nhl power rankings and projections: nov. 26

In this week’s edition of the power rankings, almost every team is in the same spot as last week, which means the rankings are stabilizing, which is only a good thing.

Pittsburgh continues its dominance, having spent every single week at the top as Chicago moves into No. 2 after finally getting some luck in the goal scoring department.

Anaheim is showing they’re for real this year as they slide into the top five at the expense of Tampa Bay, and Florida drops all the way to 22 after getting dominated territorially in just about every game this week.

If you haven’t read it yet, this is how I’ll be measuring each team this year. And here is last week’s rankings.

The chart below is how things are shaking up this week.

PR Nov 26

10 Thoughts on Rankings

1. Edmonton and Columbus are 28 and 29 here, but there’s no reason to think they won’t move up in the near future. Columbus is finally getting healthy and both teams are getting some terrible luck (check the difference between their possession and goals). That should change soon. I mean, Edmonton can’t lose forever right?

2. Seriously, the Oilers lost seven in a row, including an embarrassing home-ice drubbing at the hands of Chicago and it doesn’t get easier when they head into Nashville on Thursday. I thought this season would be different for the Oilers, but they now have the worst record in the league. But hey, maybe McDavid will fix this mess.

3. Teams that are bad and are inexplicably at the top of the standings: Calgary and Montreal. Calgary is especially bad and the similarities they share with last year’s Toronto team is just too many to list. They belong in the basement, but have somehow held down a playoff spot for most of the season. That’s going to change soon.

4. Montreal isn’t that bad, and they’re getting awful powerplay luck, but to think they’re the best team in the league is hilarious. In a lot of ways, they remind me of last years Ducks or Avalanche team that almost won the President’s Trophy. They’ll probably keep winning at this clip, but come playoff time they’ll be sacrificial lambs to a real hockey team.

5. The Sharks are a weird team. They beat great ones, then lose to bottom-feeders. Their record isn’t looking too rosy right now, but I think they’ll be fine. One thing to consider that I saw on Twitter: they’ve played 16 of 23 on the road. Considering their dominance at the Shark Tank over the years, expect their record to turn around.

6. At one point in this season, it seemed like Florida a corner. Their record may not have shown it, but they were keeping games close and playing well in them. Luongo was really good too. But last week they seemed to get dominated every game. They’re probably still a year out from the playoffs.

7. Dallas is finally getting things together, but it may already be too little too late. With how the Central has played, it seems like four playoff spots are already locked up between Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville, and Minnesota. Winnipeg has looked better too, so that’s another team to pass. The Pacific is just as tough, so getting a wildcard as the fifth Central team will be a tall order.

8. That’s a real shame when you consider the tire fire that is the Metropolitan. After Pittsburgh and the Islanders, who knows what will happen. Washington should be doing better, but they’re just not winning. The Rangers are getting healthier but still aren’t the same team that went to the Finals. The Devils possession numbers have dropped and haven’t looked good at all. The Hurricanes are probably done after an awful start. And the Jackets and Flyers just look putrid.

9. Every week I expect the Kings to go back to who they were last season and it’s just not happening. Quick has been very good and has to be the main reason the Kings have the record they do. Then again, the loser point is making things look better than they should. They’re 11-11, not 11-6-5.

10. Minnesota is 6 for 65 on the powerplay, better than only Buffalo. With all that talent on the team, it definitely won’t last. They’re 19th in shot attempts per minute on the powerplay, but 28th in shooting percentage. No powerplay only finishes on 6 percent of their shots, that’ll surely regress upwards.

Again, I’ve adjusted POP because of the small samples and how early it is. Once again I looked at how far they were from average and compared that to teams in the past to get an adjusted number that would work better for projections.

Proj Nov 26Now that we’re at the 20 game mark, we can start seeing how the playoffs will shape up as there won’t be many major changes from here on out. Right now this is how the playoff picture looks:

Tampa Bay, Detroit, Montreal
Pittsburgh, Islanders, Washington
Boston, Toronto

Chicago, Minnesota, St. Louis
Anaheim, Vancouver, San Jose
Nashville, Los Angeles

That doesn’t seem too out of place to me. The only change from last week is Toronto in for Florida.

Make sure you come back next week for more incremental updates.



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