big problem in net this month, neither goalie could stop the puck at a rate good enough to help their team win games. Other than that, the team as a whole was above average. John Gibson put up a 5-2-4 record with a .902 save percentage; and Jonathan Bernier posted a 2-2-0 record with a .843 save percentage. Their top scorers were Ryan Kesler (13P in 15GP), Corey Perry (11P in 13GP), and Cam Fowler (8P in 15GP).
19. New York Islanders 48.77 (+10)
When the New York Islanders placed starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak on waivers, it sparked a lot of criticism for general manager Garth Snow. We’ll see if that was the right decision eventually. Halak posted a 3-2-1 record with a .906 save percentage; and Thomas Greiss had a 3-1-0 record with a .927 save percentage. Their top scorers were Anders Lee (11P in 13GP), Josh Bailey (9P in 13GP), and Travis Hamonic (6P in 13GP).
20. New York Rangers 48.76 (+2)
The New York Rangers continue to win games despite poor shot attempt, scoring chances, and expected goals metrics. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 4-2-0 record with a .914 save percentage; and Antti Raanta had a 5-3-0 record with a .910 save percentage. Their top scorers were Derek Stepan (14P in 14GP), Chris Kreider (13P in 14GP), and Ryan McDonagh (11P in 13GP).
21. Florida Panthers 48.71 (-3)
Bargain bin forward Jonathan Marchessault continues to impress, now with 24 points in 31 games. Goalie Roberto Luongo put up a 3-3-4 record with a .906 save percentage; whereas James Reimer had a 1-1-2 record with a .933 save percentage. Their top scorers were Aleksander Barkov (13P in 13GP), Jaromir Jagr (9P in 14GP), and Jason Demers (8p in 14GP).
22. Calgary Flames 48.45 (-1)
Getting Johnny Gaudreau back from injury certainly helped a ton. Mikael Backlund can be argued as a selke candidate, Dougie Hamilton and Matthew Tkachuk are silently sneaking up in the Norris, and Calder rankings. Chad Johnson put up a 5-4-0 record with a .905 save percentage; and Brian Elliott had a 3-0-0 record with a .915 save percentage. Their top scorers were Johnny Gaudreau (14P in 11GP), Mikael Backlund (13P in 12GP), and Dougie Hamilton (9P in 11GP).
23. Ottawa Senators 47.55 (+0)
The loss of goal tending in both family and injury instances has forced Mike Condon to start 12 out of a possible 14 games in December. Condon posted a 6-3-3 record with a .908 save percentage. Their top scorers were Mark Stone (13P in 13GP), Erik Karlsson (13P in 13GP), and Kyle Turris (10P in 13GP).
24. Philadelphia Flyers 47.47 (-4)
The Flyers have been keeping up with the pack with a mediocre Steve Mason, imagine what could happen if he re-enters his good mode from the last couple years. Mason posted a 8-4-1 record with a .914 save percentage. Their top scorers were Jakub Voracek (15P in 14GP), Claude Giroux (11P in 14GP), and Ivan Provorov (7P in 14GP).
25. Chicago Blackhawks 46.83 (-12)
One of two teams with a scoring chances for percentage below 40 percent for the month, with the Colorado Avalanche, that is scary, very scary. Luckily, goal tending has been outstanding in Chicago to keep them at the top of the league in the standings. Scott Darling posted a 6-4-1 record with a .927 save percentage. Their top scorers were Artemi Panarin (17P in 15GP), Patrick Kane (14P in 15GP), and Duncan Keith (10P in 13GP).
26. Vancouver Canucks 46.61 (-1)
Tankcouver is on! Or, it might not be? Currently on a 4 game winning streak, but we’ll see where that goes. Ryan Miller posted a 5-2-1 record with a .908 save percentage; and Jacob Markstrom had a 1-5-0 record with a .922 save percentage, funny how things work sometimes. Their top scorers were Henrik Sedin (10P in 14GP), Sven Baertschi (8P in 13GP) and Troy Stecher (5P in 14GP).
27. New Jersey Devils 44.30 (-1)
It’s hard to believe how poorly Cory Schnieder is playing recently, since he is universally considered a top 5 goalie. But, at least they have Taylor Hall, who is playing great hockey, just unfortunately for him, on yet another bad team. Cory Schnieder posted a 2-6-2 record in December with a .887 save percentage. Their top scorers were Taylor Hall (11P in 13GP), Kyle Palmieri (10P in 14GP), and Damon Severson (5P in 14GP).
28. St. Louis Blues 44.01 (-13)
An absolutely horrible month from a goal tending perspective. Maybe they should have kept Brian Elliott over the younger Jake Allen? Not a good month at 5v5, but Vladimir Tarasenko and Kevin Shattenkirk still gave the Blues a great power play. Jake Allen had a 5-6-0 record with a .892 save percentage in December. Their top scorers were Vladimir Tarasenko (16P in 14GP), Robby Fabbri (13P in 14GP), and Kevin Shattenkirk (9P in 14GP).

