10-Game-Chunks, Part IV: Inconsistently Average

With the Sharks and Bruins finally getting game #40 in the books last night, it's time to take a look at the league with every team frozen at 40 games played.

First, the standings through 40...

In the east, the #8 spot is 45 points, so doubling and adding 2 puts the probable playoff perforation at 92 points.

Goal Scoring

Boston leads with 148 through 40. Philadelphia is 2nd with 137. The Isles slot in at #27 with 96 goals (includes shootout welfare credits). Los Angeles is last with 87.


It's no shock to see Boston on top here, as well, with only 77 shots in the net. The Rangers are second with 83. The Islanders check in at 24th, with 126 having found their way in. The swiss cheesiest team in the league is Tampa Bay, with 136 in the net. Carolina and Ottawa have each let in 135.


Boston +71, Detroit +39. A 32 point gap between first and second.
On the other end of the spectrum, Columbus is -35 and Anaheim -34. The Islanders are 27th at -30.

Penaly Minutes

Boston has gooned it up for 649 minutes with Philly only 3 minors behind at 643.The NHL average is 472. The Islanders are the 3rd most Lady Byng-like team with only 394 PIM accrued. Phoenix is the most gentlemanly with only 336, followed closely by Detroit at 340.

Power Play

Vancouver leads the way with a 23.9% PP (22/157). Edmonton is next at 21.6% (27/165). The Islanders are 4th at 20.2% (26/129). The NHL average is 17.3%. Montreal is only 12.6% (20/159) to bring up the rear. Philadelphia leads the NHL in chances with 181 PPs. Phoenix has had the fewest with 126. The Isles, Colorado and Winnipeg are tied for 27th fewest with 129. Boston has yet to give up a SHG against, while the Devils have given up an astounding 12. No other team has given up more than 5. The Islanders 3 SHGA are right about the league average of 3.3.

Penalty Killing

The Devils lead the NHL with a 91.0% PK (132/45). Los Angeles and Montreal are each 88.4% (137/155). The Isles are in 13th, with 83.5% (106/127). The NHL average is 82.7%. New Jersey has scored 8 SHG to lead the league. Calgary has yet to register a SHG. The Islanders and 4 other teams only have 1 each. The Isles 127 times short is the 3rd fewest in the league, behind only San Jose (121) and Florida (123). Philadelphia has been short 171 times, the most in the league.

Special Teams Index

STI combines the PP% (minus SHGA) and PK% (plus SHGF) to see just how special the special teams are. Vancouver leads the NHL at 110.5% ((37-2)/155)+(157-22-3)/157). The Islanders are 9th in the league ((26-3)/129+(127-21-1)/127). Tampa is the worst in the league at 90.3%. As good as the Isles STI is, that means that 5 on 5 play is severely lacking. The 69 even strength goals for are 27th in the league. Boston leads with 116, Kings are the worst at 61. The 102 even strength GA are 28th in the league (Carolina 104, Anaheim 105). Boston has given up only 55 even strength GA. The -33 at even strength is the worst in the NHL, 2 behind Carolina at -31. Boston is +61.


The Rangers lead the league with 1,134 hits thrown. Buffalo is the softest team with just 703. The NHL average is 872. After their very soft start, the Islanders are now up to 888, good for 12th in the league and only 19 hits out of the top 10.

The last 10 games


The Rangers went 9-1-0 to lead this chunk, with Colorado and Boston close behind at 8-2-0. The Islanders 5-5-0 was good enough for 9th best in the East. At 4-3-3, Florida's 11 was 8th best. The Isles picked up 1 point on Philadelphia, 2 on Pittsburgh, 3 on Buffalo and 4 on Montreal. Converting just 1 loss to a win would have meant 12 points, which would have been 5th best in the East. Converting both the Anaheim and Phoenix debacles would have meant gaining ground on the current 3-13 teams in the East, and only 5 points behind Toronto for the 8th spot.


The Isles 27 goals for was tied for 18th, just below the league average of 28.8. Boston had a blistering 46 goals in 10 games. Toronto was next best at 36. Minnesota managed only 16 in the same time, worse than the Kings and Blue Jackets 22.

