NHLNumbers Predictive Power Rankings

Derek Zona
February 23 2013 10:51AM

Patrice Bergeron
Is this the leader of the best team in the league?
Photo by Michael Miller via Wikimedia Commons

Power rankings are no fun for any writer or editor.  No matter the amount of effort or honesty involved in creating the rankings and slotting the teams, oversights happen and someone in every fanbase except the team ranked first overall will feel slighted and react like a toddler.

So we've set out to eliminate the effort by building a power rankings model based on underlying statistics and their predicative ability.  Our rankings aren't based solely on the current NHL standings, though points earned are a portion of the model, they are based on a number of underlying metrics so the rankings are constantly in flux. 

We're still tweaking the model, so we're not quite ready to unveil it, but consider this NHLNumbers' current best effort at predicting the standings and playoff pairings at the end of the season.  One item of note - 38% of the game is luck, and we don't attempt to predict or model that 38%, and we don't plan to.

The first edition of the NHLNumbers Predictive Power Rankings:

Rank Team NHLN Share
1 Boston Bruins 3.18
2 Chicago Blackhawks 4.59
3 Vancouver Canucks 4.86
4 Pittsburgh Penguins 5.06
5 Montreal Canadiens 5.56
6 St. Louis Blues 5.71
7 Ottawa Senators 5.90
8 New Jersey Devils 6.69
9 San Jose Sharks 7.45
10 Los Angeles Kings 9.75
11 New York Rangers 10.02
12 Anaheim Ducks 10.13
13 Toronto Maple Leafs 10.95
14 Phoenix Coyotes 11.58
15 Nashville Predators 11.80
16 Carolina Hurricanes 12.32
17 Edmonton Oilers 12.48
18 Detroit Red Wings 13.08
19 Dallas Stars 13.63
20 Tampa Bay Lightning 14.48
21 Minnesota Wild 14.63
22 New York Islanders 14.69
23 Calgary Flames 15.00
24 Winnipeg Jets 15.57
25 Colorado Avalanche 15.78
26 Philadelphia Flyers 15.81
27 Washington Capitals 17.47
28 Florida Panthers 19.33
29 Columbus Blue Jackets 20.92
30 Buffalo Sabres 20.96

Based on these rankings, the predicted playoff matchups look like this:

1 Chicago Blackhawks
1 Boston Bruins
8 Nashville Predators
8 Toronto Maple Leafs

4 St. Louis Blues
4 Montreal Canadiens
5 Los Angeles Kings
5 Ottawa Senators

2 Vancouver Canucks
2 Pittsburgh Penguins
7 Phoenix Coyotes
7 New York Rangers

3 San Jose Sharks
3 Carolina Hurricanes
6 Anaheim Ducks
6 New Jersey Devils

These other 14 teams will be in the running for Seth Jones or Nathan MacKinnon:

17    Edmonton Oilers
18    Detroit Red Wings
19    Dallas Stars
20    Tampa Bay Lightning
21    Minnesota Wild
22    New York Islanders
23    Calgary Flames
24    Winnipeg Jets
25    Colorado Avalanche
26    Philadelphia Flyers
27    Washington Capitals
28    Florida Panthers
29    Columbus Blue Jackets
30    Buffalo Sabres

#1 John Chambers
February 23 2013, 11:03AM
Trash it!


Can you please show the equation as to how you come up with the ranking?

It's an interesting list, and I'd like to understand the underlying numbers for each team and how they project based on different metrics.


#2 chinook
February 23 2013, 11:28AM
Trash it!

How did you handle injured players? As for Ottawa - Karlson is out for the season; Spezza (I believe) may return near playoff time.

#5 Robert Vollman
February 23 2013, 02:12PM
Trash it!

You have the Leafs making the play-offs? Obviously your formula needs more tweaking. :)

But seriously, great job.

#6 Jefff
February 23 2013, 07:20PM
Trash it!

If Oilers had the #1 pick they would pick a small winger.

#7 OilClog
February 24 2013, 12:08PM
Trash it!


Well Drouin is pretty awesome

#8 Ty
February 24 2013, 07:46PM
Trash it!

I know you won't show the equation (at least not yet), but what type of parameters do you use (such as goals for/against, shots on goal, etc)?

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