It’s time for your weekly dose of the NHL Numbers power rankings, a
weekly look on the previous week in the NHL. I’ll look at the five best
NHL teams thus far in the season, as well as the three best and worst
players in the last week.
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 TOP FIVE
5. Chicago Blackhawks (Last Week: 1)
(13-4-2, 50.82% CF%, 48.33% xGF%, 104.08 PDO)
The Hawks continue to win despite their mediocre possession numbers, however they benefited from an easy schedule last week, facing Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver, and going 2-1.
4. Washington Capitals (Last Week: 4)
(11-5-2, 53.8% CF%, 52.81% xGF%, 102.73 PDO)
The Capitals had another excellent week, going 2-1-1, including a dominating 7-1 win over the Penguins. The problem: both losses came against the Blue Jackets.
3. St. Louis Blues (Last Week: N/A)
(10-6-3 record, 53.88% CF%, 52.98% xGF%, 97.39 PDO)
The Blues are finally getting the bounces their way, as they’ve managed to string some wins together to get into the top five to match their excellent play thus far.
2. Montreal Canadiens (Last Week: 5)
(14-3-2 record, 50.9% CF%, 51.28% xGF%, 103.26 PDO)
The Canadiens continue to remain on the list, although that has more to do with their record than their possession. While they haven’t been terrible, it’s clear that they’d be more of a .500 team without Carey Price.
1. Pittsburgh Penguins (Last Week: N/A)
(11-4-3 record, 51.13% CF%, 55.44% xGF%, 100.03 PDO)
By far the biggest jump this week, the Penguins go from being out of the top five to being number one. And their positive possession and average luck suggest that they should probably stay in this area for the time being.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
5. Buffalo Sabres (Last Week: N/A)
(6-8-4 record, 47.67% CF%, 51.39% xGF%, 99.33 PDO)
While the Sabres have had terrible injury luck, their underlying numbers suggest that this is the potential of the team. We’ll see how this changes once Jack Eichel returns.
4. Dallas Stars (Last Week: N/A)
(7-7-5 record, 47.37% CF%, 48.52% xGF%, 98.7 PDO)
A team that has been off to a surprisingly bad start, the Stars have struggled significantly. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t address your goalie problem, and let your defense get worse.
3. Detroit Red Wings (Last Week: N/A)
(8-10-1 record, 45.87% CF%, 46.53% xGF%, 101.02 PDO)
Another new addition to the list, the Red Wings are continuing to show how much the team needs Pavel Datsyuk. They were in a similar spot last year when he was out with his injury.
2. New York Islanders (Last Week: 2)
(5-8-4 record, 45.36% CF%, 47.35% xGF%, 100.13 PDO)
Despite dropping to last in the league this week, the Islanders hold the distinction of not being as bad as our number one team. Losing their only game didn’t help their case though.
1. Arizona Coyotes (Last Week: 1)
(6-9-2 record, 44.44% CF%, 39.69% xGF%, 100.31 PDO)
I might as well rename this list to the Arizona Coyotes and four other teams, because for the third week in a row, the Coyotes slot in last place. They somehow beat the Sharks on Saturday though.
THE REAL MVPS
1. Nicklas Backstrom (4G-4A-8P in 4GP, 56.98% CF%)
Backstrom had a week to remember, as he almost doubled his point totals in one week, jumping from 9 to 17 points, partially because of a five point night against Pittsburgh.
2. Cam Ward (3-0-0, .964%, 1 SO)
The goalie that doesn’t seem to go away had a solid week, contributing to the team’s four game winning streak.
3. Jake Allen (3-0-0, .953%)
You may remember Allen last week, being atop the tire fires list, and is now sitting among this week’s best players. I’ll take “Small Sample Size” for 500!
THE TIRE FIRES
1. Jacob Markstrom (1-1-1, .860%)
Markstrom had a terrible week, allowing 13 goals over three games, including four consecutive goals in a 4-3 comeback win for the Chicago Blackhawks.
2. Ryan White (0G-0A-0P in 3 GP, 28% CF%)
While some of this may be because of the fact that Arizona is just plain bad, White really struggled with possessing the puck this week.
3. Joel Hanley (0G-0A-0P in 1 GP, 10% CF%)
Fun with small sample sizes! Playing only 6:32 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, Hanley had a 10% CF%, seeing the shot differentials go 1-9 while he was on the ice.