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December 7, 2010
Player Power Rankings
Dustin Byfuglien Approaches the Elite

by Tom Awad

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During the season, these rankings -- which appear on Mondays in concert with the overall NHL Power Rankings -- are based on player production in terms of Hockey Prospectus' GVT valuation metric. If you are unfamiliar with GVT and how it works, you can find more here.

Check out the full rankings below. We'll be back every Monday with new editions.

Hockey Prospectus: Player Power Rankings

These rankings are based on games through Dec. 5.

Legend:

OGVT: Offensive GVT

GGVT: Goaltending GVT

DGVT: Defensive GVT

SGVT: Shootout GVT

GVT: Total GVT

Rank Player                                    OGVT/GGVT  DGVT  SGVT  GVT
1.   Tim Thomas, G, Boston Bruins              21.0      -0.4   0.0   20.6   

Comment: Over the past four seasons, who has had the league's best GAA and save percentage? If you chose Tim Thomas at 2.25 and 0.927, you would be correct.

2.   Carey Price, G, Montreal Canadiens        16.2       0.0   0.0   16.2    

Comment: Price has been much better than last year, but his team is helping him more, as well. Last year, the Canadiens scored 2.21 goals per 60 minutes with Price in net; this year the figure is 2.71. Combine that with a drop in Price's GAA from 2.77 to 1.96 and you understand why Montreal is atop the Northeast division.

3.   Ondrej Pavelec, G, Atlanta Thrashers      15.0      -0.3  -1.3   13.4     

Comment: There haven't been many Czech goaltenders in the NHL, but those who have made it, like Dominik Hasek and Tomas Vokoun, have been dominant. Pavelec's home city of Kladno has a reputation for producing good hockey players: It is also the birthplace of Jaromir Jagr.

 
4.   Sidney Crosby, F, Pittsburgh Penguins     10.2       1.6   0.3   12.1

Comment: We're running out of superlatives for Crosby at this point. During his 15-game point streak, he has been involved in 60 percent of the Penguins' goals. His three-season total of 258 points is tops in the league, ahead of Alex Ovechkin's 253 and far ahead of No. 3 Henrik Sedin's 224.

5.   Steven Stamkos, F, Tampa Bay Lightning     9.5       1.5  -0.3   10.7    

Comment: It's a sign of how much respect Stamkos has garnered that his five-game goal-less streak is a cause for concern, but Tampa Bay should worry more about its goaltending, which has allowed 26 goals over the past five games and has a league-worst team save percentage of .875.

6.   Jonathan Quick, G, Los Angeles Kings       8.1       0.5   1.8   10.4    

Comment: Many were worried about Quick's mental toughness last season, but he's holding up well this year: five of his past six games have been one-goal affairs, with the Kings winning three of them.

7.  Kris Letang, D, Pittsburgh Penguins         5.5       3.6   0.3    9.4     

Comment: Among defensemen, Letang is second in points, first in even-strength points, fifth in plus-minus and fifth in on-ice shot differential, at plus-57. He shares only 40 percent of his ice time with Crosby, so you can't give Sid all the credit for Letang's gaudy numbers.

8.   Alexander Semin, F, Washington Capitals    6.9       1.4   0.3    8.6 

Comment: Semin should watch out for the penalties: he is taking far more than he draws, an abnormal situation for a talented scorer like him. This matters more when he's no longer scoring in bunches as he was earlier in the season.

9.   Alex Ovechkin, F, Washington Capitals      6.3       1.5   0.8    8.5     

Comment: People made far too much of Ovechkin's nine-game goal-less streak: Is it really that bad that the league's most dangerous goal scorer is also developing into a threat as a playmaker? Ovechkin had eight assists over the nine games, and is tied for second in the league with 23.

10.  Dustin Byfuglien, D, Atlanta Thrashers     7.3       1.3  -0.3    8.4     

Comment: Sometimes being a defenseman can boost your offensive totals. In Chicago, Byfuglien was used on the power play as a screen and net-crasher; he registered points on only 38 percent of the power-play goals Chicago scored while he was on the ice. This season, playing the point, he has been involved in 68 percent of Atlanta's PP goals, one reason he is seventh in the league in power-play points.

A version of this story originally appeared on 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
Premium Article From Daigle To Datsyuk (12/06)
<< Previous Column
Player Power Rankings (12/03)
Next Column >>
Player Power Rankings (12/14)
Next Article >>
Premium Article The Blue Line (12/07)

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