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March 8, 2012
Team Power Rankings
Home Stretch

by Timo Seppa

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We're past the trading deadline and heading into the home stretch, with less than a quarter of the season left. Time to check the Team Power Rankings, in particular to see which bubble teams are likely to capture playoff berths.

As usual, we start with an updated look at the components of GVT for each team. These stats, as well as our current Player Power Rankings and the GVTs you'll find on the Stats tab are for games through March 4.

Teams by Goals Versus Threshold - March 2012

Team			GP	Pts	GF	GA	Win%	OGVT	DGVT	GGVT	GVT
Boston Bruins		63	79	206	146	0.561	31.5	2.3	21.2	60
Detroit Red Wings	65	89	208	151	0.613	28.2	16.4	6.3	57
Vancouver Canucks	66	90	209	161	0.611	26.5	0.5	16.9	48
New York Rangers	63	89	175	130	0.633	3.5	15.7	25.0	45
Pittsburgh Penguins	64	81	207	167	0.567	28.8	12	-6.9	40
St. Louis Blues		66	89	169	131	0.604	-10.5	28.8	21.4	38
Philadelphia Flyers	63	77	209	191	0.547	39.5	-2.3	-17.2	18
Nashville Predators	65	83	184	166	0.572	8.2	-2.8	13.4	18
San Jose Sharks		64	73	179	163	0.511	2.8	9.6	-1.4	16
Chicago Blackhawks	66	77	200	194	0.522	20.5	-2	-17.5	6
New Jersey Devils	64	77	180	174	0.539	-0.2	12.8	-12.0	6
Ottawa Senators		66	76	200	194	0.516	20.5	-17.4	-3.1	6
Phoenix Coyotes		65	75	170	165	0.517	-6.8	-0.1	12.8	5
Los Angeles Kings	65	72	142	139	0.496	-34.8	14.5	21.5	3
Dallas Stars		65	73	171	176	0.503	-5.8	-3.9	5.4	-5
Toronto Maple Leafs	65	67	194	201	0.462	18.2	-9.2	-17.2	-7
Washington Capitals	64	69	172	183	0.483	0.8	-4.4	-5.5	-11
Colorado Avalanche	66	70	169	180	0.475	-13.5	1.5	-1.7	-11
Winnipeg Jets		66	70	173	186	0.475	-6.5	-3.5	-3.3	-13
Montreal Canadiens	66	60	170	184	0.407	-9.5	2.1	0.7	-14
Anaheim Ducks		66	66	166	186	0.448	-12.5	1.9	-6.7	-20
Buffalo Sabres		65	68	162	183	0.468	-16.8	-8.4	3.8	-21
Calgary Flames		65	69	157	178	0.475	-18.8	-4.8	6.4	-21
Edmonton Oilers		64	56	170	192	0.392	-3.2	-8.5	-4.9	-22
Florida Panthers	64	72	159	182	0.504	-15.2	-3.8	-1.2	-23
Carolina Hurricanes	65	62	171	197	0.427	-1.8	-11.7	-6.7	-26
Tampa Bay Lightning	65	68	184	219	0.468	9.2	-12.5	-30.0	-35
Minnesota Wild		65	66	143	178	0.455	-35.8	-7.4	10.9	-35
New York Islanders	65	63	154	195	0.434	-23.8	-4.6	-8.5	-41
Columbus Blue Jackets	65	47	153	214	0.324	-22.8	-10.7	-22.0	-61

OGVT: Offensive GVT
DGVT: Defensive GVT
GGVT: Goaltending GVT
SGVT: Shootout GVT
GVT: Total GVT
Stats as of March 4

What's not shown above—why the offensive, defensive, goaltending, and shootout components of GVT don't quite add up to the total—is a factor dealing with empty net goals against.

Team Power Rankings

As of Sunday, teams had played between 63 and 66 games. With 65 games played on average, the season was 79% complete. We've seen most of the early season pretenders crash and burn spectacularly. Dallas and Toronto—marginal teams—are still on the playoff bubble. Only Ottawa and Florida are still firmly in it, from among the early season surprises.

1. Detroit Red Wings, 89 points (.613)
February ranking: 2; Change: +1
Current GVT: 57 (2nd); VUKOTA GVT: 11 (9th)

For the first time this season, we've got a new number one in our Team Power Rankings, with Detroit taking over from Boston despite the Bruins still leading in GVT. We'll see if it lasts, though, with stars like Datsyuk, Lidstrom, and Howard banged up.

2. Boston Bruins, 79 points (.561)
February ranking: 1; Change: -1
Current GVT: 60 (1st); VUKOTA GVT: 17 (6th)

With 10 losses in 17 games, it's now officially been a long rough patch for the Bruins. The injuries are mounting for Boston as well, with Nathan Horton out since February 8 with a concussion and Tuukka Rask gone for the remainder of the regular season, at least. They're still better than they've looked of recent.

