Special Teams Efficiency Update

I touched on the Oilers' STE yesterday and thought it worthwhile to look at league-wide STE to see who has squeaked out incremental wins via special teams.

From the original STE (Special Teams Efficiency) article:

If we had a simple metric to apply to special teams, we could get a sense of just how much of an impact special teams can have on a season. Since the league average for power play success percentage plus penalty kill success percentage is 100, why not add the two and use it as a baseline for measuring special teams efficiency? Though the tendency to regress toward the mean may be somewhat less strong (but then again, maybe not!), it may still be useful as an evaluation tool. In this case, we'll call the combined number Special Teams Efficiency, or STE. If all teams were to draw the same amount of penalties, a team with a 100 STE would net zero special teams goals.

If special teams efficiency is not a team talent, STE will regress to 100. This does not speak to shot generation or suppression as a team talent

In order to isolate the efficiency, I've set all teams equal to the league average and compiled the list below. Note that this does not take into account the differential in penalties drawn or taken, as this isn't a team talent, rather it's an individual talent.

PP: power play conversion rate; PK: penalty kill rate; STE: special teams efficiency; Goals Gained: goals gained or lost versus the league average

Rk Team PP% PK% STE Goals Gained
1 Vancouver Canucks 26.12 85.83 111.95 15
2 Pittsburgh Penguins 19.58 87.7 107.28 9
3 Boston Bruins 18.49 88.71 107.2 9
4 New Jersey Devils 13.33 92.56 105.89 7
5 Edmonton Oilers 20.61 83.45 104.06 5
6 New York Rangers 16.39 86.73 103.12 4
7 Nashville Predators 20.35 82.2 102.55 3
8 Detroit Red Wings 21.21 81.15 102.36 3
9 Los Angeles Kings 15.5 86.57 102.07 3
10 Buffalo Sabres 18.18 83.33 101.51 2
11 Montreal Canadiens 12.32 89.05 101.37 2
12 Colorado Avalanche 21.3 79.84 101.14 1
13 Anaheim Ducks 18.49 82.52 101.01 1
14 Florida Panthers 18.12 82.86 100.98 1
15 Philadelphia Flyers 18.79 82.12 100.91 1
16 Minnesota Wild 16.26 84.55 100.81 1
17 Washington Capitals 17.24 82.46 99.7 0
18 Calgary Flames 16.81 82.4 99.21 -1
19 Dallas Stars 15.74 83.33 99.07 -1
20 Winnipeg Jets 16.96 81.94 98.9 -1
21 Chicago Blackhawks 19.84 78.18 98.02 -2
22 Ottawa Senators 17.07 79.86 96.93 -4
23 New York Islanders 15.89 80.95 96.84 -4
24 Tampa Bay Lightning 15.32 81.2 96.52 -4
25 Phoenix Coyotes 13.08 81.98 95.06 -6
26 Toronto Maple Leafs 21.37 73.44 94.81 -6
27 Carolina Hurricanes 13.42 79.13 92.55 -9
28 St. Louis Blues 11.01 80.91 91.92 -10
29 San Jose Sharks 17.92 73.63 91.55 -10
30 Columbus Blue Jackets 13.48 76.19 89.67 -13
  • Not only is Vancouver killing it at even strength, they have dominant special teams as well. On efficiency alone, they're 2.5 wins better than average.
  • The Penguins' penalty kill is strong once again and the Crosby-less power play is still a top 10 power play.
  • Like the Canucks, the Bruins are an even strength beast as well as outstanding on special teams.
  • Year-in and year-out, the Leafs are at the bottom of the league in STE. I'll wager a deeper investigation of this will show some fatal flaws in their special teams approach.
  • The Blues (a subject of our power play shot quality article yesterday) have the worst power play conversion rate in the league.
  • The Sharks are struggling by this measure, mostly because their penalty kill has been terrible.
  • The Blue Jackets have the worst special teams in the league (without looking I'll blame Steve Mason) and their 13 goals lost puts them 28 goals behind Vancouver, or 4.5 wins back on special teams efficiency alone.
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