Finally, the home teams have won more than half the games, so things are even more settled than last week. Lately, I've seen a lot of discussion regarding the meaning/purpose of Power Rankings. There
are different definitions (pretty natural as the name itself doesn't say much), but usually the definitions are variations of the following three main groups:
1) A ranking of teams based on their
overall play, not necessarily their records or current forms.
2) A ranking of teams based on their records for the whole season, not necessarily their overall play or current form.
3) A ranking of teams based on their recent records, not necessarily their overall play or the full season statistics.
all of those groups have merit, but as people are looking at Power Rankings with very different outlooks, no wonder ALL these lists bring up some heated discussion. I'll try to define the different groups, and also tell you about how I feel about them:
1) Clearly the route www.nhl.com takes. These rankings tend to stay almost the same from week to week, as the teams stay more or less the same from week to
week. This group says a lot about how games should have ended in the near past, and will most likely end in the near future. The biggest upside of this sort of ranking, is that it basically looks at potential and relative strength in a much more thorough way
than the other rankings. The downside is that it doesn't take player injuries and hot/cold players into account to the same extent as other rankings, and as such can be a bit rigid.
rankings are often based on advanced statistics or stats like shot totals and scoring chances, more than goal totals and the ability to win or gain much-needed points (in games you have no business winning based on the play of both teams). I'd wish www.nhl.com
would expand their list to include all NHL teams, so that the list would be of interest to more than fans of about the same 20 teams every week. Also, I don't understand the need to update these lists weekly, as they are rather static.
2) www.espn.com clearly falls into this category, though recent play has some say in the list every week. These are basically points percentage rankings, and as such seem
a bit unnecessary. Go to the standings and sort the teams by points percentage, and you're there (give or take a few spots). This is the easiest group to both comprehend and find out on your own. It says nothing about a team's ability to dominate games, a
team's current confidence level or the impact hot, cold and/or injured players have on their teams. A great start to the season helps teams remain near the top in these rankings way after they cool down, while teams with slow starts will have a tough time
making up ground, even though they start playing lights out in December.
It's my least favorite of the three groups presented, as they're not really up-to-date or give us more information
than the standings page does. These becomes more accurate and meaningful towards the end of each season, obviously, as more data will give more accurate rankings. Please don't misinterpret me. I use such lists myself a lot (see my prorated standings), but
not as a way to indicate "power".
3) This is what I, personally, think is the most exact way of showing power. To me, that is not the ability to dominate games. To me, it's about
which teams manage to get what you're trying to get when you're playing hockey, and how successful you've been at that lately in a much better way than the other groups. What you're trying to get, of course, is points! This group definitely has it's shortcomings,
as it doesn't give you much to go on when trying to predict the future, it only tells you about the past.
Look at Montréal in the early going this season. They've had
a terrific record (8-2-0), yet they managed to lose 7-1 in a game! That game probably hurt them in group 1 above (and to some degree group 2), because they were outplayed badly. Except for that game they've been very good! They currently have a +1 goals differential.
So they're currently worse than St. Louis (4-3-1) at +2? Maybe, if you consider their outlooks for the season (even though I believe Montréal will lose to Anaheim in the finals). What those two stats combined tells me, is that les Canadiens has been
able to win the close games, while the Blues have had a hard time at that. The Habs have clearly been more successful so far this season. Just look at where they're at! Considering that game happened very early in the season, I doubt it affects them considerably
today. But a couple of weeks ago? Definitely!
My Power Rankings are based on the most basic stat there is, points, but I weigh them so that more recent games will have more impact
than older ones. Other variations within this group include those that are based solely on the games played last week, those that take only the last ten games into consideration and those that look at current winning or losing streaks. What I honestly believe,
is that basing the rankings on a set number of games, like three or ten, a set time period, like a week or a month, doesn't paint a clear enough picture. Why does the tenth latest game have as much meaning as the last game you played, when trying to show which
teams are playing better (getting more points) lately? And why doesn't the eleventh latest game have any meaning what-so-ever?
If you're at the top of the standings, but you're
currently in a bad stretch of games, you're probably a very good team. I think the team should be high on the list as they've been great, but I also believe that the recent struggles should show in a Power Ranking. To me, saying that "they'll probably win
the Cup" is beside the point, in my humble opinion. I want a ranking system that shows who has been playing great lately, and by "playing great", I mean "getting those coveted points", what you're ultimately judged by.
To me, both 1 and 2 on this list merit consideration, but I believe that they have very different uses. I like www.nhl.com's lists, but to me, my own creation is a better reflection of what I consider
to be "power". Neither 1 nor 2 will show you that the Flyers and the Oilers are on fire right now, and that the Sharks and the Blackhawks are struggling (you didn't know all that? You see?), and I believe that needs to be "documented" in some way in a Power
Ranking. Please let me know what YOU think. Now, onto the juicy part:
Rank - Team - Power Rating - Prorated Points - Prorated ROWs - Letter Grade
1 Los Angeles Kings 85556 128 46 B+
Anaheim Ducks 81818 131 57 A-
3 Montréal Canadiens 76364 131 41
4 Philadelphia Flyers 72222 91 36 C+
5= Ottawa Senators
69444 113 41 B
5= Pittsburgh Penguins 69444 113 51 B
Edmonton Oilers 68889 82 36 C+
8 Nashville Predators
66667 123 41 B+
9 Vancouver Canucks 64444 109 46 B
10 Tampa Bay Lightning 63636 107 49 B
11 St. Louis Blues 62500 92 41 C+
12 New York Rangers 62222 91 36 C+
13= Dallas Stars
61111 100 27 B-
13= Minnesota Wild 61111 103 51
15 Detroit Red Wings 59722 103 41 B-
16 Florida Panthers 58929 82 23 C+
17 Toronto Maple Leafs 57778 82 36 C+
New York Islanders 55556 109 46 B
18= Washington Capitals 55556 103
20 Calgary Flames 55303 89 30 C+
21 Winnipeg Jets 53333 73 36 C
22 San Jose Sharks 51515 97 30 B-
23 Chicago Blackhawks 47778 100 36 B-
24 Colorado Avalanche 47273
66 16 C-
25 Boston Bruins 46970 75 30 C
26 New Jersey
Devils 45556 91 36 C+
27 Arizona Coyotes 40278
72 31 C
28 Columbus Blue Jackets 28889 73 36 C
29 Buffalo Sabres
23636 33 8 D
30 Carolina Hurricanes 9722 21 0 D-