March 18 2013 05:52AM
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- Chicago scored six times at even strength on Saturday, and as a result, boost up from fifth to second in team PDO. That's helped by the fact the Toronto Maple Leafs have been on a five-game losing streak where their goalies can't stop anything. Funny how that works.
- We're seeing some balance on the low end of the scale. Last week, five teams were below .975 in PDO, but predictably, we're down to two after the Islanders, Flames and Blues strung some wins together and pulled into more normal territory. Brutal job for the Florida Panthers down there at the bottom, they've lost six straight and three games this week by an 11-6 margin. Their possession numbers are actually above 50, but they've sustained some injuries, don't have a functional goaltender and can't score any goals.
- The St. Louis Blues, at 16-10-2, are showing what you can do by being a good puck-possession team. Despite getting a fraction of the goaltending they were getting last season, they're competing in the Western Conference and will definitely be a team to contend with come playoff time.
- Two Pacific Division teams of note: San Jose and Los Angeles. The Sharks are another outlier on the low end, getting great possession numbers but can't seem to get any shots to go in. Los Angeles were hovering near the bottom in this about a month ago but predictably, they've regressed right up to the mean. They're scoring goals this year, and have been able to shake off lousy goaltending.
- If this were an 82-game season, I'd put money on LA surpassing Anaheim. There have been some reports that Anaheim's home shot counter is overcounting opponent shots, which would help out save percentages for the Ducks, but their possession numbers are just as bleak on the road. I haven't watched many Ducks games so I can't comment directly on their record, but my feeling is that it's a house of cards right now, just based on the fact their PDO is higher than even that of the Minnesota Wild after this amount of games last season. The Ducks aren't getting outshot as badly as Minnesota were, so some of their regression could be cushioned.
- Vancouver averaged the highest PDO as a team over the last three years, and now they're getting the PDO of a normal team, and everybody is calling for the coach's head. Who'da thunk it?
- Montreal could be close to a losing streak like Toronto had. They've been a hit-or-miss group this season, and have lost just once in regulation in 17 games. No team is that good. Chicago ain't that good, Los Angeles ain't that good, Montreal sure as beans ain't that good.
- Poor Tampa. Four games below .500 with one of the higher PDOs in the league. 2011 is looking more and more like a fluke every day.
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