Full explanation of these charts can be found on my post on the Pacific Division.
Click to enlarge charts
Carolina Hurricanes (first-half aggregates – MGL: 191, CHIP: $7.30M)
A team down Joni Pitkanen plus at least one other D-man for virtually every game over the first half, plus missing Cam Ward (11 games) and Anton Khudobin (32) for sizeable stretches. Possession numbers have perhaps improved a tick over the final few games of the period, as the returning Alexander Semin has efforted and gritted the team on his enigmatic back.
Columbus Blue Jackets (MGL: 170, CHIP: $7.36M)
Double -digit injuries (or post-surgery recoveries) to forwards Nathan Horton (40), Jared Boll (18), Matt Calvert (24), and Marian Gaborik (23), but clearly not having Sergei Bobrovsky around is the key to playing better, as Paul Holmgren keeps trying to convince himself.
New Jersey Devils (MGL: 167, CHIP: $5.33M)
As the Devils’ tenure as the league’s worst good possession team continues unabated, Jaromir Jagr and Martin Brodeur laugh at youngsters like Ryane Clowe (32) and Bryce Salvador (30) missing so many games.
New York Islanders (MGL: 98, CHIP: $3.43M)
Similar to Carolina, a team with already creaky defensive and goaltending depth that probably could have done without lengthy injuries to Lubomir Visnovsky (33), Brian Strait (23), and Evgeni Nabokov (11). Still, they are middle of the pack for injuries overall and tough to say a cause for the recent decline in play.
New York Rangers (MGL: 79, CHIP: $3.86M)
So, a hellish opening road trip under the new coach, a decent recovery while Rick Nash (17) and Ryan Callahan (7) were hurt, good health coinciding with a terrible homestand against weak opposition, more injuries to Callahan (9) and Marc Staal of the hockey-playing Staal brothers (10), all during the worst half-season of their elite goaltender’s career.
Philadelphia Flyers (MGL: 115, CHIP: $4.06M)
Ignore the circa $70k of CHIP per game due to Chris Pronger and Marc-Andre Bourdon and Peter Laviolette’s severed head, and there’s not a whole lot of injury activity to look at.
Pittsburgh Penguins (MGL: 227, CHIP: $7.19M)
Obviously, a large quantity of injuries: 10-games plus absences to Tomas Vokoun (41), Rob Scuderi (29), Beau Bennett (29), Paul Martin (18), Chuck Kobasew (17), Kris Letang (17), James Neal (15), Tanner Glass (15), Andrew Ebbett (11), and Matt D’Agostini (10), though less obviously, a quantity that still doesn’t surpass Carolina or Columbus in CHIP terms. Seems to be a clear performance dip in possession terms alongside the most recent large injury peaks, but the Crosby line and some unsustainable PK success still wins you a lot of points.
Washington Capitals (MGL: 100, CHIP: $2.50M)
A fairly unremarkable injury roll: only Jack Hillen (39), John Erskine (25), and Brooks Laich (14) of note. Not a strong possession team, but playing in the Metropolitan and having a good PP and winning shootouts still earns you (quite) a lot of points.
Thomas Crawshaw is a UK-born/bred/based hockey obsessive, creator of the CHIP injury metric, occasional blogger and since watching the NHL, winner of as many Stanley Cups as Glen Sather. He doesn’t write often, but when he does, it’s always almost good.
Follow Thomas on Twitter at @LW3H.