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Top +/- Ratings Since The Lockout

The NHL appears to be ending an era with the impending lockout and new CBA.  This makes the period from 2005/06 to 2011/12 a well-defined era in NHL history.  I have looked back and posted the top players by goals, assists and points.  Today I will look at the top players by +/- ratings.  This is a less precise method of ranking players than the offensive numbers but it better gives defensive players a chance to participate.  The problem is that +/- ratings are strongly team dependent.  We will see more players in this list who spent the last seven years in Detroit or Vancouver than in Columbus or Edmonton because their teams were more successful.  Ideally +/- ratings need to be adjusted to be more meaningfully compared.  This becomes less true when we look at several years of data because circumstances tend to even out over time but they are clearly not even for all players.

Here are the top 20 players from 2005 until now by +/- ratings:

Most Points From 2005-Present
Rank  
Player   
+/-  Rankings
1Pavel Datsyuk

+186

2Nicklas Lidstrom

+173

3Henrik Sedin

+142

4Daniel Sedin

+136

5Joe Thornton

+127

6Henrik Zetterberg

+123

7Zdeno Chara

+118

8Alexandre Burrows

+116

9Dany Heatley

+106

10Marian Hossa

+99

11Daniel Alfredsson

+98

12Chris Kunitz

+96

13Willie Mitchell

+92

14Duncan Keith

+87

14Jonathan Toews

+87

16Nicklas Backstrom

+86

16Johan Franzen

+86

18Jeff Schultz

+84

19Brian Rafalski

+82

20Sidney Crosby

+80

20Alexander Ovechkin

+80



This list consists of 21 players due to a tie at 20th place.  Pavel Datsyuk leads this list and teammate Nicklas Lidstrom comes second.  Those two have a significant lead over anyone else.  The Sedin brothers come next.  They are followed by Joe Thornton, Henrik Zetterberg, Zdeno Chara, Alexandre Burrows and Dany Heatley.  Those nine players are the only ones who managed a +100 rating or better. 

There are six defencemen on the list in Lidstrom, Chara, Willie Mitchell, Duncan Keith, Jeff Schultz and Brian Rafalski.  Mitchell and Schultz made it despite their lack of offensive ability.  The tie at 20th place between Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin is kind of fitting for this time period.

Several players make this list despite their failure to play the entire time period.  Jonathan Toews is 14th and Nicklas Backstrom is 16th despite their rookie season of 2007/08 being two years into the time period.  Jeff Schultz’s rookie year was 2006/07.  Brian Rafalski retired after the 2010/11 season and did not play the last year of the time period.  Nobody on this list played fewer games than Toews.  Thirteen of these players played the entire time period with one team - which provided them with stability.

This is a group of players who were on the ice for significantly more goals for than goals against in the time period of 2005 until now.  Generally that is a sign that they were very successful players in the time period.  This is due to the skill of the players in question as well as the circumstances in which they played.  These players came from better teams in the NHL in the time period..

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Comments

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Way to go Red Wing players. Datsyuk 15th best player…hmmm who said that? It seems to me ;that, Dats is more valuable than SOME people realize.Maybe an aspiring techie will come up with a means to better quantify statistically how valuable an overall contribution of a hockey players skills are to his team. The Puck Stops Here efforts are our Best way NOW , because he’s delivering the most salient statistical way at the means NOW. Way to go PUCK!! Thanks ....rayzredwing ps: Keep up your fantastic writing, I for one appreciate ALL your articles.

Posted by rayzredwing on 08/25/12 at 05:25 PM ET

Joe Z.'s avatar

“This is a group of players who were on the ice for significantly more goals for than goals against in the time period of 2005 until now.  Generally that is a sign that they were very successful players in the time period.  This is due to the skill of the players in question as well as the circumstances in which they played.  These players came from better teams in the NHL in the time period.. “

yeah sure, lidstrom was good because of the red wings… you sure it’s not the other way around? the red wings were so good because of this players?

Posted by Joe Z. from Austria on 08/26/12 at 08:11 AM ET

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yeah sure, lidstrom was good because of the red wings…

He didn`t say that.  You actually quoted what he said and ignored it.  He said it is due to the players’ skill AND the circumstances.  It’s not one or the other.

Posted by Garth on 08/26/12 at 12:43 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.

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