What goes into this ranking? Shot attempts for percentage, offensive/defensive zone starts, goals for percentage, scoring chances for percentage and puck luck are the elements of this analytic power ranking. Last week’s NHL Analytics Power Rankings can be found here. Keep in mind that based on the 2013-14 NHL season, 13 out of 16 playoff teams ranked in the top 16 of these same analytics power rankings.
Largest change in power ranking from last week: Both the Los Angeles Kings and Ottawa Senators moved up two spots in this weeks rankings, while the Calgary Flames dropped three spots. In particular the defending Stanley Cup Champions are awaking from their season long slumber and the Kings appear to be getting hot at the right time of the year once again, moving into second in this ranking and fighting for a wild card playoff position. The day of reckoning is upon the Western Conference of the NHL and the Nashville Predators surely will not be looking forward to a potential first round match up with the Kings.
Teams currently outside the playoffs based on points but in the top 16 in the rankings: The Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars are all teams that are looking to make a push for the playoffs. However the Stars have a mountain to climb after the loss of top scorer Tyler Seguin to injury. The Bruins are also due to spend time without their top center David Krejci and will certainly be looking to the trade market for additional help.
Teams currently in the playoffs based on points but outside of the top 16 in the rankings: The Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames are all in this category. While the Canadiens appear to have a playoff spot locked down the Canucks, Sharks and Flames are looking over their shoulder at the Los Angeles Kings. For the Canadiens they should thank their lucky stars every day that they have an elite goaltender in Carey Price. The Canadiens 93.6 save percentage is tied with the Nashville Predators for best in the NHL.
Biggest differences between power ranking and ranking in the standings: As has been the case for most of the season the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames are all 12 or more spots higher in the standings than their analytics ranking, while the Los Angeles Kings are 13 spots lower in the standings. The Ducks, Canadiens and Flames may come out of the regular season with a playoff position, however I would not expect them to be a large threat in the post season. The Ducks would be the only team of the three that could potentially make a run to the conference finals.