Power Rankings

Through games of October 28th, 2014

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.


I think 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.


These 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+

 2  Anaheim Ducks          81818  131  57  A-

 3  Montréal Canadiens     76364  131  41  A-

 4  Philadelphia Flyers    72222   91  36  C+

 5= Ottawa Senators        69444  113  41  B

 5= Pittsburgh Penguins    69444  113  51  B

 7  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  B-

15  Detroit Red Wings      59722  103  41  B-

16  Florida Panthers       58929   82  23  C+

17  Toronto Maple Leafs    57778   82  36  C+

18= New York Islanders     55556  109  46  B

18= Washington Capitals    55556  103  31  B-

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-

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OK Sender...

RTG | Svar 04.12.2014 01.08

By the way, I could help make a few calculations each week if you need help.

RTG 04.12.2014 18.11

So, I'm wondering, if I make calculations for some of the teams, should I contact you through this comment system, or some other way?

Øyvind Schiøtt 04.12.2014 09.56

Thank you! That would be amazing! Those who have followed me for some time know that I've wanted to do a lot of different things, but it's too time-consuming.

RTG | Svar 04.12.2014 01.01

I really love the objectiveness of this. All other sites do is just look at the team and think of what rank to give them. These are the real stats.

Øyvind Schiøtt 04.12.2014 09.50

That's my experience as well. "Oh, Chicago really looks strong. We'll put them at the top. They sure are shooting a lot!" I try to be as impartial as possible.

RTG | Svar 04.12.2014 00.59

Hi, this page seems Russian, but it is a good thing I can read it. These are the best power rankings I have seen on any site.

Øyvind Schiøtt 04.12.2014 09.46

It's Norwegian, but thank you very much for your kind words, RTG! Nice to know that people like what I do, and that people are actually coming back to the site.

Marcos | Svar 01.11.2014 04.04

Of course I'll tell! Sure if you maintein the ilusion and great job people gonna come and come. Time is required to a webpage to be known.

Øyvind Schiøtt | Svar 31.10.2014 20.59

Hi, Marcos! Thanks for your kind words! They really do mean a lot to me! Please feel free to tell others of my homepage. I'd love to share this with everyone!

Marcos | Svar 31.10.2014 17.08

So you can come to check out how is your team performing recently or even take a look to your favourite team's next rivals. Nice to have the 30 teams. Greetings

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Nyeste kommentarer

06.03 | 18:12

I'm doing a couple of concerts next weekend, so I'm not sure if I manage to get anything done this week, either, but I'll give it a shot...

06.03 | 18:10

It doesn't mean that I'm giving up, but I'd be surprised if I managed to catch up ahead of the playoffs. No comment from people has made me neglect it further.

06.03 | 18:06

Thanks, pal. I'm doing fine, but my schedule is terrible. Well, sort of... I'm extremely busy, and I just haven't had the time to keep up with this.

05.03 | 18:19

Unfortunatly, there are no more updates. I hope you are doing fine. I miss your power ranking :)

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