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The Puck Stops Here

Columbus Power Play

The Columbus Blue Jackets are in the midst of a 13 game winning streak.  They are currently in second place in the NHL.  They are one point behind the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, a team in which they have four games in hand.  This is a significant improvement from last year's finish which was second worst in the East Conference.  When a team makes as big a step forward as this it is reasonable to believe that they are overachieving.  They may be an improved team, but this improvement is not as big as the statistics show to date.  One place where we see some significant improvement is on the power play. 

Columbus has the best power play in the NHL with a 27.1% success rate.  This is almost a ten point improvement from last year's 17.3% success rate, which was good for 21st in the league.  This power play is the most successful that the NHL has seen since the 1990 Calgary Flames had a 27.7% success rate.  This is the most successful power play in 27 years.  The Calgary team had future Hall of Famers in Joe Nieuwendyk Joe Mullen, Sergei Makarov and Al MacInnis manning their power play.  Does Columbus have any future Hall of Famers in their line-up?  It is possible that young players such as Zach Werenski may get there some day, but they have a long way to go.  I th ink it is clear that Columbus does not have the talent to be the best power play in 26 years.  It is a stretch to say they have the most talent on their power play this year.  However their success is clear.

The problem with power play numbers is sample size.  Columbus has spent about 150 minutes on the power play so far this season.  That is two and a half games.  Would you trust a trend that has only lasted two and a half games?  As time passes and the sample size increases I would expect their power play to regress to its expected level and hence become less effective.

The Columbus success this year has been a big story so far this season.  It is a big story because it is unexpected and so large.  There are several indicators that suggest that it is bigger than sustainable.  The power play is the most obvious of those indicators.  Is it reasonable to believe that Columbus is the best power play in 27 years?  They do not have the personnel for it and the year on year improvement is bigger than anyone could expect given the similarity of their roster to last year.

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Comments

Paul's avatar

Twitter response...

What an amazing vomit of words to say exactly fu#@ all.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 12/29/16 at 04:38 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Some comments are not worth relaying.  I trust that you have sufficient judgement to find them in the future when they are this obvious.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 12/29/16 at 04:48 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Truthfully I have no idea what he was trying to say.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 12/29/16 at 04:49 PM ET

Iggy_Rules's avatar

Well, the comment does point to the idea of brevity. This blog post could certainly have been a lot more succinct considering the content.

Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 12/29/16 at 05:30 PM ET

Avatar

They are one point behind the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, a team in which they have four games in hand.

Quality sentence.

This is a significant improvement from last year’s finish which was second worst in the East Conference.  When a team makes as big a step forward as this it is reasonable to believe that they are overachieving.  They may be an improved team, but this improvement is not as big as the statistics show to date.

Who exactly is your target audience with these blogs? Grade schoolers?

This power play is the most successful that the NHL has seen since the 1990 Calgary Flames had a 27.7% success rate.  This is the most successful power play in 27 years.

27 years ago was a long time ago. Some people weren’t even born 27 years ago. It was 1990 27 years ago. That was a long time. I assume you can’t count.

It is possible that young players such as Zach Werenski may get there some day, but they have a long way to go.

You say “players” but only give one example. If you could only think of one ‘maybe’ hall of famer, then that would make your point even stronger.

The problem with power play numbers is sample size.  Columbus has spent about 150 minutes on the power play so far this season.

Is it too much to ask for a comparison of power play time to other teams?

 

Posted by ilovehomers on 12/29/16 at 08:05 PM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com