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NHL power rankings: Wild and Penguins remain at top, Kings still struggling

(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

These NHL power rankings are based on two factors that are estimates of a team’s true talent level, both adjusted for strength of schedule: Pythagenpat win percentage and percentage of even-strength shots in their favor when the game is within one goal (“Fenwick Close“).

Pythagenpat estimates a team’s true talent level based on goals for and against, while a team’s Fenwick Close gives us a proxy for their ability to drive puck possession. The more shots in their favor after eliminating score effects, the more sustainable winning should be.  You can find a complete explanation of the methodology by clicking here.

Here are this week’s power ratings. Agree or disagree? Let Neil know on twitter @ngreenberg.

1. Minnesota Wild (7-3-0), Last week’s rank: 1
Adjusted Win%: 0.852
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.577

The Wild is perfect at home (5-0-0) and is leading the league in puck possession. Ignoring special teams and lead-protecting situations, Minnesota has generated 225 shot attempts and allowed just 140, the largest differential in the league so far.

2. Pittsburgh Penguins (7-2-1), Last week’s rank: 2
Adjusted Win%: 0.641
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.552

The Penguins have won four straight, including a 5-0 shutout over the Buffalo Sabres. Sidney Crosby leads the league in points (18) and is fourth in point shares, an estimate of the number of standings points contributed by a player.

3. Nashville Predators (7-2-2), Last week’s rank: 9
Adjusted Win%: 0.602
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.522

4. Chicago Blackhawks (6-5-1), Last week’s rank: 4
Adjusted Win%: 0.655
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.529

5. Tampa Bay Lightning (8-3-1), Last week’s rank: 8
Adjusted Win%: 0.576
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.535

6. St. Louis Blues (6-3-1), Last week’s rank: 3
Adjusted Win%: 0.586
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.564

7. Washington Capitals (4-5-2), Last week’s rank: 5
Adjusted Win%: 0.523
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.550

The lack of urgency on the defensive side of the puck is an issue for Washington, which has lost four in a row. And, as you might expect, Coach Barry Trotz is unhappy with “multiple things.” On the plus side, Alex Ovechkin ended his scoring drought with his first goal in six games.

8. Anaheim Ducks (10-3-0), Last week’s rank: 6
Adjusted Win%: 0.661
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.514

9. Dallas Stars (4-3-4), Last week’s rank: 10
Adjusted Win%: 0.542
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.534

10. Detroit Red Wings (6-2-3), Last week’s rank: 12
Adjusted Win%: 0.547
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.52

11. Vancouver Canucks (8-4-0), Last week’s rank: 15
Adjusted Win%: 0.496
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.520

12. Boston Bruins (7-6-0), Last week’s rank: 13
Adjusted Win%: 0.506
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.525

The Bruins haven’t asserted themselves in the Atlantic Division, but that hasn’t stopped the club from extending Coach Claude Julien to a multi-year contract. Keep an eye on goalie Tukka Rask, whose .902 save percentage is a career low for him. That should bounce back and with it, Boston’s performance.

13. New York Islanders (6-5-0), Last week’s rank: 7
Adjusted Win%: 0.514
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.555

14. Toronto Maple Leafs (6-4-1), Last week’s rank: 20
Adjusted Win%: 0.445
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.492

The Leafs have won three straight, with their most recent victory coming against the Chicago Blackhawks (No. 4 in this week’s power rankings), a 3-2 win in which they kept pace with one of the better puck possession teams in the league.

16. San Jose Sharks (7-4-2), Last week’s rank: 18
Adjusted Win%: 0.562
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.476

17. Calgary Flames (7-4-2), Last week’s rank: 21
Adjusted Win%: 0.553
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.451

18. New Jersey Devils (6-3-2), Last week’s rank: 16
Adjusted Win%: 0.498
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.509

19. Winnipeg Jets (6-5-1), Last week’s rank: 23
Adjusted Win%: 0.363
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.501

20. Los Angeles Kings (6-4-2), Last week’s rank: 11
Adjusted Win%: 0.680
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.477

What is going on in Los Angeles? Normally one of the league’s best puck possession teams, the Kings have seen just 47.5 percent of even-strength shots in their favor when the score is within a goal and have lost three straight. It’s still early, but not the opening you would expect form the Stanley Cup champs.

21. Montreal Canadiens (8-3-1), Last week’s rank: 14
Adjusted Win%: 0.538
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.431

22. Arizona Coyotes (4-6-1), Last week’s rank: 19
Adjusted Win%: 0.396
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.526

23. Philadelphia Flyers (4-5-2), Last week’s rank: 22
Adjusted Win%: 0.509
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.464

24. Colorado Avalanche (3-5-5), Last week’s rank: 25
Adjusted Win%: 0.405
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.469

25. Florida Panthers (4-2-3), Last week’s rank: 27
Adjusted Win%: 0.290
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.496

26. Ottawa Senators (5-3-2), Last week’s rank: 28
Adjusted Win%: 0.533
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.413

27. Edmonton Oilers (4-6-1), Last week’s rank: 26
Adjusted Win%: 0.370
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.478

Edmonton has lost two in a row and will be without Taylor hall for two to four weeks with an MCL sprain, causing some to get creative with solutions.

It’s true NHL teams shouldn’t be panicked by a few weeks of bad luck and/or absence of performance and trade away assets who will go on to star for other teams and haunt them forever. But the Oilers are far past that stage. This is more than just bad luck. If this were a house, you’d be calling in an exorcist.

28. Columbus Blue Jackets (4-7-0), Last week’s rank: 24
Adjusted Win%: 0.487
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.451

29. Carolina Hurricanes (2-6-2), Last week’s rank: 29
Adjusted Win%: 0.187
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.447

30. Buffalo Sabres (3-9-1), Last week’s rank: 30
Adjusted Win%: 0.210
Adjusted ShotAttClose: 0.384