5-Year, 3-Year and 2-Year Fenwick Close Standings

Two men tracking in the right direction - USA TODAY Sports

Which team improved the most? Which teams are headed the wrong way? Don't look now, but the Oilers are getting better.

In "How Bad Have The Oilers Been At Even Strength?" I noted:

Over the last six seasons, the best the Oilers even strength team the Oilers put on the ice ranked 24th in the NHL.

But while my tagline for the story "None. None more worse." was correct for the 5-year span, the Oilers have (slightly) improved during that time.  To find how each team stacks up at even strength, I've compiled the Fenwick totals for all 30 teams in the NHL over the last 5, 3 and 1 seasons, but because 48 games isn't a full season, I've combined the data* from the last two seasons into a 1.6 season view.   Why am I using Fenwick to measure even strength effectiveness? Eric T. explains at Broad Street Hockey:

The result is that, although it may be counter-intuitive, if you want to predict a team's future winning percentage, you'll do better by looking at their current shot differential (ignoring shooting percentages) than looking at their current goal differential or their current winning percentage.

Yes, that's strange. Everyone's first instinct is to think that some teams will get higher quality shots than others, and looking at shot differential ignores that. And that's true, but it turns out that the differences in shot quality aren't very large, and so over the course of a season team shooting percentages are driven more by random streaks than by talent.

Fenwick Close % Fenwick Close Rank
Team 5 Year 3 Year 1.6 Year Δ 5 Year 3 Year 1.6 Year
Los Angeles 0.527 0.539 0.557 5.7% 4 2 1
St Louis 0.524 0.537 0.545 4.0% 6 3 2
Chicago 0.549 0.542 0.542 -1.3% 1 1 3
Detroit 0.541 0.534 0.542 0.2% 2 4 4
Boston 0.521 0.524 0.534 2.6% 8 7 5
New Jersey 0.526 0.531 0.533 1.4% 5 5 6
San Jose 0.531 0.530 0.523 -1.6% 3 6 7
Pittsburgh 0.521 0.524 0.521 0.1% 7 8 8
NY Rangers 0.513 0.513 0.520 1.5% 9 10 9
Ottawa 0.510 0.510 0.515 1.0% 10 11 10
Vancouver 0.509 0.521 0.515 1.0% 12 9 11
NY Islanders 0.482 0.491 0.507 5.2% 25 20 12
Winnipeg 0.489 0.500 0.503 2.9% 19 14 13
Florida 0.484 0.500 0.503 3.9% 23 15 14
Montreal 0.490 0.506 0.501 2.2% 17 12 15
Philadelphia 0.503 0.503 0.499 -0.8% 14 13 16
Carolina 0.495 0.487 0.498 0.5% 15 21 17
Phoenix 0.491 0.497 0.497 1.3% 16 16 18
Washington 0.505 0.492 0.485 -3.9% 13 18 19
Colorado 0.476 0.482 0.484 1.7% 26 23 20
Dallas 0.487 0.482 0.484 -0.6% 20 24 21
Calgary 0.509 0.495 0.480 -5.7% 11 17 22
Anaheim 0.475 0.470 0.479 0.8% 28 27 23
Tampa Bay 0.485 0.491 0.468 -3.4% 21 19 24
Minnesota 0.462 0.455 0.466 1.0% 29 28 25
Edmonton 0.457 0.455 0.464 1.5% 30 29 26
Columbus 0.490 0.483 0.463 -5.6% 18 22 27
Nashville 0.483 0.472 0.459 -5.1% 24 26 28
Buffalo 0.484 0.475 0.456 -5.7% 22 25 29
Toronto 0.476 0.454 0.451 -5.3% 27 30 30

*All data sourced from Behindthenet.ca

  • The Top 10 teams over the last 5 seasons remained in the top 10 for the past 2 seasons, though the order changed.
  • Calgary, #11 over the last 5 seasons, dropped to #22 over the last 2 seasons.
  • On the other side of the ledger, Jack Capuano and John Tavares have the Islanders headed in the right direction.  The Islanders have become a break-even team at even strength and rank 12th in the league over the last 2 years.  Now, about that goaltending.
  • The new answer to the tagline "None more worse" is the Maple Leafs.  They've been bad over the last 5 years, but it is possible for them to get any worse?
  • Calgary and Buffalo suffered the largest percentage drops, followed closely by Columbus and Toronto.  Judging by the moves each club has made, the team most likely to reverse course is the Blue Jackets.

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