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March 1, 2011
Player Power Rankings
Kopitar Is on the Rise

by Tom Awad

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During the season, these rankings -- which appear on Mondays in concert with the 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.

Player Power Rankings: Skaters

These rankings are based on games through Feb. 27.

Legend:

OGVT: Offensive GVT

GGVT: Goaltending GVT

DGVT: Defensive GVT

SGVT: Shootout GVT

GVT: Total GVT

Rank Player                                    OGVT/GGVT  DGVT  SGVT   GVT
1.   Daniel Sedin, F, Vancouver Canucks        18.2       3.0   -0.2   20.9

Comment: Daniel is sticking to the top of the NHL leaderboard in almost all categories: third in goals, fourth in assists, sixth in plus-minus…and most importantly, first in points.

2.   Steven Stamkos, F, Tampa Bay Lightning    18.2       3.0   -1.3   19.8

Comment: Stamkos is well known for his power-play one-timers, but his even-strength production is just as prolific, with a league-best 47 points. This is especially impressive since he is just 25th among NHL forwards in even-strength ice time.

 
3.   Sidney Crosby, F, Pittsburgh Penguins     16.0       2.6   -0.2   18.3

Comment: Mario Lemieux finished third in Hart Trophy voting in 2001 despite missing half the season; it's unlikely Crosby could match that, but he remains among the league's most valuable this season despite missing two months.

4.   Ryan Kesler, F, Vancouver Canucks         11.6       5.0   -0.2   16.5     

Comment: Amazingly, Kesler's 0.90 points per game is actually lower thanlast season's mark (0.91), but his improved plus-minus, his 33 goals and the Canucks' overall record have propelled him into the spotlight this season.

5.   Brad Richards, F, Dallas Stars            11.6       2.6    1.9   16.1     

Comment: Richards' concussion has reduced the chances he will get dealt before the deadline, but the Stars are hanging on, tied for seventh in the insanely competitive Western Conference. Alex Goligoski has helped the power play stay alive in his absence.

6.   Martin St. Louis, F, Tampa Bay Lightning  14.0       2.7   -0.8   15.9    

Comment: Among the top 10 scorers in the NHL, none is over 30 except St. Louis, who is 35. Given how well he is aging, barring injury, he could likely pull a Teemu Selanne or Mark Recchi and play until age 40.

7. Henrik Sedin, F, Vancouver Canucks          13.1       2.6    0.0   15.7     

Comment: Henrik is not a true two-way player, but he keeps the score in his team's favor -- since the lockout, he is sixth in the NHL with a plus-117; Daniel is fifth, Joe Thornton is fourth, and the top three are Red Wings (guess who?)

8.   Jonathan Toews, F, Chicago Blackhawks     10.7       3.5    1.3   15.5   

Comment: Toews is only 21 and still coming into his prime, but he may already have reached the pinnacle of his career last season, when he was a top Olympic forward, Cup captain and Conn Smythe winner. Even for a player of his talents that will be hard to top.

9.    Anze Kopitar, F, Los Angeles Kings       10.9       4.9   -0.4   15.3

Comment: The Kings have the eighth-best combined goal differential and record over the last two seasons, but unlike many of the league's best teams, they have done it with only two elite players: Kopitar and Drew Doughty.

10.  Jeff Carter, F, Philadelphia Flyers       12.5       2.8   -0.3   15.0    

Comment: Last season it seemed the Carter trade rumors would never stop, but with an 11-year contract signed, Carter looks to be a Flyer for life, an arrangement that so far is working out well. Carter's 173 goals lead all Flyers since the lockout.

Player Power Rankings: Goalies

These rankings are based on games through Feb. 27.

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              35.6      -0.8   -2.3   32.5   

Comment: The Bruins are one of the few teams using a true two-goalie rotation, so Thomas is only 17th in the NHL in starts. Despite this he is second in wins (28), second in shutouts (7) and first in GVT.

2.   Pekka Rinne G, Nashville Predators        21.5       0.2    3.7   25.4     

Comment: Talent, team system or fluke? Rinne is Nashville's best penalty killer, and his GAA of 2.96 while down one man is the lowest among No. 1 goaltenders; only he and Tomas Vokoun are under 4.00.

3.   Jonas Hiller, G, Anaheim Ducks            21.6      -1.5    3.5   23.7

Comment: Hiller remains out, and in his absence the Ducks have dropped from sixth to 11th in the conference. Dan Ellis has been an upgrade over Curtis McElhinney so far.

4.   Henrik Lundqvist, G, New York Rangers     17.0       0.2    4.5   21.7    

Comment: Is Lundqvist destined to be the Curtis Joseph of his generation, an excellent goaltender who lacks recognition due to playing on mediocre teams? No one has been more consistently excellent since the lockout.

 
5.   Jonathan Quick, G, Los Angeles Kings      13.8       1.4    4.5   19.8

Comment: The Kings remain offensively challenged -- 17th in the league in goals for -- yet are pushing for home-ice advantage. The reasons? Excellent team defense, and a reliable last line of defense in Quick.

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
Buyers and Sellers (03/01)
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Premium Article Player Power Rankings (02/24)
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Buyers and Sellers (03/02)

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