29. Arizona Coyotes 43.36 (+1)

Arizona has broke out of last place! Despite Mike Smith playing absurdley good, the Coyotes are still an awful NHL team. But not to worry Coyotes fans (if there is any), the prospect system is very promising. Mike Smith posted a 3-9-2 record in December with a .916 save percentage. Their top scorers are Radim Vrbata (9P in 15GP), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (8P in 15GP), and Martin Hanzal (6P in 15GP).

30. Colorado Avalanche 34.68 (-2)
My stat is far from perfect, but Colorado is literally a full 9 points lower than the ARIZONA COYOTES! Yeah, it is definitely time to blow up the team. Semyon Varlamov put up a 2-6-0 record with a .889 save percentage; Calvin Pickard posted a 1-5-0 record with a .895 save percentage. Their top scorers were Matt Duchene (10P in 14GP), Nathan MacKinnon (10P in 14GP), and Tyson Barrie (8P in 14GP).
Statistics from NHL.com, and Corsica.Hockey
Spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wnwMmamN-6HgimnpJi1viiextHoSheAhVqhgvwQpx4Y/edit?usp=sharing

NHL POWER Rankings: November

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. These rankings ONLY include games that have taken place in the month of November.

I’m switching up how I did these POWER rankings from last month, changing how I measure special team successes, and adding another factor which is the percentage of power play opportunities x team would get.

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

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

2. Expected goals percentage (xGF%).

3. Scoring chances for percentage (SCF%).

4. Power play opportunities percentage, in pure penalties taken, not minutes on power play vs minutes on penalty kill (PPO%)

5. 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%)

6. Adjusted Fenwick save percentage, or the teams actual save percentage minus the expected save percentage based on shot quality (Adj.FenSV%)

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 October. I will also put their ranks in the components in the team descriptions. I will also list their top 2 forward point scorers and their top defensive point scorer.

  1. Nashville Predators 57.79 (+25)

CF% 2nd, xGF% 4th, SCF% 3rd, PPO% 1st, STxGF% 2nd, Adj.FenSV% 12th.

The Nashville Predators had a rough October, but they really stepped up huge in November and saved themselves. Pekka Rinne has been fantastic with a 9-1-2 record in the month with a .949 save percentage. Their offensive leaders were James Neal (13P in 12GP), Ryan Johansen (12P in 14GP), and PK Subban (10P in 14GP).

2. Pittsburgh Penguins 55.50 (+14)

CF% 4th, xGF% 1st, SCF% 1st, PPO% 6th, STxGF% 11th, Adj.FenSV% 16th.

Another team that had an underwhelming October but have found their stride with Sidney Crosby back in the lineup. They are playing like a Stanley Cup contender just as they were last year. Matt Murray has been the main man in net for Pittsburgh with a 7-2-0 record in November and a .929 save percentage. Their offensive leaders were Sidney Crosby (17P in 14GP), Evgeny Malkin (12P in 14GP), and Kris Letang (10P in 14GP).

3. Los Angeles Kings 54.41 (+10)

CF% 6th, xGF% 7th, SCF% 6th, PPO% 24th, STxGF% 1st, Adj.FenSV% 11th.

Peter Budaj, the forgotten former Montreal Canadiens goaltender has been good enough to let the Kings sit in a wildcard spot for now, but it seems like they’re under performing quite a bit. Maybe if they can keep the penalties that they take down they can get higher in the standings. Budaj has a 8-5-1 record in November with a .914 save percentage. Their offensive leaders are Jeff Carter (14P in 14GP), Tyler Toffoli (8P in 14 GP), and Alec Martinez (7P in 14GP).

4. San Jose Sharks 54.11 (-1)

CF% 12th, xGF% 10th, SCF% 14th, PPO% 6th, STxGF% 6th, Adj.FenSV% 8th.

The Sharks currently sit first place in the Pacific Division, they have been arguably the most consistent team all season, but they may soon regret the Mikkel Boedker signing, who has just 4 points in 24 games. Martin Jones is their starter, and went 7-5-1 in November, with a .924 save percentage. Their top offensive players have been Brent Burns (11P in 15GP), Logan Couture (10P in 15GP), and Joe Pavelski (10P in 15GP).

5. Boston Bruins 53.90 (+16)

CF% 1st, xGF% 2nd, SCF% 5th, PPO% 26th, STxGF% 5th, Adj.FenSV% 23rd.

Perhaps the best team in the NHL at even strength? Literally their only weakness has been taking too many penalties. Loosing John-Micheal Liles for potentially the season is a big loss for them but they are still a great team. Tuukka Rask has been great with a 8-4-1 record and a .932 save percentage. Their top offensive players have been David Krejci (11P in 15GP), Brad Marchand (10P in 15GP), and Torey Krug (10P in 15GP).

6. Carolina Hurricanes 53.01 (+12)

CF% 5th, xGF% 9th, SCF% 10th, PPO% 3rd, STxGF% 26th, Adj.FenSV% 7th.

