nhl power rankings and projections: jan. 7

After a two week hiatus for the holidays, the power rankings are back and the same as ever.

The past three weeks had the Blackhawks at number one, but that’s changed this week as the Lightning have surged this week.

As noted in the last edition of the power rankings, I have recently changed the algorithm to POP that hopefully better reflects a team’s true talent level.

The chart below is how this week’s rankings are shaping up.


10 Thoughts on Rankings

1. The rankings almost ceased to exist after a spreadsheet crash debacle last night. Luckily I had a random back-up from Dec. 28, but everything after that was lost. It’s not unretrievable, it’s just a massive pain. Luckily war-on-ice.com just recently added score-adjusted measures to their site which makes things a lot easier, but the numbers will differ slightly from what I had before using puckalytics.

2. On the plus side, getting that data on a game-by-game basis means I can look at trends such as last week, last 25 which will hopefully make the rankings a bit more interesting since there isn’t much movement between teams halfway through the season.

3. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any at all, one of the biggest drops has been the Minnesota Wild. They’re getting minor league goaltending and have had a massive possession drop reminiscent of last season. They seemed like a contender at the start, but their recent play and their spot outside the playoffs makes that much less likely.

4. At the top, not much has changed. Tampa Bay, Chicago, and Nashville are the class of the league. Pittsburgh was right there with them at one point, but injuries have ravaged them. They’ll be back up there once they get healthy and they’re scary good when they are.

5. I’d have to assume that over the last 25 games or so, Los Angeles is right there with them. They had an uncharacteristically bad start possession wise, but have been the league’s best since around November. Stanley Cup hangover?

6. The Leafs finally fired Carlyle yesterday. A post Carlyle POP tracker is definitely something I’ll be looking at because their puck possession will definitely improve with Randy ‘Shackles’ Carlyle at the helm. Their season is definitely still salvageable.

7. The bottom five teams has been completely unchanged over the last four weeks. Pretty much the same order too. Considering the “skill” of all the teams there I’m not sure it changes either. Although Calgary can give everyone a run for their money.

8. San Jose and Boston, what happened? They’ve been at the pinnacle of the league for some time now, but have had a massive drop-off this season. Boston has had some big injury problems, but they haven’t improved since everyone got healthy. It’ll be huge if they miss the playoffs and it’s looking likelier by the day.

9. Dallas looked shaky to start the season but have had one of the biggest rises over the last month. It may be too little, too late for them in a tough West, but they’ve been very hot and playing well. Lethonen has turned it around after a wonky first few months and they’re winning games because of it. I’ve got $50 on them getting over 89.5 points and it looked like a sure loss for a while, but I’m back to being optimistic if they stay the course.

10. Anaheim and Montreal are at or near the top of their conferences, but outside the top ten here. I wouldn’t call them contenders just yet… or at all.

I’ve made changes to projections for this week that some of you may have seen on Twitter dot com. I’ve added playoffs odds as well as the odds each team will make it to each round.

For the projections, I adjust POP to get a slightly more accurate read on how many points to expect. To do that, I looked at how spread apart the teams are this season, and compared that to how spread apart teams were in the past meaning the ratings are less volatile, which gives off slightly more stable projections.

Here’s this weeks:


Nashville is for real. I have them as a 9 to 1 shot to win it all. Vegas currently has them at around 20 to 1. Not the worst bet in the world to make.

The Sabres on the other hand, well I have them at 1.5 trillion to one. So there’s still a chance!

And here’s how the point projections have changed over the past seven days. Well it would be seven days, but I lost data between December 28 – January 5, so past six days of data I have, plus a fun gap in the middle so you understand my sorrow.

Click to enlarge.

Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 10.48.24 AM



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