NHL Picks: The Importance of The Power Play

David Lawrence

Wednesday, August 12, 2015 2:06 PM GMT

It seems succeeding with the man advantage would give teams edge in terms of wins & losses, overs or success in the playoffs, We dove into the numbers from last season to see if there’s a correlation.

No Correlation Between Power Play & Wins
If you’re thinking that special teams leads to wins, think again – at least when we’re talking about power plays. The reality is that having a good power play doesn’t mean a whole lot in terms of regular season wins. Have a look:

Team

Power Play Percentage

Record

Conference Standing

Washington Capitals

25.3

45-26-11

4th

Detroit Red Wings

23.8

43-25-14

6th

Philadelphia Flyers

23.4

33-31-18

12th

St. Louis Blues

22.3

51-24-7

2nd

Columbus Blue Jackets

21.7

42-35-5

11th

Here you can see that the teams that led the NHL in wins – teams like the Anaheim Ducks and New York Rangers – are nowhere to be found in the top five. The only team that was in the top three in either conference to make it to this list is the Blues. The rest is a mixed bag with the Flyers and Blue Jackets not even making the playoffs. The bottom line is that a good power play doesn’t lead correlate to regular season record.

 

No Correlation Between Power Play & Overs
So you might be thinking to yourself, teams that do well on the power play might not necessarily win, but how about the totals? Being proficient offensively doesn’t necessarily mean that they will win a game but it should mean that their games are higher scoring, right? Unfortunately, that’s also not the case. Taking a look back to last season, the top five teams in terms of power play percentage – the same five teams from above – didn’t fare so well in terms of cashing in on overs.

Team

Over/Under Record

Columbus Blue Jackets

45-34

Tampa Bay Lightning

43-37

Dallas Stars

46-36

Edmonton Oilers

42-37

New York Rangers

39-34

The Blue Jackets were in the top five in terms of power play percentage and they led the league in terms of over percentage. However, other than them, that’s about it. The other four teams on our list here for overs aren’t in the top five for power play percentage. In fact, the Lightning were 14th, the Stars were 12th, the Oilers were 19th and the Rangers were 21st.

 

Playoffs?
While it’s clear we didn’t find a correlation for regular season but what about the playoffs? Once again, it doesn’t look like there’s much evidence that points to a trend. The Minnesota Wild led the playoffs with a 30.4% but they didn’t last beyond the second round. The Nashville Predators were second at 27.3% but they were out in Round 1. The Anaheim Ducks (26.7%) and the New York Rangers (21%) were in the top five but the two teams that played in the Stanley Cup final were not. The Tampa Bay Lightning were sixth (20%) and the Chicago Blackhawks were 10th (17.9%).