What do you get when you put the Carolina Hurricanes with a good version of Cam Ward? A REALLY good team. It’s amazing what can happen with at least average goal tending. Losing Jordan Staal will hurt lots especially on their penalty kill, and ya know since he is their best possession player. Ward has a 6-4-2 record in November with a .935 save percentage. Their top scorers this month are Jeff Skinner (8P in 14GP), Victor Rask (7P in 14GP), and Jaccob Slavin (4P in 14GP).

7. Columbus Blue Jackets 52.94 (+1)

CF% 15th, xGF% 14th, SCF% 9th, PPO% 4th, STxGF% 20th, Adj.FenSV% 6th.

The team (almost) everyone predicted to finish last finishes in the top 10 yet again. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is having a Veznia-calibre season, putting together a 9-2-1 record in November, with a .924 save percentage. Their top scorers have been Cam Atkinson (16P in 14GP), Alexander Wennberg (13P in 14GP), and Zach Werenski (10P in 14GP)

8. Anaheim Ducks 52.70 (-3)

CF% 26th, xGF% 11th, SCF% 16th, PPO% 9th, STxGF% 3rd, Adj.FenSV% 13th.

Sitting 2nd place in the Pacific Division at the moment. There are some great teams there, and there are also some very bad teams there (as we will see later). The Ducks have been running 2 goalies in November. John Gibson with a 4-4-1 record and a .916 save percentage, and Jonathan Bernier, who has a 4-0-1 record with a .934 save percentage. Their top scorers have been Ryan Kesler (14P in 14GP), Rickard Rakell (13P in 14GP), and Cam Fowler (7P in 14GP).

9. Dallas Stars 52.14 (+14)

CF% 21st, xGF% 13th, SCF% 15th, PPO% 8th, STxGF% 8th, Adj.FenSV% 18th.

A team that is just absolutely plagued with forward injuries has been able to keep it going for now. At one point their entire middle 6 was gone. The Stars have been running with their two elite goaltenders at 10.4 million dollars per year. Kari Lehtonen has a 3-4-2 record with a .877 save percentage, whereas Antti Niemi has a 3-1-3 record with a .912 save percentage. Their top scorers have been Tyler Seguin (17P in 16GP), Jamie Benn (16P in 16GP), and John Klingberg (8P in 14GP).

10. Winnipeg Jets 51.69 (+19)

CF% 22nd, xGF% 5th, SCF% 8th, PPO% 16th, STxGF% 7th, Adj.FenSV% 28th.

Just received Matthieu Perreault and Bryan Little from IR, and Jacob Trouba signed this month which definitely improved the team. One problem is Toby Enstrom has gone back to Sweden with no timetable on his return. Connor Hellebuyck has been the Jets goalie this season, and posted a 7-6-0 record with a .914 save percentage this month.  Their top scorers are Mark Scheifele (18P in 16GP), Nikolaj Ehlers (16P in 16GP), and Dustin Byfuglien (7P in 16GP).

11. Edmonton Oilers 50.94 (+1)

CF% 3rd, xGF% 17th, SCF% 19th, PPO% 7th, STxGF% 21st, Adj.FenSV% 19th.

Connor McDavid is living up to the hype, currently 1st in the NHL in points. The Oilers are in a tight race in the Pacific Division and could potentially make the playoffs this season for the first time in a while. Cam Talbot has posted a 4-7-2 record in November with a .902 save percentage. Their leading scorers are Connor McDavid (19P in 15GP), Leon Draisaitl (11P in 15GP), and Oscar Klefbom (6P in 15GP).

12. Minnesota Wild 50.81 (+2)

CF% 9th, xGF% 8th, SCF% 2nd, PPO% 20th, STxGF% 29th, Adj.FenSV% 9th.

Arguably the best defensive team in the NHL right now, led by blueliners Jared Spurgeon, and Ryan Suter, and defensive forwards Mikko Koivu, Nino Niederitter, and Eric Staal. Devan Dubnyk has been having a Veznia-calibre season, with a 4-5-1 record in November, but with a .942 save percentage. Their leading scorers are Nino Niederitter (9P in 13GP), Mikael Granlund (9P in 13GP), and Jonas Brodin (6P in 13GP).

13. Chicago Blackhawks 50.22 (-3)

CF% 20th, xGF% 20th, SCF% 21st, PPO% 11th, STxGF% 24th, Adj.FenSV% 1st.

Corey Crawford is my pick for the Veznia Trophy this season. He has done insanely well with a team that by the numbers, have just been average. Crawford posted a 8-3-1 record in November with a .933 save percentage. Their leading scorers are Patrick Kane (14P in 15GP), Artemi Panarin (13P in 15GP), and Duncan Keith (8P in 15GP).

14. St. Louis Blues 50.17 (-5)

CF% 7th, xGF% 6th, SCF% 7th, PPO% 23rd, STxGF% 16th, Adj.FenSV% 29th.

Quite a good team at even strength. Their biggest problems are all special teams and goaltending through November. But I think it’s a fair bet to say that they have the personnel to fix those areas of concern. Jake Allen had a 7-2-1 record with a shaky .903 save percentage. Their top scorers are Vladimir Tarasenko (14P in 14GP), Jaden Schwartz (12P in 14GP), and Kevin Shattenkirk (9P in 14GP)

15. Toronto Maple Leafs 50.04 (-4)

CF% 23rd, xGF% 3rd, SCF% 4th, PPO% 25th, STxGF% 27th, Adj.FenSV% 20th.

