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March 19, 2013
Player Power Rankings
Bobrovsky Soars to No. 2

by Tom Awad and ESPN Insider

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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.

On the strength of a thoroughly dominating week for the Columbus Blue Jackets, Sergei Bobrovsky enters the goalie ranks, rising to No. 2 on the list behind Craig Anderson, who may not remain in the pole position for much longer unless he soon returns from injury. In terms of skaters, Sidney Crosby retains the top ranking while Chris Kunitz climbs to No. 2 (from No. 4) and Patrick Kane jumps to No. 3 (from No. 8).

Player Power Rankings: Skaters
These rankings are through March 17.
Rank Player Team Pos. Off. GVT Def. GVT Shootout GVT Total GVT
1
Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins F 11.9 4.4 1 17.3
Over the last three seasons, Crosby has played only 92 games and has scored 150 points, which translates to 134 points over a full 82-game season, a feat no player has managed since Mario Lemieux's 161 points way back in 1995-96.
2
Chris Kunitz Pittsburgh Penguins F 11.1 4.4 0 15.5
SIt's easy to give all of the credit for Kunitz' success to Crosby, and there's a fair amount of truth to it: Of the 15 goals Kunitz scored or assisted on in March, Crosby was involved in 14 of them.
3
Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks F 9.3 3.1 1.2 13.6
Kane is having a great season, but he's been helped by his circumstances. Four of his 15 goals have either come on 5-on-3 power plays or in empty nets, giving him an unnatural 19.7 shooting percentage.
4
Eric Staal Carolina Hurricanes F 9.3 4 0 13.3
Staal has been a monster at even-strength: He ranks second in the NHL with 29 even-strength points (behind Crosby's 32), and has done so in less ice time, giving him 4.14 even-strength points per 60 minutes, the top mark in the league.
5
Ryan Getzlaf Anaheim Ducks F 7.3 3.7 1.3 12.2
Sometimes the bounces just go your way: Getzlaf has scored 10 goals on 58 shots after scoring just 11 goals on 185 shots last season. Plus, he has gone 3-for-4 in the shootout this season.
6
Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning F 9.7 2.1 -0.3 11.5
There's been a subtle weakness to Stamkos' play this season: penalties. He's taken nine non-offsetting minors and drawn only six, a surprisingly poor ratio for a high-scoring forward.
7
John Tavares New York Islanders F 8.2 2.1 1 11.4
Thanks to Tavares, the Islanders are closer to the playoffs than they've been since 2007, when they snuck into the eighth position in the East (they're currently ninth).
8
Kris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins D 7.5 3.9 0 11.4
Not only is Letang dominating the defensemen scoring charts, but he's also doing so by racking up non-power-play points; only 25 percent of Letang's points have come with the man advantage versus 52 percent for the next 10 top-scoring defensemen.
9
Chris Stewart St. Louis Blues F 7.1 3.1 0.5 10.8
Now two years removed from the trade of Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk for Erik Johnson, Jay McClement and a first-round draft pick, it seems pretty clear that the Blues came out ahead.
10
James Neal Pittsburgh Penguins F 7.9 1.7 1 10.7
When Neal was in Dallas from 2008-09 to 2010-11, the Penguins power play averaged 16.7 percent. Over the last two seasons, it has averaged 21 percent, and Neal has scored 26 of the team's 84 power-play goals during that time.
Player Power Rankings: Goalies
These rankings are through March 17.
Rank Player Team Pos. Goalie GVT Def. GVT Shootout GVT Total GVT
1
Craig Anderson Ottawa Senators G 22.4 -0.5 -1.6 20.3
It's unlikely that Anderson can retain his GVT crown if he doesn't return within the next few weeks, as others are nipping at his heels. He's now been injured for four weeks and counting.
2
Sergei Bobrovsky Columbus Blue Jackets G 16.3 -0.1 1.3 17.5
In one of the most dominant weeks imaginable, Bobrovsky stopped 115 of 117 shots (an astounding .983 save percentage) and managed to salvage four of six points even though his teammates scored a grand total of three goals over three games.
3
Tuukka Rask Boston Bruins G 14.9 0.3 1 16.2
Rask is one of the main reasons why Boston's penalty killing has been the best in the league; he has stopped 61 of 65 shots (.938) at 4-on-5, though it also helps that his teammates give up 25 percent fewer shots than the average penalty-killing unit.
4
Antti Niemi San Jose Sharks G 15.2 -0.2 0.8 15.8
If the Sharks make the playoffs, the team's defensemen and Niemi can give themselves a pat on the back, as San Jose currently ranks 29th in offense but sixth in combined defense plus goaltending.
5
Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers G 10.7 0.1 1.4 12.3
After an excellent 2011-12 season, the Rangers are back to their pre-2011 form: A below-average offensive team that relies on Lundqvist to bail it out.

A version of this story originally appeared at ESPN Insider Insider.

Tom Awad is an author of Hockey Prospectus. You can contact Tom by clicking here or click here to see Tom's other articles.

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<< Previous Article
Shots On Goal (03/17)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Player Power Rankings (03/12)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Player Power Rankings (03/26)
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Angles and Caroms (03/20)

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