CBJ Power Rankings pres. by YP: Dec. 30
EDITOR'S NOTE: You've arrived at the CBJ Power Rankings, our weekly breakdown of the top-five players, statistics, trends and many other Blue Jackets-related categories. If you're looking for the traditional power rankings, you've come to the wrong place. We'll go in-depth and outside the box, and hopefully give you something to think about.
For this week's rankings, we're taking a look at the five best home-ice penalty killing units in the Eastern Conference. Every coach in the NHL wants his team to win the special teams battle in every game, and there's added emphasis on both specialty units on a nightly basis. Home ice success is also a huge factor in overall success, so why not break down a statistical category that includes a little of both?
One final note: these statistics were compiled and placed in our Power Rankings as of Dec. 29 - they do NOT include Sunday's games in the percentages.
We're ready, but are YOU ready? Let's get it started.
HOME ICE PK %: 92.3
STANDING: FIRST PLACE (METRO)
The Penguins have a comfortable lead in the Metropolitan Division but also, a sizeable lead in the not-so-fortunate category of man games lost due to injury. You'd be hard-pressed to find a team that's been dealt so many significant injuries over the past few seasons, but the Penguins find a way to keep rolling along.
In the absence of players like Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Kris Letang and others, the Penguins have won games in large part due to a committed, focused effort on the defensive side of the game. They've scaled back on the penalties committed and aren't puttnig themselves in a vulnerable position, which goes a long way toward making sure you don't beat yourself. But when their penalty killing unit has been called upon, it has delivered - and especially so at CONSOL Energy Center where they've killed off nearly 93 percent of opposition power plays.