Copper & Blue Power Rankings - Five Games In, The East Stinks

The entire Metropolitan Division is out of focus. - Jeff Gross

Everyone else is making proclamations based on five games - we'll just rank 'em.

Though we're just five games in to the NHL Season, there is at least one eye-opening number: .688 - the average number of points earned per game by Eastern Conference teams against the Western Conference. How bad is the East's 9-19-4 record against the West? Over 82 games, it's a 56 point season, like the Philadelphia Flyers in 2006-07. At this point, calling the Western Conference the Senior Circuit and the East the Junior Circuit is a bit unfair to other junior circuits.

My power rankings by building a power rankings model based on underlying statistics and their predictive ability. The rankings were built on points earned, special teams, even strength play and goaltending, so they were constantly in flux. I'm still playing around with the model, and I've added opponent's remaining this season. Ive also updated the special teams evaluation so it's shots-based, not solely conversion based. Here is my best effort at predicting the standings and playoff pairings at the end of the season. One item of note - 38% of the game is luck, and I don't attempt to predict or model that 38%, and I don't plan to.

Rank Team Record Special Teams Even Strength Goal Share
1 San Jose 1 5 1 5 1.66
2 St Louis 1 1 9 3 3.40
3 Minnesota 10 13 2 12 4.52
5 Chicago 9 18 3 15 5.96
7 Vancouver 17 3 12 26 6.95
8 Anaheim 7 18 6 21 7.10
9 Nashville 22 4 14 8 7.14
10 Calgary 5 13 12 21 7.92
13 Los Angeles 10 17 11 19 8.63
14 Phoenix 10 28 7 10 9.16
16 Colorado 1 18 18 2 9.79
20 Dallas 17 30 10 9 10.86
22 Edmonton 25 18 16 28 11.82
26 Winnipeg 22 15 27 17 14.11
  • Eight of the top ten teams are in the Western Conference even though Minnesota has yet to play against the East and Anaheim has played just one game against the East.
  • Speaking of the Wild, I'd like to believe that the Wild's turn around isn't because of a Mike Yeo epiphany and overhaul of his system and tactics, but rather a stronger belief in the October - December 2011, Coach of the...quarter.
  • Winnipeg looks awful in the rankings, but they've yet to take on anyone from the Eastern Conference.
  • Dallas ranks 29th in shots for at 5v4 and 30th in shots against 4v5.
  • The Oilers are the Oilers.
Rank Team Record Special Teams Even Strength Goal Share
4 Pittsburgh 5 10 4 24 4.81
6 Boston 7 24 4 1 6.74
11 Montreal 10 22 8 4 7.97
12 Ottawa 17 10 15 6 8.20
15 Tampa Bay 10 10 19 7 9.25
17 Detroit 10 6 23 14 10.07
18 Washington 27 2 21 25 10.14
19 Carolina 10 7 25 11 10.79
21 Toronto 4 8 25 23 11.10
23 Philadelphia 29 15 20 12 12.22
24 NY Islanders 17 9 28 20 13.04
25 New Jersey 25 25 16 27 13.22
27 Columbus 17 27 22 17 14.61
28 Florida 22 26 24 29 15.96
29 NY Rangers 27 22 30 30 17.46
30 Buffalo 30 29 29 16 18.26


The East must be begging for the closed-conference schedule from last season. The West must be thanking the hockey gods that the confence is so rural and un-metropolitan, because the Metropolitan Division has been pretty awful so far.

The playoff matchups look like this:

Pacific Central
Atlantic Metropolitan
San Jose St. Louis
Boston Pittsburgh
Calgary Nashville
Ottawa Detroit





Vancouver Minnesota
Montreal Washington
Anaheim Chicago
Tampa Bay Carolina

Detroit gets the crossover bid into the Metropolitan. If the conferences could crossover, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Colorado all get crossovers into the Eastern Conference playoffs.

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