Home of the most legitimate Calder Trophy candidates in Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Mitchell Marner. Their starting goaltender, Frederik Andersen posted a 8-4-0 record with a .931 save percentage this month. Their leading scorers were James van Reimsdyk (13P in 14GP), Mitchell Marner (13P in 14GP), and Morgan Reilly (8P in 14GP). #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood

16. Montreal Canadiens 49.77 (-12)

CF% 16th, xGF% 19th, SCF% 17th, PPO% 12th, STxGF% 23rd, Adj.FenSV% 15th.

Have no fear, Habs fans. Even when the Canadiens play is sub-par, they will still have Carey Price on their team who can single-handedly win games. Carey Price had a 8-2-1 record in the month, with a fantastic .944 save percentage. Their leading scorers were Alex Galchenyuk (14P in 14GP), Andrei Markov (13P in 14GP), and Alexander Radulov (11P in 12GP).

17. Detroit Red Wings 49.66 (-2)

CF% 25th, xGF% 28th, SCF% 20th, PPO% 2nd, STxGF% 18th, Adj.FenSV% 22nd.

The Red Wings have mostly been a below average team. But their share of power play opportunity is quite impressive. They need to keep Anthony Mantha up longer. The Wings are one of those teams that run with two net minders. Jimmy Howard has posted a 3-4-0 record with a .922 save percentage, and Petr Mrazek with a 2-2-2 record and a .899 save percentage. Their top scorers were Henrik Zetterberg (11P in 13GP), Frans Nielsen (7P in 13GP), and Mike Green (6P in 13GP).

18. Florida Panthers 49.58 (-12)

CF% 8th, xGF% 25th, SCF% 25th, PPO% 10th, STxGF% 9th, Adj.FenSV% 24th.

GM Tom Rowe decided to fire coach Gerard Gallant after a comeback loss to the Carolina Hurricanes and appointed himself to be Head Coach. The Panthers have seen both James Reimer, and Roberto Luongo play this month. Luongo with a 5-3-1 record, with a .939 save percentage, and James Reimer with a 2-3-0 record with a .890 save percentage. Their leading scorers were Aleksander Barkov (9P in 14GP), Jaromir Jagr (8P in 14GP), and Keith Yandle (8P in 14GP).

19. Tampa Bay Lightning 49.55 (+3)

CF% 18th, xGF% 18th, SCF% 18th, PPO% 17th, STxGF% 25th, Adj.FenSV% 4th.

With the Steven Stamkos injury that will keep him out for 1-3 months, the Lightning will have to rely more heavily on guys like Nikita Kucherov, and Jonathan Drouin to make up for his loss (which is not a bad thing). Both Ben Bishop, and Andrei Vasilevsky have had their fair share of starts. Ben Bishop posted a 4-5-0 record with a .916 save percentage, and Andrei Vasilevsky with a 4-1-1 record, and a .944 save percentage. Their top scorers were Nikita Kucherov (18P in 15GP), Victor Hedman (12P in 15GP), and Valtteri Filppula (11P in 14GP).

20. Philadelphia Flyers 49.35 (+4)

CF% 14th, xGF% 26th, SCF% 24th, PPO% 15th, STxGF% 4th, Adj.FenSV% 26th.

There was a legitimate argument last year that Steve Mason and Michael Neuvirth was the best goaltending tandem in the NHL, this year however, not so much. Both have struggled quite a bit. Good news is that the power play has been fantastic. Steve Mason has started a majority of the games in November, and posted a 4-4-2 record with a .911 save percentage. Their top scorers were Wayne Simmonds (11P in 14GP), Jakub Voracek (10P in 14GP), and Michael Del Zotto (6P in 9GP).

21. Calgary Flames 49.30 (+6)

CF% 10th, xGF% 16th, SCF% 13th, PPO% 27th, STxGF% 10th, Adj.FenSV% 25th.

I think that Calgary could actually be a pretty decent team if they weren’t always on the wrong side of the power plays. Their goaltending should naturally improve with two very good goalies, even though one has had a fairly rough start. Brian Elliott has posted a 0-5-1 record with a .869 save percentage – ouch. Chad Johnson however has been much better, with a 7-3-0 record and a .939 save percentage. Their top scorers have been Michael Frolik (9P in 16GP), Matthew Tkachuk (6P in 14GP), and Dougie Hamilton (6P in 16GP).

22. New York Rangers 49.27 (-21)

CF% 29th, xGF% 15th, SCF% 11th, PPO% 22nd, STxGF% 13th, Adj.FenSV% 18th.

