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Fantasy Hockey Quasi-Early Trends and Pretends 4.0 (NHL Power Rankings)

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Early trends. What to trust, what to watch out for. Power Rankings

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We are just over 15% into the 2015-2016 NHL season. 
Below are the rankings for teams Goals, Assists and Shots on Goal at home and on the road. A low ranking is positive, for example Boston Bruins have the most Total Goals right now and are ranked 1 in the overall Total Goal Rank.

Team

Total Goal Rank

Total Assist Rank

Home Goal Rank

Home Assist Rank

Home Shot Rank

Away Goal Rank

Away Assist Rank

Away Shot Rank

New York Islanders

6

8

5

5

9

18

24

27

Dallas Stars

3

2

2

1

3

5

4

13

New York Rangers

10

16

7

9

21

21

24

17

Montreal Canadiens

2

3

1

3

6

3

3

15

Edmonton Oilers

16

15

6

6

28

23

22

25

Florida Panthers

9

6

8

8

23

14

13

18

Colorado Avalanche

19

13

8

6

26

28

23

23

Minnesota Wild

5

5

3

2

27

13

17

16

Boston Bruins

1

1

4

3

24

2

2

7

Winnipeg Jets

6

9

10

12

14

9

9

24

Ottawa Senators

6

6

13

18

5

6

5

22

Washington Capitals

4

4

13

17

20

1

1

11

Chicago Blackhawks

24

25

15

12

18

28

29

2

Buffalo Sabres

22

20

23

21

8

19

18

1

Vancouver Canucks

10

10

15

12

15

8

8

10

Nashville Predators

12

13

11

10

16

16

19

5

Pittsburgh Penguins

24

29

20

24

2

25

27

13

Los Angeles Kings

20

23

27

28

19

4

6

6

Calgary Flames

22

20

22

19

25

20

20

9

Detroit Red Wings

17

18

18

16

29

16

15

28

St. Louis Blues

12

10

18

22

12

10

7

3

Arizona Coyotes

12

12

12

11

13

15

14

29

Philadelphia Flyers

28

23

28

25

1

21

15

4

Columbus Blue Jackets

27

27

24

22

7

24

26

21

Tampa Bay Lightning

18

19

24

26

22

12

11

26

Carolina Hurricanes

26

28

15

15

4

25

28

20

New Jersey Devils

21

22

30

29

30

6

10

19

San Jose Sharks

12

16

21

20

9

10

12

12

Anaheim Ducks

30

30

29

26

17

30

30

30

Toronto Maple Leafs

28

26

24

30

9

25

21

8

We are in the 4th week of the season. This is where the stats lines become a little ambiguous. Early anomalies are starting to straighten out and it's in this gray area where some of the stats tell the true story and some are false pretenses evening out. With this sample size - I'm going to toss out some teams and players to watch going forward given teams success records at home vs. on the road.

Top 5 Home Teams:  Montreal Canadiens, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Boston Bruins and New York Islanders (in their new venue).
Top 5 Away Teams: Washington Capitals, Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars.

Some Trends to believe in:
Nashville Predators - They are 12th in goals, 13th in assists and exactly where they should be across the board. This is a team that is above average and works the puck around a fair amount creating opportunities and assists at an above average rate. They are 7th in ‘Corsi For per 60' (CF60 which calculates shots for plus missed shots and block shots across 60 minutes) and around 10th in Shots on Goal. Peter Laviolette system is working just as it should right now.

Dallas Stars - In total assists, Dallas ranks second currently. They rank 1st at home and 4th away.  Lindy Ruff has a team that is working well as a unit. Their passing is constant and they keep their feet moving which creates open players and opportunities. Believe in early stat lines from Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg. This team will score the goals but more importantly will see assists (both primary and secondary) quite often on their goals.

Tampa Bay Lighting - are 18th in the league in goals scored and that is NOT a fluke. Their shots are down (22nd ranking at home and 26th away) and have a 14th CF60 ranking. Talented scoring by the Triplets line of Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov coupled with Steven Stamkos makes the most of the opportunities they have. At their current pace, they will not be the league leading goal scoring team they were last year but you can always expect their stars to make the most of the opportunities they get which can mean few shots and more goals.

Vancouver Canucks - They are another team much like Predators that are in the above average category. They are 10th in goals and 15th in assists. They are playing better on the road where they are 10th in shots, 8th in goals and 8th in assists (they have 2 away games this week). They struggle more at home where they are 15th in shots, 15th in goals and 12th in assists. At this pace, the Canucks will continue to score in the top 3rd and maintain an equal assist to goal ratio under Willie Desjardins. They have a strong top 6 in forwards and it tapers off a bit after that.

Pretends:
Pittsburgh Penguins - They are currently 24th in goals. 20th at home and 25th on the road. They are also 2nd in shots at home. Unlike Toronto (who I also think will see a boost in goals in the oncoming weeks), Pittsburgh is loaded with three 30 goals capable goal scorers (Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel). What they have here is a chemistry issue. They added Kessel in at the same time as a new coach, it will take a few games to adapt to Mike Johnston's system which can be fast and involves an aggressive play forward (and also concedes some odd man situations against). Their CF60 puts them in the middle of the pack which WOULD STILL be an increase over their current 24th

Chicago Blackhawks - Currently 24th in goals alongside the Penguins. Their CF60 is currently 5th. With these scorers it's only a matter of time until goals fall in. Taking it a step further - on the road they are 2nd in shots and 28th in goals. This will come back down to Earth as they find the net on the road. Oh and they have 3 games on the road this week so we can put the test to theory.

