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Final 2014-2015 NHL Power Rankings, vs. #Fancystats: Oh, to be lucky AND good

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A final look back at the regular season, along with some fancy stats because I hear that's what all you young whipper snappers are doing nowadays.

A lot of this from now on, please.
A lot of this from now on, please.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Our seasonlong, weekly power rankings and media punditry roundup typically waits for the opinion polls to update, but let's face it... nobody's going to pay attention to what happened during the regular season once playoffs games have begun (and rightfully so). So we're going to put up the two publications' opinions that have posted thus far and add the others later when (if) they ever get around to it.

Meanwhile, the usual LHH Power Rankings get a few more columns so it looks all special-like.

Weekly Roundup of Opinion Polls

(Can you "round up" a pair of things? Or is this more of a matching thing?)

Site Updated New Ranking Prior Ranking Comments
CBS 9
ESPN 4/13/2015 13 14 The Islanders gave away home-ice advantage in the waning seconds of Game 82 against Columbus, and now we'll see if that hurts them against the big, talented Capitals. Jaroslav Halak has to be better or this will be over in a hurry.
TSN ---
Fox 11
USA Today 4/13/2015 9 9 John Tavares finishes second in scoring race with 86 points.
RDS 10
Average 11 11 More later (maybe)!

OK no reason to dwell much on this now. As for the Power Rankings, I figured we'd see how the final rankings stand up to a few fancy stats:

LHH Power Rankings

First, the usual pertinent info. Every regular season game has now been added:

GP Reg W OT W SO OT L Reg L LHH Pts LHH Pct LHH Rating Playoffs?
1 New York Rangers 82 43 6 9 2 22 313 0.636 119 Y
2 Tampa Bay Lightning 82 43 4 8 3 24 304 0.618 116 Y
3 Montreal Canadiens 82 37 6 12 5 22 292 0.593 114 Y
4 St. Louis Blues 82 37 5 13 3 24 287 0.583 112 Y
5 Chicago Blackhawks 82 36 3 12 3 28 270 0.549 109 Y
6 Anaheim Ducks 82 35 8 13 2 24 285 0.579 109 Y
7 Minnesota Wild 82 38 4 7 5 28 275 0.559 108 Y
8 Washington Capitals 82 35 5 9 7 26 271 0.551 108 Y
9 Nashville Predators 82 33 8 12 4 25 274 0.557 108 Y
10 Vancouver Canucks 82 36 6 8 3 29 270 0.549 107 Y
11 New York Islanders 82 34 6 13 1 28 269 0.547 107 Y
12 Los Angeles Kings 82 37 1 10 7 27 270 0.549 105
13 Detroit Red Wings 82 32 7 14 4 25 270 0.549 105 Y
14 Winnipeg Jets 82 32 4 13 7 26 261 0.530 105 Y
15 Pittsburgh Penguins 82 33 6 10 6 27 264 0.537 104 Y
16 Dallas Stars 82 33 4 7 7 31 249 0.506 104
17 Ottawa Senators 82 30 7 13 6 26 259 0.526 103 Y
18 San Jose Sharks 82 34 2 10 3 33 248 0.504 101
19 Calgary Flames 82 32 9 7 4 30 257 0.522 101 Y
20 Boston Bruins 82 28 9 14 4 27 254 0.516 101
21 Columbus Blue Jackets 82 28 5 11 3 35 227 0.461 98
22 Colorado Avalanche 82 27 2 14 8 31 228 0.463 96
23 Philadelphia Flyers 82 25 5 14 7 31 226 0.459 95
24 Florida Panthers 82 29 1 18 5 29 242 0.492 94
25 New Jersey Devils 82 26 1 12 7 36 210 0.427 87
26 Toronto Maple Leafs 82 22 3 10 3 44 180 0.366 85
27 Carolina Hurricanes 82 24 1 12 4 41 192 0.390 84
28 Edmonton Oilers 82 17 2 12 7 44 160 0.325 77
29 Arizona Coyotes 82 14 5 10 3 50 140 0.285 70
30 Buffalo Sabres 82 14 1 13 3 51 133 0.270 68

Ottawa and Calgary finish outside the top 16 (but not too far out), while Los Angeles and Dallas are left to wonder if a stronger strength of schedule did them in a bit (the fact that Ottawa doesn't play in the West notwithstanding). The Rankings Index is supposed to have roughly half the teams above 100 and half below, but as the season wore on, the number at or above 100 slowly increased. This is likely due to the extraordinary number of tanking teams this year. A strong draft will do that, I guess.