3. Vancouver Canucks, 90 points (.611)
February ranking: 3; Change: 0
Current GVT: 48 (3rd); VUKOTA GVT: 19 (5th)

Back in the hunt for the President's Trophy, it's kind of amazing that last season's best team is flying under the radar compared to some of the other teams near the top of the standings. Guess they're old news.

4. Pittsburgh Penguins, 81 points (.567)
January ranking: 5; Change: +1
Current GVT: 40 (5th); VUKOTA GVT: 16 (8th)

Next to the Red Wings, the Penguins have the biggest GVT contribution from their skaters (40.8). And this is without Sidney Crosby. They're flying a bit under the radar as well.

5. New York Rangers, 89 points (.633)
February ranking: 4; Change: -1
Current GVT: 45 (4th); VUKOTA GVT: 20 (4th)

It's not the two-headed monsters of the Bruins or Blues, but the best overall goaltending in the NHL is in New York (25.0 GVT).

6. St. Louis Blues, 89 points (.604)
February ranking: 8; Change: +2
Current GVT: 38 (6th); VUKOTA GVT: 8 (11th)

The Blues are tied for the lead in the President's Trophy race, though they've played two more games than the Rangers.

7. Philadelphia Flyers, 77 points (.547)
February ranking: 7; Change: 0
Current GVT: 18 (t-7th); VUKOTA GVT: 8 (11th)

Despite a good performance here and there, Ilya Bryzgalov remains third-worst among all players in GVT.

8. San Jose Sharks, 73 points (.511)
February ranking: 6; Change: -2
Current GVT: 16 (9th); VUKOTA GVT: 17 (6th)

It would be a shock if the Sharks somehow didn't make the playoffs. Among other factors, they have a better roster and games at hand against their competition. As usual, their shot differential remains superior, at +6.0 per game—second only to Pittsburgh.

9. Nashville Predators, 83 points (.572)
February ranking: 11; Change: +2
Current GVT: 18 (t-7th); VUKOTA GVT: -2 (16th)

Nashville remains dead-last in Fenwick tied (44.8%) and Fenwick close (45.2%), yet they're not a fluke. Everyone wants to know the secret formula.

10. Chicago Blackhawks, 77 points (.522)
February ranking: 9; Change: -1
Current GVT: 6 (t-10th); VUKOTA GVT: 22 (3rd)

Chicago's goaltending (-17.5 GGVT) is only better than that of Tampa and Columbus.

11. New Jersey Devils, 77 points (.539)
February ranking: 13; Change: +2
Current GVT: 6 (t-10th); VUKOTA GVT: -11 (22nd)

Coming in at slightly above league average on offense (2.64 GF per game, 14th in the NHL) might not sound like much, but remember that the 2010-11 Devils set the mark for the worst offense since the lockout (2.08 GF per game)—by far.

12. Ottawa Senators, 76 points (.516)
February ranking: 18; Change: +6
Current GVT: 6 (t-10th); VUKOTA GVT: -27 (28th)

Ottawa still has the worst defense in the NHL by a country mile (-17.4 GVT) but with improved goaltending, their "defense" has improved.

13. Phoenix Coyotes, 75 points (.517)
February ranking: 16; Change: +3
Current GVT: 5 (13th); VUKOTA GVT: -22 (27th)

With a strong February, the Coyotes were marginally more in the Buyers' than the Sellers' camp. As of Sunday, new addition Antoine Vermette had -1.1 GVT in five games.

14. Toronto Maple Leafs, 67 points (.462)
February ranking: 10; Change: -4
Current GVT: -7 (16th); VUKOTA GVT: -3 (17th)

A 1-9-1 stretch finally did in Ron Wilson's tenure as Leafs' bench boss. Randy Carlyle's got his work cut out for him to get Toronto—on the outside looking in—playing extra games in April.

15. Los Angeles Kings, 72 points (.496)
February ranking: 14; Change: -1
Current GVT: 3 (14th); VUKOTA GVT: 9 (10th)

The Jeff Carter impact? Passed by the Wild, the Kings no longer have the worst offense in the league (-34.8), but they're still awful considering talent like Carter, Richards, Kopitar, and Doughty. Carter has 0.6 GVT in four games.

16. Washington Capitals, 69 points (.483)
February ranking: 12; Change: -4
Current GVT: -11 (t-17th); VUKOTA GVT: 42 (1st)

Alex Ovechkin is 110th with 8.7 GVT. Not bad, but is there a point when he's no longer considered a superstar?

