Combined Special Teams Ratings: Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver

The three Canadian teams in the Northwest Division shared a common bond last season: their special teams weren’t all that special.

There are some issues with the way the NHL calculates its special team percentages. The Philadelphia Flyers, for example, get credit for an efficient power-play and penalty-kill but the NHL doesn’t account for shorthanded goals in its calculations. When you consider that the Flyers led the league in short-handed goals for (16) and against (1), it’s easy to see that they aren’t just good on special teams, they’re one of the best outfits in the NHL.

To compensate for that, today I’ve re-calculated both the penalty-killing and power play percentages by including shorthanded goals for and against. The results weren’t pretty.

On the powerplay side of things, Vancouver’s ranking increased by a fair bit, Edmonton went up marginally, and Calgary’s unit plummeted thanks to 15 shorthanded goals against. On the penalty-kill, Vancouver got slightly worse, Calgary fell off by quite a bit, and Edmonton’s abysmal unit slunk closer to the bottom of the NHL pack.

Combined Rankings

  • Vancouver: 17.4 + 83.3 = 100.7%
  • Calgary: 12.8 + 85.1 = 97.8%
  • Edmonton: 14.7 + 78.4 = 93.1%

What I’ve done here is pretty simple; I’ve taken the adjusted percentages for both units and added them together. A league-average score is 100, and it’s easy to see that none of these teams are especially good on special teams. Vancouver is just slightly better than the league average, Calgary is a fair bit worse than that and Edmonton, drug down by a truly abysmal penalty-kill is 7 percentage points back of average.

If any of these teams entertain hopes of being legitimate contenders in the near future – and Vancouver and Calgary certainly view themselves that way – these numbers need to improve. For Edmonton, massive improvements are needed simply to make it back to the post-season dance.

  • Hippy

    @ Jonathan Willis:
    Just wondering if you know if this scenario could play out. Can you assign a player on a 2 week conditioning stint to start the season?

    http://www.nhlscap.com/waivers.htm
    Players designated for a conditioning assignment are not subject to waivers, regardless of their waiver status; such assignments may not be longer than fourteen (14) days.

    So, is it possible that the Oil may buy themselves 2 weeks, especially if they do in fact consider keeping Eberle around for 9 games. WHY NOT? Could the phrase “Bobby Nilsson has been assigned to Springfield on a 2 week conditioning stint” be considered as a way of not only buying time before a waiver decision is made, it could also buy time to work out a trade, or buy time to give Eberle his shot at the regular season without actually risking losing yet another player on waivers. If Eberle makes the most of things and proves he belongs, then you can waive Nilsson at that time. If it becomes clear that he needs another year of junior, then you’ve got Nilsson, who has been playing in the minors for 2 weeks coming back with one FINAL chance to prove something.

  • Hippy

    @ Ogden Brother:
    Do we know who are in our future plans? I'm still shocked we have to big goons in Brennan and Macintyre left. Considering Brennan doesn't even have an NHL contract one has to think something is up.

  • Hippy

    @ RossCreek:

    So far Moore shows up as a UFA under Buffalo's team list on nhlnumbers.com
    Moore shows 51% on the dot last year in 18 games with Buffalo and 54.8% in 63 games with TO. He is interesting to check out but do you think bringing him in would close some doors for Brule making this team? Or does Brule slid over to the wing and possibly move Pisani?
    As it sits Cogs will have to move to the wing.

  • Hippy

    @ RossCreek:
    From what I gathered last year when we sent DD down it was because he hadn't played in awhile. JFJ was because he was coming off an injury. I just can't see why we could send him down right off the bat, we kinda need a reason other then roster space(I would think).

  • Hippy

    Tomorrow's Lineup:

    JFJ – Horc – Hemmer
    O'Sully – Comrie – Stone
    Moreau – Cogs – Brennan
    Penner – Pouliot – Nilsson.

    Quinn has often talked about forming two man units with rotating wingers. Could our top two lines be:
    Horc – Hemmer – And whoever
    O'Sully – Comrie – And whoever?

    Also. It sure looks like JFJ is going to make this team. Many people rip on him, but JFJ has sure been effective in the AHL, (More so than Schremp and Brule when healthy), has good wheels for a big man, and is getting a real good look in an offensive role this camp. He did have a monster game against the Panthers where he made some hits, created some space for his linemates, and even chipped in with a goal. I'm not sure why so many Oiler fans are in a hurry to dismiss a player with JFJ's potential… He's exactly the kind of player the Oilers need to make an impact.

  • Hippy

    KPM wrote:

    Where did Glenn Fisher ever end up, I know he was not signed by Oilers, thought he was ok on the farm (ECHL) was a good back up

    Last I talked to Glenn he was still on the market (this was at his wedding this past summer). He got married to my cousin. Next week I should be seeing his father in law and I am going to ask. If he doesnt know then I will just wait for NHL10 to do a roster update and see if he made an AHL team hahaha. I thought his numbers in Vegas were awesome, especially in the post season. Poor kid didnt get a fair shake in Springfield last year.

  • Hippy

    Dam this no edit button. Looks like Ogden was right, he was released from Buffalo. Oh well. Good kid he will find a spot. By the way, JW this was a good post man. Normally I would blow over some of your posts but this one really shows what these teams need to work on to get better.

  • Hippy

    Chris. wrote:

    He’s exactly the kind of player the Oilers need to make an impact

    I whole-heartedly agree with that statement, JFJ making the step forward to being a break even NHL player does wonders for this team. It's an internal solution for size and grit. I'm not sure he is up to the task, but I'm definitely hopeful.

  • Hippy

    Chris. wrote:

    Tomorrow’s Lineup:
    JFJ – Horc – Hemmer
    O’Sully – Comrie – Stone
    Moreau – Cogs – Brennan
    Penner – Pouliot – Nilsson.
    Quinn has often talked about forming two man units with rotating wingers. Could our top two lines be:
    Horc – Hemmer – And whoever
    O’Sully – Comrie – And whoever?
    Also. It sure looks like JFJ is going to make this team. Many people rip on him, but JFJ has sure been effective in the AHL, (More so than Schremp and Brule when healthy), has good wheels for a big man, and is getting a real good look in an offensive role this camp. He did have a monster game against the Panthers where he made some hits, created some space for his linemates, and even chipped in with a goal. I’m not sure why so many Oiler fans are in a hurry to dismiss a player with JFJ’s potential… He’s exactly the kind of player the Oilers need to make an impact.

    Man that would be nice if we could get 20/45 out of JFJ to go with his physical play from last year.

  • Hippy

    @ Chris.:
    I guess no more Schremp or are they giving him one last shot against TB?

    Two man units is the way to go and I won't be suprised if we see that quite a bit this year.

    You know with JFJ and Stone kinda playing for a spot, why not throw them together with Brule?

  • Hippy

    Ogden Brother wrote:

    Man that would be nice if we could get 20/45 out of JFJ to go with his physical play from last year.

    That would be nice. Actually it would be amazing. Outstanding. Miraculous. The second coming.

    So…I'm trying to say it won't happen. I wonder how many goals the LW scored when playing Hemsky and Horcoff last year.

    I did a little math regarding predictions and compared the top 300 scorers from last year (all skaters) to Hockey News top 300 scorers predicted for this year (all skaters).
    Last year: average of top 300 scorers: 47.5 points
    This year: average of top 300 scorers: 57.2 points.

    That's roughly at 20% increase in scoring.

    Which yes COULD happen. But it won't.