So, how strong are the Rangers, if they're that much higher than everyone else? Do the Kings really deserve to be in the playoffs? I figured a few fancy stats might help answer these questions, so I turned to War on Ice to see if there were any correlations to either possession numbers (in this case, Corsi in close situations) or luck (PDO). Here's what I found. I'll explain the columns below:

LHH Rating CFC CFC Rank PDO PDO Rank Composite Comp Rank
1 New York Rangers 119 49.7 19 101.9 1 50.64 16
2 Tampa Bay Lightning 116 53.8 4 101 7 54.34 2
3 Montreal Canadiens 114 49.6 20 101.6 2 50.39 18
4 St. Louis Blues 112 51.2 14 100.5 10 51.46 12
5 Chicago Blackhawks 109 54 2 100.4 12 54.22 3
6 Anaheim Ducks 109 50.7 16 100.2 14 50.80 14
7 Minnesota Wild 108 50.7 16 100.2 14 50.80 14
8 Washington Capitals 108 51.5 13 100.5 10 51.76 11
9 Nashville Predators 108 53.5 7 101.1 4 54.09 4
10 Vancouver Canucks 107 50.3 18 99.4 24 50.00 21
11 New York Islanders 107 52.9 8 99.3 26 52.53 8
12 Los Angeles Kings 105 53.9 3 100.2 14 54.01 5
13 Detroit Red Wings 105 53.6 6 99.9 19 53.55 7
14 Winnipeg Jets 105 54.2 1 100.7 8 54.58 1
15 Pittsburgh Penguins 104 53.8 4 100 17 53.80 6
16 Dallas Stars 104 52.3 9 99.7 20 52.14 9
17 Ottawa Senators 103 49.6 20 101.1 4 50.15 20
18 San Jose Sharks 101 51.8 11 99.1 27 51.33 13
19 Calgary Flames 101 45.1 28 101.1 4 45.60 27
20 Boston Bruins 101 52.1 10 100 17 52.10 10
21 Columbus Blue Jackets 98 46.3 26 99.7 20 46.16 24
22 Colorado Avalanche 96 42.9 29 101.4 3 43.50 29
23 Philadelphia Flyers 95 49.1 22 100.3 13 49.25 22
24 Florida Panthers 94 50.8 15 99.6 22 50.60 17
25 New Jersey Devils 87 47.7 23 100.7 8 48.03 23
26 Toronto Maple Leafs 85 45.2 27 99.4 24 44.93 28
27 Carolina Hurricanes 84 51.7 12 97.1 30 50.20 19
28 Edmonton Oilers 77 47.4 24 97.3 28 46.12 25
29 Arizona Coyotes 70 47 25 97.2 29 45.68 26
30 Buffalo Sabres 68 37.4 30 99.5 23 37.21 30

So it's still ranked by LHH's power rankings index. The next two columns are Corsi in close situations, and each team's rank. Oddly enough, many of the best possession teams finished in the middle of the pack of our power rankings. The highest rated team in our rankings, the Rangers, are actually below average in Corsi Close.

Maybe the Power Rankings favor lucky teams more? That's the next two columns: PDO (all situations since we are talking about luck after all) and each team's PDO ranking. The Rangers and Canadians are the two highest PDO teams and there they are in first and third of our power rankings. Three of our four worst teams in the power rankings are the bottom three in PDO. But all other teams are rather mixed. Our Islanders, for example, are one of the "unluckiest" teams in the league, yet finished 11th in the power rankings.

Maybe if you took both into account? The last two columns are the Composite (Corsi close × PDO), and the ranking for each team in that regard, and again things are a bit mixed, but the correlation is at least somewhat there. Only two teams (San Jose and Boston) are in the top 16 in terms of the Composite score, yet are outside the top 16 in our power rankings. LA held their own in terms of possession, and were above average in PDO, so they seem to be extremely unlucky in not making the playoffs.

But all in all, I think I just concluded that it's better to be lucky AND good. Which we all knew already. I'll shut up now. Except that I firmly believe that PDO isn't entirely luck... unless you consider having a generational talent in goal, or a host of really good snipers as "lucky."

Anyways, on to the playoffs. Let's go Islanders!!!!