As the NCAA season progresses, I’m going to publish weekly rankings in conjunction with the USCHO poll. These rankings will be entirely statistics based with the explanation as to how those stats are developed here. As I prefer to do when compiling rankings, a team’s final ranking will be determined by a summation of their rankings in various statistical categories:
- Overall winning percentage (pct)
- Goal differential (+/-)
- Percentage of shots taken (S%) – (Editor’s Note – This is essentially the best imitator of Corsi %. I’m told that shot attempts (Shots on goal plus missed shots plus shots taken that get blocked) are recorded but that data is not available anywhere.)
- Percentage of shots taken relative to Opponents’ S% (Rel S%)
- Power play and penalty kill percentage – NEW DATA
- S% versus teams with an S% of 50% or more
- Rel S% versus teams with an S% of 50 or more
- Shooting Percentage (Sht%)
- Save Percentage (Sv%)
I have finally decided to do the extra work so we can include special teams figures. Also I have taken to making all of my spreadsheets available for download here.
I still think Wisconsin is better than Boston College. I’d rather vote the better team into #1 than the better record. Both Colgate and Princeton would be good 10-spot choices.
The PairWise ranking is important because the NCAA tournament field’s at-large bids are generally populated by the highest ranked teams that didn’t secure an auto-bid by winning their conference tournament. A breakdown of how the ranking is determined can be found here.
I’ve added the previous weekend’s results along with each team’s movement from the previous week. Again, eight teams make the NCAA Tournament so let’s run down the top eight:
A list of the categories in which Wisconsin is #1: Save percentage (.964), Penalty kill (96.5%), Shots percentage (71.6% / 41.9 – 16.6), Relative Shots percentage (+20.0%), Shots percentage vs. 50%+ teams (66.7% / 39.3 – 19.6), and Relative Shots percentage vs. 50%+ teams (+23.4%).
Their worst category is shooting percentage. Their 10.2% figure is seventh in the country.
2. Boston College
That said, Boston College is top-five in every category. They’re first in winning percentage and goal differential (+87). BC’s worst figure is their 92.6% penalty kill, which is 5th in the NCAA.
The Bobcats’ start, while not as gaudy as last year’s recordwise, suggests a better team. They have virtually no weaknesses. Their worst figure is a power play that converting at 20.37%, ‘only’ 11th. Otherwise they’re a team that can hold down shots with the best of them. Their 17.9 allowed per game is third behind Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Minnesota’s goaltending and penalty kill are the albatrosses weighing them down. A .921 save percentage isn’t bad, it’s just only 15th in the country. Likewise they kill penalties at a 79.2%. It’s not an awful number, just merely 22nd.
On the other side their 16.0% shooting is far out in front of the pack, as is their astounding 46.43% power play.
Clarkson is kind of the opposite of Minnesota. They can’t shoot (8.1%, 22nd), and their powerplay has been steadily sliding downward (18.46%, 14th). They are among the better teams against elite competition though. Their 62.31 shots percentage versus 50% plus teams is good for second.
Northeastern is who you think they are. A team that makes its success with its offense, led by Kendall Coyne. The Huskies are solid across the board with their .911 save percentage their worst figure at 19th.
7. North Dakota
North Dakota’s inconsistency is maddening. This is the only team to defeat Wisconsin and the only non-Wisconsin team to defeat Minnesota. This is also a team that’s lost to Ohio State and Syracuse. The Fighting Hawks can’t shoot. Their 7.7% figure is 24th in the country.
Harvard wins because they have strong goaltending and special teams and don’t beat themselves. If you can keep things 5 on 5 versus the Crimson, you’ve got a fair chance for success. Otherwise you’re in trouble.
Their team save percentage, led by Emerance Maschmeyer, is 95.6%, second only to Wisconsin. Their power play (25.00%) and penalty kill (93.3%) are third and fourth respectively.
As a possession team they’re mediocre. They don’t even take the majority of the shots in their games with a 49.1% shots percentage.
The Best of the Rest
Pinceton’s .946 save percentage (third), and their 95.5% penalty kill (second) will keep them in pretty much every game.