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: 5)
(33-13-5 record, 51.02% CF%, 53.49% xGF%, 101.27 PDO)
4. Columbus Blue Jackets (Last Week: 4)
(33-13-5 record, 51.28% CF%, 50.72 xGF%, 101.48 PDO)
3. San Jose Sharks (Last Week: 3)
(33-17-3 record, 52.17% CF%, 53.01 xGF%, 100.61 PDO)
2. Montreal Canadiens (Last Week: 2)
(30-16-8 record, 52.57% CF%, 53.14 xGF%, 101.6 PDO)
1. Washington Capitals (Last Week: 1)
(36-11-6 record, 52.73% CF%, 51.96 xGF%, 104.63 PDO)
Same old, same old. There’s no change in the top five this week, due to every team keeping with their normal pace. However, the Capitals are getting further and further apart from the rest of pack.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
5. Vancouver Canucks (Last Week: N/A)
(23-23-6 record, 47.46% CF%, 45.8% xGF%, 99.49 PDO)
4. Buffalo Sabres (Last Week: 5)
(21-21-10 record, 46.87% CF%, 49.36% xGF%, 100.15 PDO)
3. New Jersey Devils (Last Week: 3)
(23-21-10 record, 46.52% CF%, 47.17% xGF%, 99.22 PDO)
2. Arizona Coyotes (Last Week: 2)
(17-28-6 record, 45% CF%, 42.38% xGF%, 99.33 PDO)
1. Colorado Avalanche (Last Week: 1)
(14-33-2 record, 44.94% CF%, 42.61% xGF%, 96.69 PDO)
With their recent hot streak, the New York Islanders have slid off the list, and in their place are the Vancouver Canucks. Despite being the playoff hunt, the Canucks just simply aren’t that good, and probably won’t go the distance and make the playoffs.
THE REAL MVPS
1. Ryan Hartman (2G-0A-2P in 3GP, 60.27% CF%, 4.37 P160)
Hartman has been a solid depth player for the Hawks this season, something they desperately need. He put up two goals this week, and was a monster possession player.
2. Max Pacioretty (4G-1A-5P in 4GP, 53.57% CF%, 3.89 P160)
Pacioretty has been his usual self, shooting the lights out, and having a solid possession game this week en route to a good week for Montreal.
3. Philipp Grubauer (1-1-0, .970, 1 SO)
While this isn’t the first time that a Washington Capitals goalie has made this list, it’s usually been Braden Holtby, but Grubauer’s exceptional performance this week gives him a time to shine.
THE TIRE FIRES
1. Don Sweeney
While I normally only include players, I’m going to broaden this to general managers this week due to two terrible firings. The first is Don Sweeney, who fired Claude Julien earlier today, despite the fact that the team was the best possession team in the league, but was losing because of terrible shooting luck and bad goaltending not named Tuukka Rask.
2. Doug Armstrong
And the other firing since the last time I posted was Ken Hitchcock, which was a mess since the start of the season anyways, but his downfall was solely due to the goaltending of the team, who just a couple weeks ago took all three spots on this list.
3. Curtis McKenzie (0G-0A-0P in 1GP, 0.00% CF%) 9:07 0-18
Despite the small sample size (all of 9:07), McKenzie was horrendous this week, not seeing a single shot attempt for while he was on the ice. Meanwhile, the team surrendered 18 shot attempts again.