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NHL Power Rankings – The Shocks, Upsets & Surprises of the 2021/22 Season

If you aren’t familiar with the term “Power Rankings”, don’t worry – you’re not alone. The phrase has been around for a while, along with the mathematical calculations it is based around, but mainstream sports media have only really begun to use the metric in a serious way during the last year or two.

So, just what are power rankings all about? The power ranking system is a mathematical calculation that can be applied to both teams and individual players and was first devised as a means of comparing teams or players against one another in the purest, most direct way possible.

Power rankings can be viewed as a direct numerical representation of the competitive strength of a team or player; if you are a sports betting fan and enjoy NHL betting, it’s well worth keeping an eye on the Power Rankings pages of your favorite team and players, and using them as part of your overall betting strategy.

Note that whilst the exact way that power rankings are calculated can vary between sports due to the intricacies of the specific game, the typical method of calculating them remains the same. Say your team is currently placed third in the league, divide their position by the total number of teams; a short series of further steps is usually added, such as multiplying by a hundred then deducting a hundred and rounding to a set number of significant figures.

The numbers that come out of the other end of these sums can then be used to find amazing facts and surprises regarding just what has taken place over the course of the season. Don’t believe me? Check our our list of the biggest surprises of the NHL in 2021/22, and you will soon understand just why these really are “power” rankings!

NHL 21/22 Shocks, Upsets, and Surprises Determined by Power Rankings

  1. The Upwards Trajectory of Goal Scoring Continues

One fact that has been regularly observed during the last decade or two – even without the use of power rankings – has been the consistent uptrend in the total number of goals scored in every game. The reason for this is simple – players are spending much more time practicing their three-point shots, to the point that taking the risk of going for the three-pointer will almost always be worth it.

The NHL believes that this is a bad thing for the sport, and therefore an overall and is trialing numerous ways of switching things up on the court such as changing the regulation height of the basket, or moving the 3-point line further back up the court. Why do the NHL believe that more goals equals a less enjoyable game? The style of play changes dramatically because of teams constantly aiming for three-pointers, and the NHL does not believe that change to be a positive one.

Power rankings have revealed that last season saw an average of 6.3 goals per game, the highest mark in almost three decades, and there are even players such as J.T Miller who are scoring up to 100 points per season. These numbers are unprecedented, and a decision is likely to be taken soon as to what should be done to fix the problem.

  1. Statistically, the Canadiens are the Worst Team in the NHL

Would you have predicted that the Canadiens would be the worst team in the league in terms of statistics this time a year ago? If so, you are certainly in a minority. The team put up a stunning Stanley Cup Final run last year, but power rankings have identified the loss of two players – Carey Price, and Shea Weber – as the reason behind the teams shocking fall from grace.

The decision to appoint Martin St. Louis as head coach has also been widely questioned – does this man have what it takes to turn things around at the Canadiens? His previous management career doesn’t suggest that this is a miracle man by any stretch, but who knows – maybe he will surprise us?

  1. The Blues are now an Offensive Powerhouse

If you ask an average fan to name a fantastic defensive team, many will surely name the Blues. Ask them about a fantastic offensive team… I doubt you will find many nominations for the blues in that category. And yet, when we look at this season’s power rankings, it turns out that Pavel Buchnevich made a fantastic partner for established player Vladimir Tarasenko, forming an offensive pairing that has had devastating results on unsuspecting opponents.

The Blues have also benefitted hugely from their latest two young signings in Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou, who’s metrics rank the up-and-coming stars right up there with some of the best players in the entire league. Who would have expected that?

  1. A Breakout Season for two Players

Tage Thompson hasn’t had the best run since starting his professional career at St. Louis in 2016. The player formed part of a huge trade deal in 2018, moving to the Buffalo Sabers at the same time as Ryan O’Reilly moved over to the Blues. His first couple of seasons were unremarkable, and many questioned if Thompson would ever develop into a key player when power rankings showed he had scored just 15 goals in 104 games.

As for O’Reilly, he immediately became a core member of the St. Louis roster, and many felt that the Sabers had made a huge mistake in giving up the player. But now for the shock – Thompson has turned it around this season, with 38 goals in 78 games. It may just be a one-off; a fluke; or it could be the start of a new chapter in this players career. One thing is for sure – all eyes will be on Tage when he begins his next season.

Troy Terry also had his first breakout season this year – he was the only mid-20s player to come out of nowhere to score a massive season on power rankings, despite a run of just 15 goals in 127 games over his first three seasons. This year? 37 goals in 75 games. Troy is now considered an essential part of a young Ducks trio which includes Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale.

That’s not all, Folks!

We hope this has given you a taste for the power of power rankings. If you want to find out more about this exciting analysis technique, head on over to NBC Sport – the site has posted a much more extensive analysis for the NHL 2021/22 season, featuring ten more power ranking based surprises.