17. Dallas Stars, 73 points (.503)
February ranking: 17; Change: 0
Current GVT: -5 (15th); VUKOTA GVT: -12 (23th)

We already did it last month, but let's do it again, for fun: Nine Dallas skaters have produced more value than the recently departed Brad Richards (3.3 GVT): Loui Eriksson, Jamie Benn, Michael Ryder, Mike Ribeiro, Sheldon Souray, Alex Goligoski, Eric Nystrom, Trevor Daley, and Steve Ott.

18. Montreal Canadiens, 60 points (.407)
February ranking: 15; Change: -3
Current GVT: -14 (20th); VUKOTA GVT: -8 (19th)

So where are we now in the Carey Price-Jaroslav Halak "I told you so" debate? .914 and .925 for this season.

19. Colorado Avalanche, 70 points (.475)
February ranking: 22; Change: +3
Current GVT: -11 (t-17th); VUKOTA GVT: -19 (25th)

Gabriel Landeskog leads rookie skaters with 11.0 GVT. Don't get hung up on the playoff race, because the Avs should be looking to the future, 100%.

20. Winnipeg Jets, 70 points (.475)
February ranking: 25; Change: +5
Current GVT: -13 (19th); VUKOTA GVT: -18 (24th)

The Jets have been a really streaky team, driven by the big home/road split in performance. The disparity of 21-10-4 to 11-17-4 is pretty stark. But interestingly, most of the Southeast Division teams follow the same pattern.

21. Anaheim Ducks, 66 points (.448)
February ranking: 21; Change: 0
Current GVT: -20 (21st); VUKOTA GVT: 2 (14th)

Another season, another furious second half run. It'll fall short, and the rebuild will have been put off yet another season. Nice story, poor planning.

22. Buffalo Sabres, 68 points (.468)
February ranking: 26; Change: +4
Current GVT: -21 (t-22nd); VUKOTA GVT: 26 (2nd)

After winning six of their last eight, the Sabres are trying to fight their way back to the playoff bubble. Ryan Miller may have had back to back shutouts against Anaheim and San Jose but you know what? Those were his only quality starts in his last five games.

23. Edmonton Oilers, 56 points (.392)
February ranking: 23; Change: 0
Current GVT: -22 (24th); VUKOTA GVT: -28 (29th)

Edmonton's better by GVT than they are in the standings. They've held steady at 23rd for three months now.

24. Carolina Hurricanes, 62 points (.427)
February ranking: 28; Change: +4
Current GVT: -26 (26th); VUKOTA GVT: 6 (13th)

Remember how badly Eric Staal started the season? With a torrid 21 points in 12 games, he's up to a respectable 9.5 GVT, leading the Hurricanes.

25. Calgary Flames, 69 points (.475)
February ranking: 19; Change: -6
Current GVT: -21 (t-22nd); VUKOTA GVT: 1 (15th)

Mike Cammalleri's out with injury, but he hadn't exactly set Calgary on fire, with a decent 1.4 GVT in 20 games with the Flames.

26. Florida Panthers, 72 points (.504)
February ranking: 20; Change: -6
Current GVT: -23 (25th); VUKOTA GVT: -19 (25th)

Kind of amazing that the Panthers have an 80%+ chance of making the postseason given fairly poor underlying numbers. An underachieving season by the Caps helps.

27. Tampa Bay Lightning, 68 points (.468)
February ranking: 24; Change: -3
Current GVT: -35 (t-27th); VUKOTA GVT: -5 (18th)

Tampa's made their playoff push while getting even worse at goal prevention since we last checked in, dropping to 3.38 GA per game.

28. New York Islanders, 63 points (.434)
February ranking: 29; Change: +1
Current GVT: -41 (29th); VUKOTA GVT: -10 (21st)

Having played in only 27 career NHL games by age 26, career AHLer P.A. Parenteau has put together two fine and unexpected seasons for the Islanders. His 11.1 GVT is backed by solid possession numbers, making him an intriguing free agent this summer.

29. Minnesota Wild, 66 points (.455)
February ranking: 27; Change: -2
Current GVT: -35 (t-27th); VUKOTA GVT: -30 (30th)

The Wild, all the way down at #29! Are we nuts? Not really. Remember when they were the top team in the NHL? Well, they're down to having less than a one percent chance of making the dance.

30. Columbus Blue Jackets, 47 points (.324)
February ranking: 30; Change: 0
Current GVT: -61 (30th); VUKOTA GVT: -9 (20th)

Done. And the Blue Jackets will likely end up with the worst record since the 2006-07 Flyers (22-48-12, 56 points).

That's our look at where teams stand for March. We'll check in again at the beginning of next month.

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

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Player Power Rankings (03/07)
<< Previous Column
Team Power Rankings (02/09)
Next Column >>
Team Power Rankings (03/29)
Next Article >>
From Daigle To Datsyuk (03/09)

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