Every Monday until the end of the season, Hockey Prospectus will provide updated Player Power Rankings for the top 10 skaters and top five goalies in the NHL based on HP's proprietary value metric, GVT, a statistic that combines player contributions in all aspects of the game, including defense and the shootout.
This week, Tuukka Rask rises to No. 2 on the goalie list behind Craig Anderson, who may not stay on top unless he can return from injury soon. In terms of skaters, Sidney Crosby retains the top ranking while Ryan Getzlaf climbs to No. 4 (from No. 5) and Nazem Kadri makes an appearance at No. 6 (after not being ranked last week).
Player Power Rankings: Skaters
are through March 24.
Crosby continues to operate on a different level from the rest
of the league. The Penguins' win streak is at 11, during which time Crosby
has scored 21 points, with an amazing 17 of them at even strength.
If he maintains his current pace, Kunitz will just exceed his
career highs in goals and points, set last year. He's projected to finish
with 28 goals and 61 or 62 points in 48 games -- just better than the 26
goals and 61 points he scored last season … in 82 games.
Kane has never finished higher than ninth in NHL scoring, but
he's in fifth place now and shows no signs of letting up. He also continues
to lead all Blackhawks forwards in both even-strength and total ice time.
This season isn't so much a comeback for Getzlaf as a return to
form: from 2007-08 to 2010-11, Getzlaf averaged 1.09 points per game -- sixth
in the NHL over that time (behind only Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin and the
he Canes brought in Alexander Semin to be a powerful winger and
complement Staal, and it has worked: Staal has played 90 percent of his ice
time with Semin, and after being minus-33 over his career he is plus-19 so
far this season.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Kadri's stats are even more impressive in light of the fact he's
played only limited time on the power play. Weighted by ice time, he's been
the fourth-most productive point scorer in the NHL this season, behind
Crosby, Kunitz and Matt Duchene.
Among his many skills, Toews is the NHL's third-best faceoff
man, with his 59.7 win percentage trailing only Patrice Bergeron (61.8) and
Antoine Vermette (60.0).
New Jersey Devils
If he finishes in the top 10 for player GVT, Elias, who will be
37 next month, will be the oldest player in that group since Al MacInnis did
it at age 39 in 2002-03.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay isn't as bad a team as its record indicates -- the
Lightning even have a positive goal differential -- but it's looking like
Stamkos will miss the playoffs for the fourth time in his five-year career.
New York Islanders
Tavares is sixth in the NHL with 113 shots, which is one big
reason he's also third with 18 goals and second in power-play goals with
Player Power Rankings: Goalies
are through March 24.
One advantage of rate stats is that your competition doesn't
catch up to you while you're injured. Anderson's league lead in GAA and save
percentage has only grown while he's been out, although his lead in the GVT
standings has naturally diminished.
Over the past five seasons, the Bruins have ranked first, first,
first, seventh and second in team save percentage. Some of that has been due
to their team defense, while some has been thanks to the quality of
goaltending they've gotten from Rask and Tim Thomas.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Thanks to Bobrovsky, the Jackets have gone from 27th in the
league in goaltending last season to seventh this season, the main reason
they are only 2 points out of a playoff spot instead of languishing in the
New York Rangers
Since the shootout's inception in 2005-06, Lundqvist has been
more proficient at it than any other NHLer, stopping 77 percent of the shots
he's faced (the league average has been 67 percent). He's at it again this
season, stopping 80 percent of the 15 shots he's faced.
San Jose Sharks
Not only has Niemi been good, but he's been consistently good.
Of the NHL's 10 busiest goaltenders, none has posted better numbers than
Niemi's .921 save percentage.