Yesterday I presented my even strength player ranking system and rankings for last season which clearly created some controversy. Hopefully when I present this years rankings I can clear up a bit more of the concerns that people have with the system. I know some people found some of the results difficult to believe but if I can show some consistency from year to year I think that should help show the value that this rating system can have.
So first let me start off by showing the top 40 rated players from this season.
|Player||Team||Offense Rating||Offense Rank||Defense Rating||Defense Rank||Overall Rating||Overall Rank|
|NIKITA ALEXEEV||Tampa Bay||2.14||12||2.62||16||2.38||9|
|KEITH TKACHUK||St. Louis||1.22||146||2.53||18||1.87||18|
|RADEK MARTINEK||NY Islanders||0.89||280||2.79||14||1.84||22|
|SCOTT GOMEZ||New Jersey||2.21||7||1.32||101||1.77||27|
|MIKE DUNHAM||NY Islanders||1.11||193||2.17||23||1.64||32|
|MICHAEL NYLANDER||NY Rangers||2.19||8||1.04||191||1.61||36|
|MILAN MICHALEK||San Jose||1.69||41||1.49||71||1.59||37|
|MICHAEL CAMMALLERI||Los Angeles||1.29||127||1.86||31||1.57||40|
The first thing one will notice is that the ratings are much higher than those for last season. This is because we are working with much less data this season than last so one bad or good game will make a huge difference. This is not ideal because essentially it means we may not have enough data to reliably evaluate players. For example, I don’t expect Keith Yandle to remain at the top of the list as the season goes on but I must also say that to play over 100 minutes of even strength ice time with the Coyotes and only have one goal scored against you is pretty impressive as Phoenix is a horrible defensive team.
So, it is still early in the season to rely too much on these rankings but I think there is some value in comparing players with their values of last season to see if there is much consistency showing up. Here is a list of each players overall ratings comparing last years with this years.
Gelinas 1.70 last year vs 1.43 this year
Donovan: 1.67 vs 0.85
Zetterberg: 1.66 vs 1.05
Thornton 1.64 vs 0.81
Cheechoo 1.64 vs 0.51
Nylander 1.64 vs 1.61
Schneider 1.63 vs 1.53
Armstrong 1.61 vs 1.43
Jagr 1.57 vs 1.15
Selanne 1.56 vs 1.18
A. Markov 1.55 vs 1.27
Weber 1.55 vs 1.05
Legwand 1.54 vs 1.29
Shanahan 1.53 vs 1.1
Sakic 1.51 vs 1.21
Komisarek: 1.45 1.17
P. Bergeron: 1.45 vs 1.17
Kalinin 1.44 vs 0.92
Crosby: 1.44 vs 1.84
P. Boucher: 1.40 vs 0.85
Morrow: 1.38 vs 0.87
Rozsival: 1.38 vs 0.96
Ponikarovsky: 1.36 vs 1.31
Gionta: 1.36 vs 1.51
Zhitnik: 1.35 vs 0.98
Pothier: 1.35 vs 1.36
Malik: 1.35 vs 1.31
Clearly there are some significant differences (Donovan, Thorton, Cheechoo, Boucher, Kalinin, Morrow, Zhitnik) but clearly many of them haven’t gotten off to good seasons. Thornton and Cheechoo haven’t gotten anything going yet. There are many similarities too. Most other top rated players from last season are still rated well above the 1.00 mark. Last years highest rated player in Gelinas is also fairly highly rated this year. Brian Pothier who changed teams has an almost identical rating. It might also be worth pointing out that Chara also has an almost identical rating this year compared to last year (0.72 vs 0.82).
While we are on the Senators lets take a look at their defensemen from last season more closely. Here are last seasons and this seasons overall ratings.
Chara 0.72 0.82
Redden 1.22 1.05
Meszaros 0.95 0.73
Phillips 0.85 1.16
Pothier 1.35 1.36
Volchenkov 0.98 1.07
Pretty good consistency really as Phillips is the only one who really changed their ratings significantly. But what I really wanted to point out that in the playoffs last year most people said that Redden and Pothier were Ottawa’s best defensemen and Chara and Meszaros were big disappointments. In fact, Chris McMurtry gave Redden and Pothier a B grade, Chara an F and Meszaros a D when he handed out grades on each players playoff performance. Phillips got a C+ and Volchenkov a C. I find it quite interesting that Chris’s analysis agrees almost perfectly with my ranking system. Maybe 5-on-5 (which is generally more important in playoff hockey) Chara isn’t the stud defensemen everyone thinks he is and a good skating, puck moving defenseman like Pothier is what matters most. Certainly Chara joining the Bruins hasn’t done a lot for them in the standings.
Once this years ratings stabilize more (say in a month or so) I’ll do a more formal analysis but what I see so far is that there is some consistency in ratings from year to year.