Absolutely Definitive Rankings of Special Teams Skaters (Of Which There Will Be No Debate)

I am having a lot of emotions right now, and as a Midwesterner, I’m very bad at handling them. So instead of feeling things, I’ve decided to dive into special teams and try to determine who was the very best in the NHL. Forwards are separated from Defenders, for obvious reasons, and each group has a cut off for minutes over the last two seasons. So while Rookie So & So might have a ton of skill on the PP, if he only logged 50 minutes last year, he won’t be on this list.

The Penalty Kill

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The Specialest Teams in the League

Now that Kari’s got his groove back, there is no more common topic of conversation for Stars fans than how our Special Teams are playing. It’s long been known that Merrin & I are fans of the Stars’ Penalty Kill, but that our Power Play leaves something to be desired.

Recently, Josh Liles at Defending Big D ran a short article on “Special Teams Efficiency”. His conclusion was that we have average special teams because of where we fall on the combination of the two. He’s right, to an extent. As of 3/21 we are 18th in PP% and 23rd in PK% (Power Play % = Power Play Goals/Power Play Chances, PK% = Penalty Kills with No Goals Against/Times on the Kill), which puts us overall 22nd in the league. It’s not good, but it’s not bottom of the barrel. (Note: Since then, our PP% has improved, but to keep the integrity of all the data presented here, that’s what we’re going with.)

But really, that doesn’t help us understand overall what’s going on with our Special Teams and how to break them down, especially on a player by player basis.Read More »