With such a fantastic October, it should be slightly worrisome that the Rangers shot metrics have fell off of a cliff. Luckily they have great goaltending, and people have continued scoring no matter what the shot metrics were saying. Henrik Lundqvist posted a 7-3-1 record and a .925 save percentage; whereas backup Antti Raanta put up a 3-1-0 record with a .935 save percentage. Their leading scorers were

23. Ottawa Senators 48.92 (-16)

CF% 27th, xGF% 23rd, SCF% 22nd, PPO% 14th, STxGF% 22nd, Adj.FenSV% 3rd.

The Craig Anderson story is quite remarkable, his wife was diagnosed with cancer, and the first game back, he had a shut out. Craig Anderson posted a 7-4-1 record with a .934 save percentage in Novemer. Their leading scorers were Mike Hoffman (11P in 13GP), Erik Karlsson (11P in 15GP), and Mark Stone (10P in 14GP).

24. Washington Capitals 48.88 (-22)

CF% 11th, xGF% 24th, SCF% 26th, PPO% 30th, STxGF% 17th, Adj.FenSV% 2nd.

Another team that is winning even with average to poor results. Having an elite level goalie can carry through a rough patch and that’s what happened in November with Washington. I doubt you’ll see them this low again. Braden Holtby posted a 7-3-0 record and a .923 save percentage. Their leading scorers were Nicklas Backstrom (15P in 13GP), Alex Ovechkin (12P in 13GP), and John Carlson (7P in 13GP).

25. Buffalo Sabres 48.54 (-8)

CF% 19th, xGF% 12th, SCF% 12th, PPO% 18th, STxGF% 30th, Adj.FenSV% 10th.

The only legitimate concern for the Sabres based on this month is their special teams play, which will more than likely improve now that they received Jack Eichel back from IR. Robin Lehner has been the starter in net this month, and he posted a 3-5-2 record with a .924 save percentage. Their top scorers were Sam Reinhart (8P in 14GP), Kyle Okposo (8P in 14GP), and Cody Franson (4P in 14GP).

26. New Jersey Devils 47.62 (-6)

CF% 17th, xGF% 27th, SCF% 28th, PPO% 19th, STxGF% 15th, Adj.FenSV% 21st.

Cory Schneider had a rarely bad month, but they’ve won just enough games to be hanging onto a chance at the playoffs, not too far off right now. Getting Taylor Hall back will be nice for them to bolster their scoring. Cory Schneider posted a 4-4-2 record with a .893 save percentage. Their leading scorers were Michael Cammalleri (11P in 8GP), Travis Zajac (10P in 14GP), and John Moore (8P in 14GP).

27. Vancouver Canucks 47.26 (-2)

CF% 13th, xGF% 21st, SCF% 23rd, PPO% 13th, STxGF% 19th, Adj.FenSV% 30th.

Their goaltending has really struggled in Vancouver. At this point, they’re not too far back of the playoffs, but it’s highly unlikely that they have any chance. This is a team on the route to Nolan Patrick. Another team with two goalies who have both started about equal time. Ryan Miller has a 3-5-0 record with a .896 save percentage, whereas Jacob Markstrom has a 3-2-1 record with a .893 save percentage. Their leading scorers are Bo Horvat (12P in 14GP), Daniel Sedin (10P in 14GP), and Ben Hutton (6P in 14GP).

28. Colorado Avalanche 45.70 (+0)

CF% 24th, xGF% 22nd, SCF% 27th, PPO% 29th, STxGF% 14th, Adj.FenSV% 27th.

This is one of the three teams that I am very scared for, these teams have been so bad this year that I feel bad for them. Luckily it’s not ALL bad in Colorado, at least they have a very good player and possible contender for the Calder Trophy in Mikko Rantanen. Semyon Varlamov posted a 3-6-0 record in November with a .901 save percentage. Their leading scorers were Mikko Rantanen (10P in 14GP), Nathan MacKinnon (9P in 14GP), and Erik Johnson (6P in 14GP).

29. New York Islanders 45.58 (-10)

CF% 28th, xGF% 29th, SCF% 29th, PPO% 28th, STxGF% 12th, Adj.FenSV% 14th.

Remember last year when Steven Stamkos almost went to free agency last year? Yeah, well he was on a promising team. I seriously doubt that John Tavares will be returning to the Islanders next season, he will be the first franchise player in free agency in a while. Another two goalie team. Thomas Greiss put up a 3-2-0 record with a .914 save percentage. On the other hand, Jaroslav Halak had a 1-3-4 record with a .905 save percentage. Their leading scorers were John Tavares (10P in 13GP), Josh Bailey (7P in 13GP), and Nick Leddy (6P in 13GP).

30. Arizona Coyotes 44.90 (+0)

CF% 30th, xGF% 30th, SCF% 30th, PPO% 21st, STxGF% 28th, Adj.FenSV% 5th.

I am legitimately sorry for Arizona Coyotes fans (if there are any (sorry)), this team is 13/14 Buffalo Sabres level of bad. The only bright spot they have right now is Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Don’t worry, though. The Yotes prospects are pretty amazing. Mike Smith and Louis Domingue split time this month. Smith with a 3-1-2 record and a .936 save percentage, Domingue with a 3-3-1 record and a .927 save percentage. Their leading scorers were Max Domi (9P in 13GP), Radim Vrbata (9P in 13GP), and Anthony DeAngelo (6P in 10GP).

