Simple task here. Take the power-play goals each team has scored with the man advantage and subtract the power-play goals it’s surrendered while shorthanded.
A team is going to have a positive ranking if:
— It scores on a high percentage of its power plays and/or kills a high percentage of its shorthanded situations.
— It draws a lot of penalties and/or doesn’t take many penalties.
Note: this doesn’t take into account shorthanded goals.
— Carolina at the top may surprise some people. But the Hurricanes have an excellent penalty kill, plus they don’t take many penalties. That’s a good combination. It’s even strength that’s hurt the ‘Canes this season. Only three teams — Edmonton, Buffalo, and Arizona — have a worse 5-on-5 ratio.
— If the ultra-disciplined Flames (fewest times shorthanded in the NHL) make the playoffs and the undisciplined Jets (most times shorthanded in the NHL) don’t, what you see above is a big reason why.
— Not a good ranking for the Panthers either. For a bubble team like Florida, special teams can be the difference between making and missing the playoffs.
— Case in point, Vancouver. Not great 5-on-5, the Canucks have had an effective penalty kill (4th) all season, and their much-maligned power play has climbed up to 11th with a recent run of goals.