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. Pittsburgh Penguins (Last Week: 4)
(30-11-5 record, 51.34% CF%, 54.05% xGF%, 101.03 PDO)
4. San Jose Sharks (Last Week: N/A)
(30-16-2 record, 51.8% CF%, 52.24% xGF%, 100.81 PDO)
3. Columbus Blue Jackets (Last Week: 3)
(32-10-4 record, 51.5% CF%, 51.56% xGF%, 102.21 PDO)
2. Montreal Canadiens (Last Week: 2)
(28-13-7 record, 53.09% CF%, 53.7% xGF%, 101.12 PDO)
1. Washington Capitals (Last Week: 1)
(32-9-6 record, 53.02% CF%, 52.03% xGF%, 104.38 PDO)
The San Jose Sharks are starting to get everyone’s attention. Not only is Brent Burns having a Norris calibre season, but the Sharks are on a five game winning streak. While they’ve always had the possession to go with it so far this season, their piling up wins and finally sliding into the list. Other than that, we’re seeing a pretty similar top five to last week.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
5. Buffalo Sabres (Last Week: 5)
(19-18-9 record, 46.93% CF%, 49.52% xGF%, 99.94 PDO)
4. New York Islanders (Last Week: 3)
(19-17-9 record, 46.9% CF%, 47.54% xGF%, 101.42 PDO)
3. New Jersey Devils (Last Week: 4)
(20-19-9 record, 46.57% CF%, 46.49% xGF%, 99.12 PDO)
2. Arizona Coyotes (Last Week: 2)
(15-26-6 record, 44.97% CF%, 42.37% xGF%, 99.28 PDO)
1. Colorado Avalanche (Last Week: 1)
(13-30-2 record, 44.88% CF%, 42% xGF%, 96.72 PDO)
While the Coyotes are in a league of their own in terms of how bad they are, the Avalanche are in an completely different league, as those teams are now separated by eight points! Also, a slight hot stretch from the Islanders see themselves begin a potential climb out of this list, although their underlying numbers don’t show much promise.
THE REAL MVPS
1. Conor Sheary (4G-2A-6P in 3GP, 49.12% CF%, 5.2 P160)
While Sheary has probably benefited from playing with Sidney Crosby, he’s no slouch himself. He put up an impressive six points in three games, all of them coming at even strength.
2. Matt Murray (3-0-0, .968%)
Another Penguin, Murray was lights out this week. While he didn’t get a shutout in any of starts, he got the next best thing, by allowing only one goal in each game, guaranteeing the win for his team each time.
3. Patrick Marleau (4G-0A-4P in 4GP, 53.46% CF%, 4.21 P160)
Rarely will a one game performance get you on the list, especially if you were scoreless in the other three games, but four goals in not just a game, but a period, will improve your chances. Also, Marleau had some solid possession to boot.
THE TIRE FIRES
1, 2 & 3. The St. Louis Blue Goaltending
For a team that’s known for having very good, this is starting to get a bit concerning for the team. The team currently holds a wildcard spot, but they need to solve this goalie problem if they want to be a contender, whether internally or externally.