Fantasy Hockey: Power Play Point Potential Rankings

Jason Spezza, fantasy hockey
Dec 10 2013 Buffalo NY USA Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza 19 against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center Timothy T Ludwig USA TODAY Sports

With another update of the fantasy hockey Power Play Point Potential Rankings comes another slight change in how they’re calculated.

Last season’s rankings were significantly different and included penalty minutes per game as a statistic. I outlined the flaws of including that statistic in the original overview of the Power Play Point Potential Rankings. To address the short comings, instead of going with penalty minutes per game, I switched to power play and shorthanded time per game.

After considering the purpose of the rankings and reevaluating how to best highlight a team’s offensive potential and their ability to stop opponents defensively, power play and shorthanded time have also been removed.

The logic is fairly straight forward. Teams who are successful on the power play spend less time with the man advantage, whereas teams who are successful shorthanded spend more time down a man. The way the rankings were calculated rewarded more time with the man advantage and less time shorthanded. Clearly, using special teams ice time is inherently flawed when trying to highlight the best and worst power play and penalty kill units.

The reason I included penalty minutes per game and the power play and shorthanded time in the first place was to establish teams who are most likely to spend time shorthanded and with the man advantage. However, again after reflecting on the purpose of these rankings it is not about how frequent a team is going to get power play opportunities, but what they’ll do with them.

To strengthen the rankings in this manner, the ice time statistics have been replaced with each team’s power play shooting percentage for the Offensive Rankings and save percentage while shorthanded for the Defensive Rankings. Every team is going to have power play opportunities and have to kill penalties, so projecting their performance in those situations more accurately is more important than trying to project how frequently they’ll be on the power play or shorthanded.

Finally, you’ll notice there is little difference in the rankings, except there is a larger margin between the best and worst teams, the ice time statistics failed to differentiate teams as they all hovered around the league average. These alterations should paint a clearer picture going forward.

Good Luck and enjoy.

You can download this week’s Power Play Point Potential Rankings below:

December 18th Offensive PPPP Rankings

December 18th Defensive PPPP Rankings

Last Week’s Defensive PPPP Rankings

Last Week’s Offensive PPPP Rankings

Explanation of the PPPP Rankings

2013 PPPP Rankings and Power Play Statistics

*Statistics through December 17th, 2013.

 

Getting Defensive

  • Ted Nolan is getting things on track in Buffalo and the Sabres are now hovering around the league average in the rankings. This is a rend to note, their lineup isn’t filled with kids under the legal drinking age in the US. The Sabres are no longer a team to blindly target.
  • Carolina is also showing signs of improvement. They now have Justin Peters playing well and competing for starts, while they haven’t been this low in the rankings since October 18th. Note the trend and monitor if the Hurricanes continue to improve killing penalties.
  • Most teams are headed in the opposite direction, most notably the Colorado Avalanche. Roy’s club never fell below 20th in the rankings until December 2nd when they were eighteenth. Currently, the Avalanche are tenth, this is a team in a full out free fall.
  • Dallas has hovered right around the league average and just outside of the top ten in the rankings all season. This week they make their highest placing of the season sitting as the eight friendliest team in the rankings, correlating with their injury issues on defense.
  • It is time to consider the Minnesota Wild and Ottawa Senators teams to target. Both clubs have showed signs of improvement over the course of the season, but they currently sit fourth and fifth and are killing below eighty percent.
  • The Red Wings have dropped six straight games, have major injury issues and have dropped six places in the rankings since December 2nd. Their schedule isn’t difficult through the rest of the month, but don’t expect significant improvement either.
  • Another week and little improvement, if any from the Islanders, Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, Panthers and Coyotes. Outside of the Blackhawks, these are the teams to target.
  • Similarly, the order of the toughest seven teams is all that changed in the past week. The Rangers, Kings, Bruins, Canadiens, Devils, Penguins and Canucks are stingy down a man.

 

On the Offense

  • This is the first week all season the Predators and Bruins are among the league’s top ten in the rankings, they sit ninth and tenth respectively. The Preds have sat just outside the territory, but the Bruins are getting it going with the man advantage so take note.
  • Since November 26th the Philadelphia Flyers have climbed 10 places in the rankings and should be considered one of the league’s top power play units going forward. Furthermore, Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek are getting their chemisty going again.
  • The Canucks are another team climbing out of the basement of the rankings, albeit much slower than the Flyers. Vancouver hasn’t been this high in the rankings since October 11th, when they were only five games into the season. This is a trend to monitor, they have the talent to execute.
  • Trending in the wrong direction are the Colorado Avelanche, just as their penalty kill is. On November 26th the Aves were ranked thirteenth, currently, they are twenty-sixth and their power play success rate have dropped almost six percent. They’re due to improve though, so buy-low.
  • Edmonton’s power play has gone ice cold in the past week and dropped almost a point and a half. Their slide has them six spots lower in the rankings, which is a huge drop at this stage of the season. Fantasy owners should start to question if their is legit talent and options in Edmonton.
  • The Capitals leapfrogged the Penguins to sit atop the rankings this week with the switch to shooting percentage. However, don’t anticipate anything other than these two flip-flopping all season. When the Penguins have their best lineup they’re superior though.
  • The Blues, Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, Coyotes and Canadiens round out the rest of the top power play units and there is no significant changes here. Continue to stack your lineups when they play weaker teams.
  • The League’s four worst power play units remain the same this week, with the Panthers, Stars, Jets and Hurricanes unable to get it going with the man advantage. The Flames, Sabres and Avelanche are the only other teams with a power play percentage below fifteen.
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