Defending (or not)

The Isles allowed 29 goals, with the league average at 28.8. This was actually tied for 13th fewest in the league. Boston and the Rangers allowed only 16 goals. Anaheim and Buffalo allowed 37. Montreal and Philadelphia gave up 36. Tampa and Edmonton gave up 35.


The Islanders -2 differential was just one shy of the -1 they put up in games 21-30. Boston was an insane +30. The Rangers were second with +15. Minnesota was -15 at the bottom.

Living in the Box

What makes Boston's +30 differential even more insane is that they racked up 210 PIM in the same time frame. Their 39 times shorthanded was the worst in the league. On the flip side, though, they had 39 PPs which was near the top in the league. Detroit was called for only 76 PIM for fewest in the NHL. The Isles spent only 82 minutes in the box, and were shorthanded only 22 times, which was the best in the NHL. The closest team to Boston in terms of permanent residence was Philadelphia with 163 PIM.

Power Play

Leading the way in this segment are the Islanders at 37.5% (9/24). The only negative is that the 24 PP chances were among the fewest (23 for Winnipeg and Detroit, 24 for the Rangers). Second best in the league was Washington at 28.0% (7/25). The league average was 18.0%. Doing the least damage were the Kings (3/40-7.5%), Wild (2/26-7.7%) and Rangers (2/24-8.3%).

Penalty Kill

The Islanders had to settle for the second best kill in the league (21/22-95.5%) behind only the Kings (31/32-96.9%). Worst in the NHL was Dallas (19/27-70.4%), followed by Toronto (27/38-71.1%).


Being #1 on the PP and #2 on the PK puts the Isles easily on top of the STI at 124.6%. Edmonton was closest at 115.8%. The 124.6% this chunk was also the best of any team in any chunk so far this season. In their first 10 games, the Penguins were 122.3%. The only other team to break 120% was Minnesota in the last set at 120.9%. Dallas fared the worst this time around at 79.5%.

Being so good on special teams is completely offset by lackluster play at even strength for the Islanders. Their -8 was tied for 24th in the NHL with Columbus, but better than the double digit negatives put up by Minnesota (-10), Philadelphia (-11), Anaheim (-11), Buffalo (-11) and Edmonton (-15) at even strength. Boston was +27 at even strength to lead the league. The Rangers and Red Wings were each +14, tied for second best.


The Rangers registered 327 hits to lead the NHL. The Kings were second with 300. Chicago was last at 165 hits, Buffalo in 29th with 176. The Islanders had 286, good for 4th in the league. The league average was 228.

The Big Picture

There have been 120 10-game chunks so far. The best was Boston's 10-0-0 in games 11-20. The worst was Columbus' 1-8-1 to start the season. The Islanders posted chunks of 3-5-2 (tied for 102nd), 2-6-2 (114th), 5-3-2 (tied 49th) and 5-5-0 (tied 70th).

Of the 64 chunks beloning to playoff teams (through 40 GP), only 10 of them appear in the bottom 35% (tied for 78th or worse). Of the 56 chunks put in by non-playoff teams, only 12 appear in the top 33% (tied for 40th or better. The Isles 5-3-2 chunk in games 21-30 is good for a tie for 49th place. Their 5-5-0 is tied for 70th. Through 40, it takes a result of 5-4-1 to make it into the top half. 4-3-3 and below are the bottom half. No team in a playogff spot has more than 2 chunks in the bottom half. Of the non-playoff teams, only Winnipeg has 3 chunks in the top half, but their worst chunk drags them to 2 points out of 8th place. No other non-playoff team has more than 1 top-half chunk.

The reality of it is that the Islanders find themselves in 14th place, 9 points behind 8th with 6 teams to jump to reach 8th. If the cutoff for theplayoffs is 92 points, that means getting 56 points in the last half of the season, or 14 points per chunk (no worse than 6-2-2). That's a pretty tall order for a team that hasn't registered better than 5-3-2. And it also doesn't factor in the other teams needing to do worse than they did in the first half.

Book your early-April tee times now. If you'd like to see it, I have the data up in a Google spreadsheet.

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