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October 21, 2010
Player Power Rankings
Jonathan Quick Takes Over Number One

by Tom Awad

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The Player Power Rankings appeared on ESPN.com starting last season, and so far this year, we've done one preseason edition and one regular-season edition.

During the season, the 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.

Because this season is less than a week old, some odd names are near the top here: For example, the highest-ranked member of the Pittsburgh Penguins isn't Sidney Crosby -- it's Brent Johnson. Marian Hossa is ahead of any other teammate on the Chicago Blackhawks.

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

Hockey Prospectus: Player Power Rankings

These are based on games through October 17, 2010.

Legend:

OGVT: Offensive GVT

GGVT: Goaltending GVT

DGVT: Defensive GVT

GVT: Total GVT

Rank Player                                    OGVT/GGVT DGVT    GVT
1.   Jonathan Quick, G, Los Angeles Kings      3.6       0.1     4.0  

Comment: Nothing motivates like a bit of healthy competition. Jonathan Bernier is breathing down his neck for the No. 1 job -- and Quick has been turning in some of the best work of his career. He's allowed three goals in three full games, an overtime and a shootout, enough to lead the GVT standings after two weeks. He has a 0.3 shootout GVT, which factors into his overall total, but we're not including that until the sample size for all goalies is bigger.

2.   Marian Hossa, F, Chicago Blackhawks       2.5       0.9     3.4     

Comment: Hossa will be counted on to deliver more with the Hawks' depth depleted, and so far he has delivered with a league-leading nine points, but one of the Hawks' and Hossa's strengths last year was controlling the shot totals; so far this season the Hawks' shot differential is minus-20, and minus-11 with Hossa on the ice at even strength.

3.   Tim Thomas, G, Boston Bruins              3.3       0.0     3.3   

Comment: Thomas was at No. 3 last week as well. Many people thought Thomas was a fluke Vezina winner in 2008-09, but his stats since the lockout have been excellent; last year was the blip. If Thomas is fully healed from his hip injury, the Bruins are rock-solid in goal.

4.   Tomas Vokoun, G, Florida Panthers         3.1       0.3     3.3     

Comment: Might as well start the Vokoun trade rumors now! Vokoun has posted back-to-back shutouts in 3-0 and 6-0 victories and the Panthers are riding high, but if they find themselves in their customary position in February, Vokoun could get a healthy return at the deadline.

5.   Brent Johnson, G, Pittsburgh Penguins     2.8       0.1     2.9    

Comment: A goaltender controversy in Pittsburgh, of all places? Career backup Johnson is 3-0, having allowed four goals on 85 shots; Marc-Andre Fleury is 0-3 and has let in 10 pucks on 68..

6.   Brad Richards, F, Dallas Stars            2.0       0.5     2.8    

Comment: Seeing how almost everyone had written off the Stars before the beginning of the season, it must be nice for Richards to see them first overall and his name at the top of the NHL scoring race. He also has a 0.3 shootout GVT.

 
7.   John-Michael Liles, D, Colorado Avalanche 1.7       1.0     2.7 

Comment: While Liles is usually thought of as a power-play specialist, the Avalanche power play has been atrocious, actually getting outscored 3-2 so far this season. But Liles has chipped in six assists at even strength, which has helped the Avs stay above water.

8.   Cam Ward, G, Carolina Hurricanes          2.3      -0.2     2.7  

Comment: Amazingly, due to a quirk of the NHL schedule, the Hurricanes have had only one game in the last eight days, a 3-2 loss to Ottawa in which Ward made 36 saves. He also has a 0.5 shootout GVT.

9.   Michal Neuvirth, G, Washington Capitals   2.6       0.0     2.6  

Comment: Anointed the No. 1 goalie after an injury to Semyon Varlamov, Neuvrith has not disappointed so far. His .930 save percentage combined with Washington's offense has staked the Caps to a 4-1 record.

10.  Kari Lehtonen, G, Dallas Stars            2.7      -0.2     2.6    

Comment: Few have ever doubted Lehtonen's talent; his conditioning and durability have been bigger question marks, but his doubters are quiet right now. The Stars are 4-0 but have been outshot by 56, so they'll need superlative goaltending to continue that trend. He also has a shootout GVT of 0.1.

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 Illegal Curve (10/21)
<< Previous Column
Player Power Rankings (10/13)
Next Column >>
Player Power Rankings (10/29)
Next Article >>
Dropping The Puck (10/22)

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