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Who has the best and worst special teams in the NHL?

Mar 17, 2014, 1:51 PM EDT

The Pittsburgh Penguins may be on a two-game losing streak, but at least they can still say they have the best special teams in the NHL.

The following shows the combined power-play and penalty-kill rates for all 30 teams. The Pens have the top-ranked PP and the third-ranked PK.

Team  PP%  PK%  Combined
1 PITTSBURGH 24.3 86.1 110.4
2 NEW JERSEY 20.7 87.0 107.7
3 ST LOUIS 20.7 86.3 107.0
4 WASHINGTON 23.7 80.8 104.5
5 PHILADELPHIA 20.1 84.2 104.3
6 BOSTON 20.5 83.8 104.3
7 NY RANGERS 19.3 84.6 103.9
8 MONTREAL 18.2 85.1 103.3
9 COLORADO 20.8 81.1 101.9
10 DETROIT 17.4 84.1 101.5
11 CHICAGO 20.8 80.6 101.4
12 SAN JOSE 15.9 84.7 100.6
13 NASHVILLE 20.1 80.4 100.5
14 COLUMBUS 18.3 82.0 100.3
15 WINNIPEG 14.5 85.0 99.5
16 PHOENIX 20.2 79.2 99.4
17 TORONTO 20.7 78.4 99.1
18 MINNESOTA 18.3 80.6 98.9
19 EDMONTON 16.2 82.3 98.5
20 ANAHEIM 16.4 81.9 98.3
21 OTTAWA 18.4 79.9 98.3
22 LOS ANGELES 14.9 83.1 98.0
23 CALGARY 15.4 82.1 97.5
24 VANCOUVER 14.2 83.0 97.2
25 DALLAS 16.0 81.1 97.1
26 TAMPA BAY 16.6 80.4 97.0
27 BUFFALO 14.2 82.0 96.2
28 NY ISLANDERS 16.9 77.3 94.2
29 CAROLINA 12.6 81.3 93.9
30 FLORIDA 10.7 75.1 85.8

As you can see, the poor Panthers are dead last in the combined category, and by a wide margin. Florida ranks 30th in both the PP and the PK. Which makes it tough to win many games, because they’re not the greatest even-strength team either.

The largest disparity between good penalty killing and a poor power play? That would be Winnipeg, with the fifth-ranked PK and 26th-ranked PP. (Honorable mentions: San Jose, Vancouver, and Carolina.)

The largest disparity between a good power play and poor penalty killing? That would be Washington, with the second-ranked PP and 21-st ranked PK. (Honorable mentions: Toronto, Phoenix and Chicago.)

  1. sjsharks66 - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Right now the Sharks power play is terrible. I would rather them play 5 on 5. The PK on the other had has been outstanding. If they can fix the power play and continue a dangerous PK. The playoffs will be very interesting in the west.

    • bcsteele - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      I would say the playoffs are going to be interesting in the west about no matter how you cut it. As PHT posted WAY back when (I wont dig up the article) a good team stands to be left out of the play off picture as it is. Which speaks to the pool out west.

      The playoffs are a totally different game though. So who knows what happens.

      • hammerhead5573 - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        Bc – the problem with your team and yes mine (Hawks) is our teams hit a scoring drought. Yes a game here and there they do what we all hope they will and score 4 or more, but over all recently they are not scoring tons. Having a strong PK is huge for the remainder of the season. You are 100% correct, the playoffs are a whole different season.

  2. jhuck92 - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    NJ at #2 is very surprising. I was expecting top 15, but 2nd only to Pittsburgh? Wow.

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      I think if they compile the 5 on 5 stats, you’ll find NJ in the bottom 5.

  3. idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Didn’t Pittsburgh set a club record for the powerplay percentage and then went under 10% in the playoffs a couple years back?

    And didn’t New Jersey set a franchise record during the regular season for best PK percentage and then had something like 75% in the playoffs during their finals run?

    Pretty certain about the latter. Perhaps not the former.

    I don’t put much stock in these type of stats come playoff time.

    And this is another year where the Cup will come out of the West. So hard to fathom an East team being able to compete with whichever excellent team survives the West. St. Louis, Anaheim, Colorado, Chicago, Kings and even if the Sharks, if they can ever excel past the another playoff goose egg year that their fans have been patiently waiting for since the conception of Artus Irbe, all have a good chance to be Cup champions barring serious injury.

    • thesportsjudge - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      You don’t think it is at all possible the west is such a bloodbath that the team representing it in the SCF will be beaten up pretty badly?

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:33 PM

        I think between St. Louis, Chicago, LA, and Colorado, (I’d put SJ in there if they didn’t always have an amazing regular season and choke in the playoffs), will handily defeat Boston or Pittsburgh, with Boston having the better chance.