Statistics from Corsica.Hockey and NHL.com

NHL POWER Rankings: October

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.

There are 6 major components in determining these POWER rankings: Corsi for percentage, or shot attempt percentage (CF%); Expected goals percentage (xGF%); Scoring chances for percentage (SCF%); Power play Fenwick for percentage (PPFF%), Fenwick is like Corsi, except it doesn’t include blocked shots, making them valued in Fenwick; Penalty kill Fenwick for percentage (PKFF%); and finally Adjusted Fenwick save percentage, or the actual save percentage minus the expected save percentage based on shot quality (Adj. FenSv%). All of the statistics are both score and venue adjusted to account for the home ice advantage, and the distortions the score has on possession stats.

Now, onto the POWER rankings. (by the way if anyone could make up a cool acronym for POWER, that would be great.)

Rank; Team name; Score

1. New York Rangers – 57.4

No defense? No problem. At least not yet. The Rangers have posted excellent shot quality statistics, with a dominant power play, and penalty kill. Their biggest problem as of now is actually Henrik Lundqvist, which if history has told us anything will get much better. I underestimated the Rangers team this year.

2. Washington Capitals – 56.7

So far this team has no noticeable weaknesses outside of the penalty kill, which is 26th in PKFF%. They’re getting both quality, and quantity of shots, and Braden Holtby is playing great.

3. San Jose Sharks – 55.5
Last years runner up for the Stanley Cup is off to a great start, which is expected when you take a glimpse at their roster. They are above average in every single one of the components.

4. Montreal Canadiens – 54.8

Did they lose the PK Subban for Shea Weber deal? Well, not yet i suppose. Even though they’ve been fairly average at 5v5, their PKFF% ranks 5th in the league. Also – that Carey Price guy, he’s pretty good.

5. Anaheim Ducks – 52.6

Quite an oddly good start for a team that replaced Bruce Boudreau with Randy Carlyle, and didn’t have Hampus Lindholm. The Ducks have had dominant special teams, and above average goaltending so far.

6. Florida Panthers – 52.5

Bargain bin players Jonathan Marchessault and Colton Sceviour have been paying off for the Cats, accounting for nearly half of their goals. They are above average in every statistic except Adj. FenSv%, where they have been just slightly below average.

7. Ottawa Senators – 52.2

The Senators Corsi is fairly bad, but as we all know, that doesn’t tell us the whole story, they’re top tier in SCF%, and xGF%. Also lowkey have had absolutely dominant special teams.

8. Columbus Blue Jackets – 52.1

Yes, I know all of you guys had Columbus pegged for last in the NHL, but really, they are not a bad team. They have the 2nd best PKFF% behind only the New York Rangers so far this season, and Sergei Bobrovsky has been elite so far.

9. St. Louis Blues – 51.9

Fantastic team at 5v5, having struggles on special teams, especially on the penalty kill. Nail Yakupov has been a nice addition for only a conditional 3rd round pick. Jake Allen has also provided solid goaltending thus far.

10. Chicago Blackhawks – 51.9

Good team struggling with shot quality, and penalty killing early on. Brilliant pick up of Brian Campbell in the offseason who has for sure bolstered their defensive core. Getting elite level goaltending from Corey Crawford is nice, too.

11. Toronto Maple Leafs – 51.7

Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs are actually off to quite a good start. Frederik Andersen has been a let down so far, but it’s reasonable to expect that he will rebound soon enough. The Leafs have a decent chance this year.

12. Edmonton Oilers – 51.7

Peter Chiarelli is a terrible general manager who will look great when Connor McDavid pulls this team to one of the top three seeds in the Pacific division. Him and elite goalie Cam Talbot, who is off to a great start.

13. Los Angeles Kings – 51.5

Los Angeles, as per usual have been a dominant CF% team, but this year they’ve struggled with shot quality. Very good power play, though. And actually not bad goaltending so far, but I’m not sure if I would expect that to hold up.

14. Minnesota Wild – 51.2

My sleeper pick to make the Stanley Cup Finals this year is off to a pretty average start. A great power play, and good shot quality metrics. Devan Dubnyk is also holding a fairly long shutout streak at the moment.

15. Detroit Red Wings – 50.9

Like Minnesota, they aren’t necessarily outshooting the other team most of the time, but, they’re doing very good in the shot quality department. Petr Mrazek has provided very good goaltending.

16. Pittsburgh Penguins – 50.2

Last year’s Stanley Cup Champion is just receiving the best player in the world, who won last years MVP in the playoffs, and the World Cup, yeah he’s pretty good. They will be higher next month.

17. Buffalo Sabres – 50.0

The Sabres are off to a good start based on what I expected of them. They’re posting a 55.91 SCF% thus far. Special teams have been pretty meh, and Robin Lehner has been slightly above average.

18. Carolina Hurricanes – 50.0

GET RID OF CAM WARD! GET RID OF CAM WARD! GET RID OF CAM WARD! Dead last in Adj. FenSv%. Factor out goaltending, and they rank top 5 in these rankings.

