Monday, December 18, 2023

Weekend rankings: Sharks move up, Hurricanes don’t, and the most mediocre teams

We’re usually all about the top and bottom five here, but what about the stuck-in-the-middle brigade? Which teams have been the most mediocre so far this season?

We did this right around this time last year, and I kind of like it was a pre-holiday tradition. So before we get to the good and the bad, let’s spend some time on the merely meh.

It can be a tougher question than it sounds like. To start with, unlike just about every other league in the world, being .500 doesn’t make you mediocre in the NHL. Thanks to the loser point, being .500 in terms of points percentage is often pretty bad. Instead, I like to just look at wins and losses. Mix in goals differential, a few underlying stats, and bonus points for teams that rarely go streaking, and we can get a good sense of which team is muddling along the best. Or worst. Or in between. You get it.

And if you see your team on this list and feel insulted, well, remember that this time last year, the most middling team in the league was the Florida Panthers, and their season turned out pretty OK.

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