Boston Bruins - They are 1st in Goals right now and I am not sold. 1. As a team they are scoring on 17% of their shots among their goal scorers. This is unsustainable. 2.  Their CF60 is 20th in the league. 3. Corroborating #2 - they are 24th in shots at home vs. a Home Goal Rank of 4. They are the inverse of the Blackhawks - an opportune team that will come back down to earth. Expect to see David Krejci's numbers come down to earth.

Florida Panthers - They are currently 6th in total goals and 8th in total assists. Don't get me wrong, this team is playing with a ton of energy, forechecking and turning up the tempo on games. Much like Boston - their scoring percentages are unsustainable. They are close to scoring at 15% of shots among their goal scorers which will go down in the near future. This team should fall more within the average territory of 13-17 ranking for goals. Jagr's hurt hamstring will hurt a bit and might be offset by some goal production from Jonathan Huberdeau but look for this team to come back to earth a bit after the three home games this week (where the team is thriving currently).

The Jury is currently out:
Toronto Maple Leafs should be seeing some more goal scoring then they currently are. Here is a snapshot of the team. Mike Babcock is a good coach, he's not a demi-god but he's good. The Maple Leafs don't have the overall talent that the Red Wings have. Nazem Kadri, Dion Phaneuf, Brad Boyes and Shawn Matthias are all at least 2 goals below expectations given their play and shots. I expect this team to be just below 20th in goals for which adds another half goal for per game.

Buffalo Sabres are another team that is firing a lot of shots. They are 8th at home and 1st on the road. Much like Toronto - Dan Bylsma is a good/solid coach. The talent on this team isn't stellar but there are some good pieces there. Given this I would expect to see their total goals to fall a little lower than 22nd, more like the 15-17 area. I expect a few more goals at this point out of: Cody Franson, Rasmus Ristolainen, Evander Kane and Brian Gionta.They have two games on the road and I'll be eager to see if they can find the back of the net more given a sustainable shot total.

Big Goal to Assist Gaps:
New York Rangers 10th in goals; 16th in assists. Partially believable with the solo talents of Mats Zucarello, Oscar Lindberg and Rick Nash. Additionally this team is capitalizing big on turnovers in the opponents defensive zone. I expect the ratio to be more like 10th in goals an  13th in assists so in general expect fewer assists on this team. 
Colorado Avalanche  19th in goals and 13th in assists. Personally I think this team passes too much. They look for the perfect look instead of just firing in more shots. When you have Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Jarome Iginla and Nathan Mackinnon you let them fire the puck as much as possible.
Pittsburgh Penguins 24th in goals and 29th in assists. Chemistry issue aforementioned, they will start to feed more goals as the season progresses.
Philadelphia Flyers 28th in goals and 23rd on assists. A lot of their goals come from Power Plays where they cycle the puck and this lends itself to assists. Most Power Play points have an assist.
San Jose Sharks 12th in goals and 16th in assists. For starters their power play is struggling AND they are second in the league in shorthanded goals but more definitively, Peter Deboer is good at forcing teams into narrow areas and creating turnovers and more importantly odd man rushes. Assists should come down a bit as their power play improves.

NHL Rankings

Week: 11/2/2015

Bleacher Report

ESPN

Fox Sports

CBS Sports

Average

vs. last week

Anaheim Ducks

29

25

28

22

26.00

21.33

Arizona Coyotes

20

24

19

14

19.25

17.33

Boston Bruins

12

12

10

21

13.75

20.67

Buffalo Sabres

24

21

20

28

23.25

27.00

Calgary Flames

26

27

25

26

26.00

26.67

Carolina Hurricanes

23

23

21

29

24.00

27.67

Chicago Blackhawks

13

9

15

7

11.00

10.67

Colorado Avalanche

28

28

27

25

27.00

23.00

Columbus Blue Jackets

30

30

30

30

30.00

30.00

Dallas Stars

1

4

2

6

3.25

6.67

Detroit Red Wings

17

18

23

15

18.25

13.67

Edmonton Oilers

25

26

26

23

25.00

23.33

Florida Panthers

19

16

17

17

17.25

15.00

Los Angeles Kings

6

2

7

13

7.00

20.33

Minnesota Wild

8

6

6

11

7.75

7.67

Montreal Canadiens

2

1

1

1

1.25

1.00

Nashville Predators

5

7

8

3

5.75

5.00

New Jersey Devils

18

19

12

24

18.25

28.00

New York Islanders

9

11

13

10

10.75

7.33

New York Rangers

7

8

5

5

6.25

12.67

Ottawa Senators

16

20

22

19

19.25

13.33

Philadelphia Flyers

22

22

24

18

21.50

19.00

Pittsburgh Penguins

11

14

9

16

12.50

18.33

San Jose Sharks

21

17

18

12

17.00

6.33

St. Louis Blues

3

5

4

9

5.25

6.67

Tampa Bay Lightning

14

13

16

4

11.75

5.00

Toronto Maple Leafs

27

29

29

27

28.00

24.67

Vancouver Canucks

15

15

14

20

16.00

12.67

Washington Capitals

4

3

3

2

3.00

9.00

Winnipeg Jets

10

10

11

8

9.75

8.33