19. New York Islanders – 48.8

They have John Tavares. And goaltending. They’re getting outshot a lot at 5v5. At least they’re doing pretty good in scoring chances.

20. New Jersey Devils – 48.7

The Devils are a team who get’s outshot, in basically every department. They have the 2nd worst penalty in the league, just ahead of Chicago. The one thing they do have though is Cory Schnieder.

21. Boston Bruins – 48.6

Not a bad team at all at 5v5, they’re actually pretty dang good at 5v5. The problem is that they’re never at 5v5. They take a lot of penalties and have pretty mediocre special teams thus far. Combine that with the Tuukka Rask injury, and you have problems. Luckily Rask is back now.

22. Tampa Bay Lightning – 48.5

Average at 5v5 in terms of shot attempts and quality. Their power play has been absolutely fantastic. The problem here is that Ben Bishop has been really bad so far, which will likely turn around in favour of the Lightning.

23. Dallas Stars – 48.4

The injury plagued Stars have struggled a fair bit early on. Surprisingly Lehtonen and Niemi haven’t even been bad. But in terms of PPFF%, the Stars are right near the bottom.

24. Philadelphia Flyers – 48.3

They finished last year with arguably the best goaltending tandem in the NHL. Unfortunately for them, Steve Mason and Micheal Neuvirth have been off to a poor start, which will likely fix itself soon enough.

25. Vancouver Canucks – 46.8

The Canucks started magnificently with a 4-0 start, but then it went downhill. This team has Brandon Sutter as the #2 centre, what were you really expecting here? The tank for Patrick is on in Vancouver, and they need him.

26. Nashville Predators – 48.5

Absolutely everything has gone wrong in Nashville. It might be time to Panik. They’re one of the worst CF% teams in the league, and their shot quality numbers haven’t exactly been too great, either. Combine that with absolutely atrocious special teams and this is what you get.

27. Calgary Flames – 46.3

“With the acquisition of Brian Elliott, the Flames are a safe bet to make the playoffs!” – Calgary Flames fan, before season. NOPE. They have been brutal, at least they have Johnny Gaudreau.

28. Colorado Avalanche – 45.5

They have had a really, really good penalty kill so far. Unfortunately that is the only place where they are having any success at all. Noticeably being destroyed in the scoring chances department at 39.7%.

29. Winnipeg Jets – 44.8

They absolutely NEED Jacob Trouba back ASAP if they want any chance this year. But, it looks like he will not play for a Canadian team. The Jets have been straight up terrible in every department, except goaltending. At least they have Scheifele and Wheeler.

30. Arizona Coyotes – 44.2

Poor Yotes. Some people thought they had a chance this year. They have Oliver Ekman-Larsson, some would consider him the best defenseman in the league, and they are still abysmal. Just everything is going wrong for them.

All statistics from Corsica.Hockey

Goalies and Rebounds

Can goalies affect a team’s shot suppression? After digging into some rebound statistics on Corsica.Hockey, I found that some goalies have more rebounds that turn into shots than others. For instance, in the last 3 years, the worst goalie in allowing straight rebounds that turn into shots is Semyon Varlamov, with 2.39 shots that come from rebounds per 60 minutes. On the other hand, Tuukka Rask allows the least amount of rebounds that turn into shots, 1.34 per 60 minutes.

Now, of course, some goalies face more shots than other goalies, ranging from ~25 shots against per 60 minutes (Jonathan Quick)  to ~33 shots against per 60 minutes (James Reimer). If we take the rebound shots against, and divide it by the amount of shots against, we get the percentage of shots in which that individual goalie would be responsible for. You can find the full list of these goalies in this Google sheets document.

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As you can see here, allowing more rebounds doesn’t seem to affect the high-danger SV% of goalies. However, allowing more rebounds, over time will likely result in more goals against. If you’re in middle of the pack tier of goalies, take Craig Anderson for example, who allows 2.04 rebounds that result in shots against, which you can assume most would be high-danger shots, and apply it over a 20 game scale, you would get around 40.8 shots against in that span. Apply his HDSV% to that number (which is 79.1% over the past 3 years), and theoretically, he would have allowed approximately 8 goals due to rebounds. 

When you get into the realm of goalies who are the worst at controlling rebounds, and are responsible for 7+% of shots against such as Cam Ward, Semyon Varlamov, and Carey Price, you better hope that they can save a lot of the high danger shots, Carey Price sure can, he has the best HDSV% in this sample. Unfortunately for Cam Ward, he has the 3rd worst HDSV% of these goalies, so not only is he bad at making sure rebounds don’t get loose, he is also bad at saving the shots that result because of the rebounds.

Only 3 goalies were responsible for >5% of their teams shot against, Tuukka Rask, Cory Schneider, and Chad Johnson. Those are the 3 goalies I would consider to be “elite” at controlling rebounds. 4 goalies were responsible for <7.4% of their team’s shots against, Cam Ward, Carey Price, Semyon Varlamov, and Kari Lehtonen I would consider to be “poor” at controlling rebounds.

