After a brief break, it’s time for your weekly dose of the NHL Numbers power rankings. I’ll look at the five best and worst NHL teams thus far in the season, as well as the three best and worst players in the last week.
Note: All use of Corsi For and Expected Goals For are Score and Venue Adjusted, and at even strength. All stats come from Corsica Hockey, and NHL.com (don’t worry, it’s only the standings).
THE TOP FIVE
5. Chicago Blackhawks
(26-12-5 record, 49.9% CF%, 47.8 xGF%, 101.97 PDO)
After being a dominant possession team for most of their dynasty, the Blackhawks have been defying the numbers this season, getting wins when their underlying stats suggest otherwise. I guess that’s what happens when you have players like Artemi Panarin, Corey Crawford, and Patrick Kane on the team.
4. Pittsburgh Penguins
(26-8-5 record, 51.26% CF%, 54.58 xGF%, 100.95 PDO)
The Penguins depth continues to show, as even despite the occasional injury, they keep finding ways to win. They’re even making Justin Schultz look good!
3. Columbus Blue Jackets
(28-7-4 record, 51.67% CF%, 51.63 xGF%, 102.65 PDO)
After a historic run, the Blue Jackets have lost their last couple games to some pretty good teams. They blew a 4-1 lead to the Rangers on Saturday, and they originally ended their streak in a 5-0 blowout loss to…
2. Washington Capitals
(25-9-5 record, 53.54% CF%, 51.37% xGF%, 102.79 PDO)
It was a rough start to the week for the Caps, as the team was facing a 4-2 deficit to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. They ended up winning the game 6-5, and then had two consecutive shutouts against the Blue Jackets and Senators.
1. Montreal Canadiens
(25-9-6 record, 53.57% CF%, 54.66% xGF%, 102.05 PDO)
Despite the numerous injuries they’re facing, the Habs have been a dominant possession team, and they have Carey Price, so…good luck.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
5. Buffalo Sabres
(15-15-9 record, 47.14 CF%, 50.11 xGF%, 100.04 PDO)
Despite the claims that Buffalo is turning a curb, the Sabres remain a bottom feeder, and haven’t really improved as much as everyone thought, mainly due to their mediocre defense.
4. New Jersey Devils
(16-17-8 record, 46.63 CF%, 45.53 xGF%, 98.52 PDO)
The Devils continue their spell of mediocrity, and show that they aren’t the team that we thought they might be, even with the addition of Hall. It doesn’t help that Schneider is having one of his worst seasons.
3. New York Islanders
(15-15-8 record, 46.32 CF%, 47.43 xGF%, 101.23 PDO)
The Islanders aren’t as horrendous as they once were, but they’re still terrible, just not as bad as the Avalanche and the Coyotes.
2. Colorado Avalanche
(13-25-1 record, 44.75 CF%, 41.84 xGF%, 97.04 PDO)
Speaking of the Avs and Coyotes, the two teams have established themselves in a whole new class of bad. The aforementioned Isles are 11 points ahead of the Avalanche and eight ahead of the Coyotes. It’s that big of a gap, from bad to horrendous.
1. Arizona Coyotes
(12-22-6 record, 44.68 CF%, 41.66 xGF%, 99.37 PDO)
See: Colorado Avalanche.
THE REAL MVPS
1. Ryan Miller (3-0-0, .957%, 1 SO)
Ryan Miller was nearly flawless this week, as he needed to be for the Canucks on their six game win streak, including a 44 save performance against Calgary, which saw the Canucks take only 13 shots and win 4-2.
2. TJ Brodie (0G-2A-2P in 3GP, 71.75% CF%)
Brodie was his usual self this week, that being a dominant possession defenseman. His production wasn’t too bad for a defenseman either, putting up two assists in three games.
3. Michael Grabner (5G-2A-7P in 3GP, 37.64% CF%, 4.77 P160)
While I don’t usual put people who were terrible in possession during the week, Grabner is rare exception for being one of the top P160 players this week, putting up seven points in three games, all seven points coming at even strength.
THE TIRE FIRES
1. Brian Elliott (1-1-0, .839%)
While Elliott was solid against Colorado on Wednesday when he needed to be, he had an abysmal outing against the Canucks, stopping just nine of 13 shots.
2. Andrei Vasilevskiy (0-4-0, .852%)
Speaking of terrible goalie performances, Vasilevskiy was bad all week, dropping all four games he started in a time where his team needs him to be good, what with all of their injuries.
3. Kurtis Gabriel (0G-0A-0P in 1GP, 9.14% CF%) 6.82
While sample size isn’t large, Gabriel was a boat anchor for Minnesota in the 6:49 that he was on the ice for, as shown by his 9.14% CF% this week.