Hello and welcome back to my statistics-based power rankings. How do they work? I track ten categories and sum each team’s rankings across the categories. Lowest sum is the best team.
- Winning percentage
- Goal differential
- Shooting Percentage
- Save Percentage
- Power Play
- Penalty Kill
- Percentage of shots taken in games – if a team outshoots their opponent 30-20 on average, they take 60% of the shots
- Differential vs. expected shots value – If the above team’s opponent takes 25% of the shots in a game (thus allowing 75%) the team above has a differential of -15% which means that even though 30-20 is a good average shots number, they are underperforming because their opponents are bad.
- The above two versus opponents who average 50% or more shots taken in a game (quality teams)
The Badgers are first or second in every category except for shooting percentage (13th) and power play (22nd). They’re tops in overall shots percentage and differential and second in the same figures versus quality teams.
Minnesota is similar to Wisconsin in overall figures, but the Gophers are solid on special teams. Where they falter is in their average shooting percentage (13th) and save percentage (17th).
3. St. Lawrence
The Saints have had a heck of a start to the season, with wins over Clarkson (non-conference), Princeton, and Quinnipiac. The Saints’ power play is pretty meh at 18th but they’re top-four in every other category except shooting percentage (5th) and percentage of shots (6th).
The Raiders benefit from having few weaknesses. Their lowest category is save percentage where they’re 14th, but .928 isn’t exactly a bad number. (League average is .917.) The only downside to the Raiders is they’ve played the league’s second weakest (first – Wisconsin) schedule on shots. Colgate’s opponents average just 44.9% of the shots. That’s a 33-27 disadvantage in a 60 shot game.
The Bobcats went winless on the weekend which knocks their win percentage down to 12th. Ironically that’s their worst figure. Next to that Quinnipiac sics one spot outside the top ten in penalty kill. The Bobcats are riding their shooting percentage and their power play (both 5th) to their success. Are they sustainable?
6. Boston College
The most curious thing about the Eagles is, like Minnesota, their pedestrian shooting and goaltending. Their 9.0% shooting percentage is just 18th and their .918 save percentage is 23rd. The former is odd since the Eagles boast the league’s top power play converting at 30.0%.
The Knights come in below the Bobcats despite their big win for a few reasons. Their goaltending (13th) and penalty kill (20th) have been very average. Their percentage of shots versus quality teams isn’t the greatest either (15th).
The Bulldogs are largely riding very few games played along with blowout wins over RIT. Still, their tough loss to Quinnipiac and their draw versus Princeton suggest they should be closer to the top than the bottom. Their 12.2% shooting percentage, which is surely unsustainable, suggests they should be a bit further from the top than they currently are though.
The Tigers come off a rough weekend in the North Country where Clarkson and St. Lawrence swept them. Princeton has only played six games and it seems like they’re still trying to get their footing. Their 24th ranked penalty kill needs work. The Tigers sit just on both sides of the top ten in most other categories.
The Bulldogs get pushed to the bottom for two reasons. One is a curiously bad penalty kill that sits 31st in the league. The other is their percentage of shots versus quality teams, mostly because said quality teams are Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Boston College.
13. North Dakota
14. Boston University
15. Robert Morris
The metric packs these four teams together and they do all seem to fit the ‘just outside the top ten’ mold. Cornell’s possession numbers are good, though they haven’t played much. North Dakota boasts the nation’s top penalty kill.
20. Bemidji State
22. Penn State
23. New Hampshire
These teams also cluster, your classic middle of the pack teams. Providence and Syracuse are elevated just a bit above the rest of them. The only figure in the top five here is New Hampshire’s penalty kill (3rd).
24. Ohio State
By and large these teams are relying on one or two elite players to carry their team.
29. St. Cloud State
31. Minnesota State
On the Lions, Lindenwood is 0-8-0 with 3 goals for and 33 against. They’re struggling mightily with the departure of forward Shara Jasper. It’s good to see a few schools, Union and Minnesota State, moving up in the rankings, if only slightly.