Combined Special Teams Ratings: Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver

Jonathan Willis
September 22 2009 11:15AM

The three Canadian teams in the Northwest Division shared a common bond last season: their special teams weren’t all that special. There are some issues with the way the NHL calculates its special team percentages. The Philadelphia Flyers, for example, get credit for an efficient power-play and penalty-kill but the NHL doesn’t account for shorthanded goals in its calculations. When you consider that the Flyers led the league in short-handed goals for (16) and against (1), it’s easy to see that they aren’t just good on special teams, they’re one of the best outfits in the NHL.

To compensate for that, today I’ve re-calculated both the penalty-killing and power play percentages by including shorthanded goals for and against. The results weren’t pretty.

On the powerplay side of things, Vancouver’s ranking increased by a fair bit, Edmonton went up marginally, and Calgary’s unit plummeted thanks to 15 shorthanded goals against. On the penalty-kill, Vancouver got slightly worse, Calgary fell off by quite a bit, and Edmonton’s abysmal unit slunk closer to the bottom of the NHL pack.

Combined Rankings

  • Vancouver: 17.4 + 83.3 = 100.7%
  • Calgary: 12.8 + 85.1 = 97.8%
  • Edmonton: 14.7 + 78.4 = 93.1%

What I’ve done here is pretty simple; I’ve taken the adjusted percentages for both units and added them together. A league-average score is 100, and it’s easy to see that none of these teams are especially good on special teams. Vancouver is just slightly better than the league average, Calgary is a fair bit worse than that and Edmonton, drug down by a truly abysmal penalty-kill is 7 percentage points back of average.

If any of these teams entertain hopes of being legitimate contenders in the near future – and Vancouver and Calgary certainly view themselves that way – these numbers need to improve. For Edmonton, massive improvements are needed simply to make it back to the post-season dance.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Ogden Brother
September 22 2009, 04:37PM
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Chris. wrote:

Tomorrow’s Lineup: JFJ – Horc – Hemmer O’Sully – Comrie – Stone Moreau – Cogs – Brennan Penner – Pouliot – Nilsson. Quinn has often talked about forming two man units with rotating wingers. Could our top two lines be: Horc – Hemmer – And whoever O’Sully – Comrie – And whoever? Also. It sure looks like JFJ is going to make this team. Many people rip on him, but JFJ has sure been effective in the AHL, (More so than Schremp and Brule when healthy), has good wheels for a big man, and is getting a real good look in an offensive role this camp. He did have a monster game against the Panthers where he made some hits, created some space for his linemates, and even chipped in with a goal. I’m not sure why so many Oiler fans are in a hurry to dismiss a player with JFJ’s potential… He’s exactly the kind of player the Oilers need to make an impact.

Man that would be nice if we could get 20/45 out of JFJ to go with his physical play from last year.

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#52 RossCreek
September 22 2009, 04:48PM
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@ Milli. NEVER!!

Big fan of ON though.

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#53 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 22 2009, 04:53PM
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@ Chris.: I guess no more Schremp or are they giving him one last shot against TB?

Two man units is the way to go and I won't be suprised if we see that quite a bit this year.

You know with JFJ and Stone kinda playing for a spot, why not throw them together with Brule?

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#54 Chris
September 22 2009, 06:03PM
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@ Ogden Brother Jr.:

Unfortunately, Quinn is not returning my calls...

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#55 Copperhead Mike
September 23 2009, 01:22AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Man that would be nice if we could get 20/45 out of JFJ to go with his physical play from last year.

That would be nice. Actually it would be amazing. Outstanding. Miraculous. The second coming.

So...I'm trying to say it won't happen. I wonder how many goals the LW scored when playing Hemsky and Horcoff last year.

I did a little math regarding predictions and compared the top 300 scorers from last year (all skaters) to Hockey News top 300 scorers predicted for this year (all skaters). Last year: average of top 300 scorers: 47.5 points This year: average of top 300 scorers: 57.2 points.

That's roughly at 20% increase in scoring.

Which yes COULD happen. But it won't.

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#56 Ogden Brother Jr.
September 23 2009, 07:51AM
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Low and behold, Pisani is went off yesterday injuried. May this explain why he hasn't been getting the time?

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#57 ysmtlc
October 10 2009, 06:42AM
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