      • thesportsjudge - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        Fair enough idont…….., I’m just not so sure about the “handily” part. I think the West will beat the crap out of each other and there will be some wounded ducks(not capitalized therefore I’m not saying the Ducks…lol) in the SCF.

      • thesportsjudge - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:47 PM

        Oh, also, I did not thumbs down your reply because I feel it is your honest opinion.

    • c9castine - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      no, def take stock in this stat. but as it is said there seems to be two different seasons. so, whoever is in Pittsburghs position in the playoffs i bet wins or comes close…

  4. paulmazz - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Pittsburgh couldn’t get anything going against the Flyers in the home & home 3/15 & 16th! Not only did they get shut out, they only got one PP goal and there were two shorties by the Flyers!

    • danglesnipecelly88 - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      Flyers would get destroyed by Pittsburgh in the playoffs

      • yougotgirouxed - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        How do you figure this?

      • flyersfan85 - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:46 PM

        Because that has happened so often recently. Im sure who you are a fan of but EVERY game the Flyers and Pens play is like a playoff game. But you keep living in your little fantasy world..

    • girouxsalem89 - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      Pens actually had zero PP goals.

      • bobhpine - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        Do you honestly think the team the Pens put out there this weekend was a fair representation of what they have? (No Neal, Letang, Martin, Kunitz, Bennett) Versus a team with zero injuries? Be honest.

      • girouxsalem89 - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        Last time I checked, their top PP line still boasts two of the best players in the game, who got zero points in either contest…. in 9 chances on the PP… and gave up two shorthanded goals.

      • imleftcoast - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        Bobhpine, woulda, coulda, shoulda. The playoffs are 4 weeks away, and the Penguins will be lucky to get any of those guys back.

      • c9castine - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:40 PM

        the reality of the situation lies somewhere in between the two views. the pens are decimated by injury. having the two best players doesn’t matter when the power play looks completely different, they are playing with AHL players on regular shifts, and they themselves played bad.

        but on the other side, much of it also had to do with the fact that the flyers came to play this past weekend and the pens didn’t. they put in the work, the pens didn’t.

      • flyersfan85 - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:52 PM

        Freakin wahhh wahhh..we are missing our players..we arent healthy..who the faq is.. if you are going to use players injuries as a playoff performance indictor..then stay home., every good team can do with plugins.. Flyers did it last up.. put on your big boy hockey pants or prime your golf balls..

        No wonder Cindy is your guys cry about as much as he does..

        Yes we wont make the playoffs and 1975..I got it..what else you got besides a years worth of tissue

      • c9castine - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM

        I’m sorry flyersfan85….what did the flyers do last year with plugins exactly??

        they finished one game over .500 and missed the playoffs you idiot.

        Penguins have above and beyond more man games lost to injury this year than anybody and are 44-19-4.

        the flyers could hardly win a game to start the year because their captains hand was a little sore again. must be residual from when ‘Cindy’ tapped him on the wrists taking face-offs.

        you got nothing.

  5. jpelle82 - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    these numbers dont mean jack

  6. danglesnipecelly88 - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Hawks PP was dreadful in the playoffs last year. These stats are irrelevant.

    • comeonnowguys - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:18 PM


    • narfmoo12 - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      So when one team overcomes a horrible PP to win the Cup, that means we throw out these stats? Have you never heard of statistical analysis or even the simple “blind squirrel finding an acorn” saying?

      • thesportsjudge - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:48 PM

        Boston’s PP was horrible the year they won the Cup also. I don’t particularly remember when LA won, but it seems to be some weird coincidences.

  7. hammerhead5573 - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Earlier in the year I cringed every time the opposing team went on the pp against the Hawks. Now it seems they got that together, and at the right time too. Scoring among some of the leaders in the west is down and having a steady pk is going to be vital going into the playoffs. If memory is correct, the 2 best pk( playoff teams )were in the finals last year.

  8. flyboystransport - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:37 PM

    The players on the pens that are out will help on the power play but have nothing to do with the penalty kill

    • chanceoffleury - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      Martin is a top PKer? and Letang rotates between the first and second unit depending on whether or not he decided to embrace his defensive talents in full that particular game. He always gets at least a couple minutes worth of PK time in one form or another though.

    • c9castine - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      yeah the defenseman do.

      but i know…you guys would never think Letang would be a part of one of the best penalty kills around for the last few years. that would be against everything you “know” about him….

  9. blomfeld - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    Kings have no need for ‘special’ teams!

    With Quick and Brown, they have ‘all’ the scoring and defense to ‘win’ a game!!!


  10. macjacmccoy - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    I would like to see where the Flyers rank if you took away the results of the 1st month or so of the season. When their special teams was absolutely horrendous. They would probably be top 3 or better.

    • toiletclown - Mar 18, 2014 at 6:19 AM

      Yea just like if the islanders didn’t suck the entire season, they would be in first place. Shut up

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