NHL Power Rankings – Jan. 15, 2008

Wow, look at where all the teams from the southeast division sit – #25, 26, 27, 28 and 30.
Is the division really that bad? They may very well be and sadly one of those teams may get the 3rd seed and not even be among the top 8 in points. Won’t that make the NHL look goofy. Not one of those teams has an above .500 record outside of their division (Carolina is the best at 13-13-3) and as a group that are 54-70-14 against teams outside their division.

Rank 7 Days
Team AdjWinP SchedStr Power
1 1 Detroit 0.717 0.532 0.738
2 2 San Jose 0.602 0.541 0.649
3 4 Minnesota 0.589 0.545 0.636
4 5 St. Louis 0.535 0.556 0.620
5 3 Vancouver 0.567 0.536 0.612
6 7 Ottawa 0.670 0.445 0.580
7 9 Columbus 0.500 0.556 0.557
8 13 Anaheim 0.521 0.546 0.552
9 6 Calgary 0.500 0.547 0.550
10 10 Nashville 0.500 0.543 0.546
11 8 Colorado 0.511 0.539 0.542
12 12 Phoenix 0.489 0.544 0.541
13 11 Dallas 0.511 0.533 0.537
14 14 Chicago 0.433 0.555 0.490
15 16 New Jersey 0.557 0.444 0.485
16 17 Pittsburgh 0.533 0.460 0.485
17 15 Boston 0.511 0.463 0.483
18 18 Philadelphia 0.560 0.447 0.483
19 19 Buffalo 0.488 0.469 0.479
20 22 NY Islanders 0.500 0.459 0.462
21 20 Montreal 0.534 0.442 0.462
22 21 NY Rangers 0.457 0.460 0.430
23 26 Edmonton 0.359 0.569 0.428
24 24 Los Angeles 0.359 0.567 0.421
25 23 Carolina 0.478 0.443 0.418
26 25 Atlanta 0.446 0.444 0.399
27 29 Washington 0.432 0.449 0.381
28 27 Florida 0.413 0.450 0.371
29 28 Toronto 0.378 0.462 0.348
30 30 Tampa Bay 0.367 0.440 0.316

AdjWinP is a teams winning percentage when shootouts are considered ties and there are no points awarded for overtime losses
SchedStr is an indication of a teams relative difficulty of schedule
Power Rank is the teams expected winning percentage if team played all .500 teams

This article has 6 Comments

  1. 1. Carolina isn’t that bad, they’ve been suffering from death flu and lost Justin Williams for the season.

    2. Name a major sport where a weak team can’t fluke into the playoffs merely by virtue of how awful the rest of their division is. The NBA’s about it.

  2. From the looks of it, I’m not even sure the Southeast is the main story. 13 of the top 14 teams are from the western conference–that’s incredible.

  3. Yup, I mentioned that in last weeks Power Rankings post. The Western conference dominated last years inter-conference games as well. There is really only one elite level team in the east and that is Ottawa and at times they haven’t looked elite either including in last years Stanley Cup finals against the Ducks and in recent games against the Capitals. I was at Sunday’s Islanders-Senators game and the Senators looked disinterested and lost 3-1. The east is largely a group of slightly better than mediocre teams, mediocre teams and slightly worse than mediocre teams. It is really mass mediocrity in th east.

  4. The ironic thing is, the teams tossing out huge contracts typically are in the East. Philly with Timonnen, Richards, and Briere; the Rangers this past summer with Gomez and Drury; Tampa has it’s big “3” (which obviously worked really well); Boston has Chara; Ottawa has Heatley and Spezza; the Leafs handing cash to McCabe and Kubina.

    Makes one wonder what the West has figured out that the East hasn’t (drafting? development?)

    I almost wonder if the Eastern teams get taken so far out of their comfort zone travelling out West when they aren’t used to it when they do. Meanwhile the Western teams are quite used to long flights and changing time zones so when they go East it’s not such a big deal. Perhaps long flights are an unrealized AD-vantage… it also explains why the playoff records in the finals aren’t quite so cut and dry… teams don’t travel quite as much in the cup run as they do day to day in the regular season.

    You could also toss in the fact that the teams in the South East travel further for Interconference games than the other Eastern teams, WITHOUT a time zone change which is in effect a disadvantage. Hopping on a bus or a 1 hour plane ride from Toronto to Buffalo, Ottawa, or Montreal doesn’t really faze you. Taking 4 hours out of the middle of your day to head north to Toronto for one game before going back home to play a bunch in the South East is a bit different. Just floating some possible contributing factors.

    Oh and of course… the East is mediocre and the West isn’t… based on these numbers.

  5. I’m not going to claim the East is stronger than the West, or anything, but I’m suspicious of these results. Looks like too much weight is being given on the inter-conference play. There’s really not enough games played between the conferences that you can’t be suspicious of statistical models comparing them, especially models that result in lopsided results like these. The sample size is very small, and it really looks like it was given way too much weight in this model.

    There’s really three tiers of teams in the East — Ottawa, then a bunch of teams headed for around 100 points (Pittsburgh, Montreal, New Jersey, and Philadelphia), then everyone else.

    That middle tier is a combined 14-9-1 against the West, so they actually do match up well against the other conference. (Admittedly, Pittsburgh’s whopping 7-1 Western record skews that a bit.) Your power ranking formula ranks all these second-tier lower than essentially the entire Western Conference minus Edmonton and LA seems pretty exaggerated, IMHO — I suspect it is a combination of the West’s success against the bottom tier of the East, and the fact that these Eastern middle-tier teams have to play a lot against the lower-tier Eastern teams which really doesn’t help their schedule strength, even if they win.

    Really, your results would indicate that the *third-weakest* team in the West is somehow better than the *second-best* Eastern team… How plausible is that, really?

  6. Pittsburgh’s 7-1 record skews it a lot. The rest of that ‘middle pack’ is a combined 7-8-1. That isn’t all that good. Let’s look at the records of some of the West’s worst teams against the east.

    L.A.: 2-1-0
    Phoenix: 4-3-0
    Chicago: 3-4-1
    Columbus: 3-2-0
    Edmonton: 3-2-1

    And it isn’t really a small sample size when it has happened 2 years in a row. Last year the west had a substantially better record against the east than vice versa.

    Now, do I really think that the majority of the western conference teams are better than all but a couple teams in the east? No, and I probably do need to tweak things a bit. But the problem appears to be the Southeast division which is significantly pulling down the strength of schedule of all the teams in the eastern conference.

Comments are closed.