 

Andrej Nestrasil: A Hidden Gem

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Leafs put Matt Frattin on waivers; Red Wings place Andrej Nestrasil on waivers as well</p>&mdash; Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) <a href=”https://twitter.com/Real_ESPNLeBrun/status/535120968268906496″>November 19, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Waiver pickup Andrej Nestrasil posted a respectable 23 points in 55 games playing on one of the best shutdown lines in the NHL, Nestrasil’s underrated season ended came to an end after he was hit into the boards awkwardly and damaged his vertebrae. <blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”in” dir=”ltr”>Kadri hit on Nestrasil cc <a href=”https://twitter.com/echoesontherun”>@echoesontherun</a&gt; <a href=”https://t.co/2nleUcRxfd”>pic.twitter.com/2nleUcRxfd</a></p>&mdash; Stephanie (@myregularface) <a href=”https://twitter.com/myregularface/status/703043139452444672″>February 26, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Whats so great about Nestrasil is not the points that he puts up, it’s his completely dominant possession game. He and Jordan Staal were a deadly duo generating plenty of offensive zone time because they were over the top good at the cycle game. Here is his HERO chart. nest

“3rd line shutdown winger” means he receives 3rd line minutes in a defensive role. Among active NHLers in the past 2 years in ZS Adj CF% RelTM when the score is close, Nestrasil ranks 6th overall for forwards. Only Bergeron, Thornton, Marchand, Koivu, and Perreault are ahead of him. I’d say that 4 out of the 5 are considered to be “elite” defensive forwards to most people.CAR usage

As you can see, Nestrasil receives the hardest deployment of all Canes along side Jordan Staal, and he does the best possession-wise. Does he only do good because of Jordan Staal? Well, looking at an (unfinished) statistic by @DTMAboutHeart on Twitter which looks at Corsi impact while taking into account their surroundings or “environment,” where Nestrasil ranks 13th.

Overall, Nestrasil is a very skilled player who is exceptional along the boards, he produces extremely well, while being deployed very defensively. He has the upside to be a 20 goal, 55 point player (if he gets more ice time) who is elite defensively, and can play special teams. Here is a pretty sweet goal that he scored on the New York Islanders (backup) goaltender Jaroslav Halak <blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Nestrasil’s 2nd goal <a href=”https://t.co/gH3gur0QQ8″>pic.twitter.com/gH3gur0QQ8</a></p>&mdash; Stephanie (@myregularface) <a href=”https://twitter.com/myregularface/status/698680747016724481″>February 14, 2016</a></blockquote>
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BLOCKBUSTER: Shea Weber for PK Subban

 

The Nashville Predators have traded defenceman Shea Weber to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenceman PK Subban; no salary has been retained in this deal. Source: https://twitter.com/predsnhl/status/748248965733359617
Subban makes $9 million dollars per year over the next 6 seasons, making him the highest paid defenceman in the NHL. On the other hand, Weber is making $7.8 million dollars per year for the next 10 years. They’re both right-handed defensman who are thought to be “elite” by many, but in my opinion this is one of the worst trades in recent memory for the Canadiens.


First off, what does Weber bring to the table that Subban doesn’t? Subban is the better offensive defenceman in terms of point production, and relative shot generation. The only thing Weber is better in is goal scoring… The thing is that Weber most often plays with Roman Josi; and Subban spent most of his time with Andrei Markov. So, Subban produces better with a worse offensive defensman than Weber. In individual shot attempts/60 in the past 3 years, Weber ranks 34th in the NHL; and Subban ranks 83rd. In points per 60 minutes in the same timeframe, Subban ranks 9th; and Weber ranks 27th. So, Weber shoots more, and scores more than Subban, but doesn’t have a significant offensive advantage, if at all.


Now, let’s look at their defensive abilities. In relative shot suppression, Subban is top 4 calibre (by percentile of defenseman); whereas Weber is one of the worst in the league at shot suppression. In the past 3 years for zone start adjusted fenwick against per 60 minutes, Weber ranks 110th out of 124 defensman; whereas Subban ranks 55th out of the same amount of defensman. So, if your argument is that Weber is better defensively, I really don’t buy it.
This is basically how the trade breaks down in my opinion.
Nashville acquires:
– Norris calibre defenseman
– 4 fewer years of contract length
– the better player
Montreal acquires:
– Leadership award calibre player
– NHL’s “hardest shot” winner
– ~$1.2M cap relief for 6 years
– Player who made WCOH roster
So, there is a pretty clear winner here in my opinion, and it’s Nashville. Their top 4 will consist of 4 legitimate top 2 defenseman in Josi, Ekholm, Ellis, and now Subban. This is by far the best defensive core in the NHL right now. We’ll see Nashville in the playoffs next year, potentially competing for the Stanley Cup. Montreal, who I thought would make the playoffs next year, might not anymore. Weber is a significant downgrade from Subban in my opinion, and unless “Carry” Price puts that team on his back, they might not make it, being surpassed by teams such as Toronto, Florida, etc. We will just have to wait and see.