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Super 16 NHL Power Rankings
(Page 5 of 7)
Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Super 16: Time needed to judge young goalies

Friday, 10.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Last season was a celebration of NHL hockey in California, from an outdoor game at Dodger Stadium to the three teams staging an impromptu state championship in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Los Angeles Kings became state champs and then League champs. The Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks pushed the Kings to seven games, and both spent the offseason trying to process a missed opportunity.

All three teams remain among the League's elite in the early part of the 2014-15 season, but an intriguing aspect of the Ducks and Sharks is both teams are going to give a lot of starts to goaltenders who are inexperienced at this level.

Super 16: Analytics say rest goalies on back-to-backs

Friday, 10.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

As more people embrace the idea of analytics in hockey, one of the things they find out is it's more about ideas than statistics.

It's not all about a player's Corsi numbers; it is about his puck possession numbers and the principle of keeping the puck as a fundamental part of the way the game should be played. There are lots of principles in hockey analytics. Most started as an idea, and then someone or someones sought out a way to prove them.

One such idea is teams should never play the same goalie when faced with games on back-to-back nights. The premise of this is pretty simple: Goalies tax their body a great deal in any given NHL game, and when they do so on back-to-back nights it decreases their ability to perform at an optimal level.

Super 16: Player moves make West still best

Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

After a dominant season by the Western Conference in 2013-14, the reaction was swift and not subtle.

The West added more great players.

Though every team in the NHL that doesn't play home games at Staples Center or United Center spent the offseason searching for ways to inch closer to the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks at the top of the League, teams in the West in particular have created a pretty amazing arms race.

The four best players to change conferences, and seven of the best 10 or 11, traveled west. Here's a look at the disparity in players who switched conferences during the offseason, either via trades or free agency:

Super 16: Analytics' rise gives game new dimension

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2013-14 NHL season may well be remembered as an important one years from now, in part because the use of analytics, or advanced statistics, has taken a significant step forward in media coverage of the sport.

There have been plenty of people using #fancystats for several years, but this season the volume of writers has increased and the "mainstream" nature of the publications for which they work has also increased. This website in particular has begun to employ analytics on a more regular basis, and these weekly power rankings have intentionally been part of that.

The goal was to help show how these new ideas and statistics can be helpful in analyzing the sport. Just as there was in the baseball journalism community when analytics started cropping up, there has been resistance and debate about the validity of these new metrics.

Super 16: Kings could follow familiar path to glory

Friday, 04.04.2014 / 2:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

While the Chicago Blackhawks are idling into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and dealing with injuries to cornerstone players, the team they beat in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final has been steamrolling toward the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Boston Bruins are going to be a popular pick to win the Stanley Cup for the second time in four seasons, but another recent winner might be the best bet for someone who doesn't want to trust the banged-up defending champs. The Los Angeles Kings aren't going to finish with as many points as the other titans in a brutal Western Conference, but there will be seven other playoff teams that wouldn't mind seeing someone else have to deal with Darryl Sutter's club.

Los Angeles has been a strong team all season, but the goals just weren't coming. Nearly every other indicator of quality play pointed to contender status. In recent weeks, the Kings' offense is progressing to the mean and they now look like a team primed for a deep playoff run.

Super 16: Chara should be Norris favorite

Friday, 03.28.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara has not had the help of teammate Dennis Seidenberg since he was lost to a serious knee injury in the first game after the December holiday break.

The Bruins, who have built a reputation as an elite goal-prevention club, wobbled for a few games as they adjusted to not having one of the NHL's best defensive defensemen. Now they are back to their stifling ways and back in the hunt for the Presidents' Trophy.

While Chara may not possess the traditional offensive numbers of some of his closest competitors, the mountainous Boston defenseman should be the frontrunner for the Norris Trophy.

Super 16: Career year marks crossroad for Okposo

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 2:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

This has been a lost season for the New York Islanders, one that began with hope of building off a return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2013, but is ending with losses piling up and more question marks about the lineup built around superstar John Tavares than when the campaign commenced.

There has been one potentially big development for the future of the Islanders in 2013-14, and that is the play of Kyle Okposo. Long considered a gifted but inconsistent forward with potential, Okposo has put together the best season of his career with 69 points in 69 games.

Though he has spent a lot of his career with the Islanders on the second line, he moved into the spot next to Tavares and either Matt Moulson or Thomas Vanek, and that trio proved to be one of the most productive in the NHL. The question moving forward is simple: Will 2013-14 be remembered as a breakout season for Okposo, or a career year?

Super 16: MacKinnon's rookie year one for the ages

Friday, 03.14.2014 / 2:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Shortly after Sidney Crosby joined the NHL, tales of the next "Next One" began to percolate.

John Tavares gained notoriety for becoming the first 15-year-old allowed into the Ontario Hockey League in 2005. He quickly became the most talked about prospect in North America, despite there being two more NHL drafts between then and the one he was eligible for. During that period, a few great hockey players (like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Nicklas Backstrom and Phil Kessel) almost were overshadowed by what the youngster who NHL teams couldn't yet draft was doing in Oshawa.

Nathan MacKinnon was in a similar situation last season. Though he was lighting up the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League en route to being the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, there were plenty of stories written about the new "best prospect since Crosby."

It wasn't MacKinnon, who hails from the same small town as Crosby, but Connor McDavid, who isn't eligible to be drafted until 2015 but produced great numbers with Erie in the OHL after gaining "exceptional-player status" to play in the OHL at 15 like Tavares did.

Super 16: Teams hang on to top picks

Friday, 03.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

It was a busy day Wednesday in the NHL as teams scrambled to make trades on the last day allowed for players to be eligible for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. There were 20 trades on NHL Trade Deadline day, and a total of 39 deals in the month leading up to it.

Something happened (or didn't happen) in that month that hasn't been the case in any season since the 2004-05 lockout: No team officially traded a first-round pick in the upcoming draft.

Two teams, the New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues, traded first-round selections in the 2015 NHL Draft and both of those deals included an extra conditional pick that could become a first-rounder in the 2014 draft. This was the first time a first-round pick in the forthcoming draft was not moved on deadline day since 2010, and the first time none officially were moved in the month before the deadline since the aforementioned lockout.

Super 16: Johansen followed own path to stardom

Friday, 02.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The lead-up to the 2010 NHL Draft was dominated by a simple question: Taylor or Tyler?

Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin were the top two picks in that draft, and each has had a strong start to his NHL career. Each has been a high-profile player from day one, and Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner was also great as an 18-year-old, collecting the 2011 Calder Trophy.

Ryan Johansen has been in the NHL for as long as those three players, but his development curve was different. He put up modest numbers in his first two seasons, showing flashes of the potential that made him the fourth pick in the draft but lots of inconsistency as well.

Johansen might be the most improved player in the League in 2013-14. He's become a monster in the middle, the prototype franchise center the Blue Jackets hoped for on draft day.

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