I’ve been getting a lot of comments on my look at the Toronto Maple Leafs this morning. In it, I argued that the Leafs’ save percentage and shooting percentage are unsustainably low, with both being worse than the expansion Atlanta Thrashers, the low water mark for NHL teams over the last 10-15 years.

Still, the Maple Leafs aren’t the only team whose results have been skewed by the percentages over the first few games of the season, and I was curious who else in the league was experiencing either abnormally high or low marks. With that in mind, I’ve calculated shooting percentage and save percentage for every team this season, and I have the best and worst marks from last season marked in bold. One caveat: these numbers are based on the NHL’s per game numbers, rather than the total numbers (which they don’t provide) so there’s bound to be some slight rounding error.

Shooting Percentage

  1. Atlanta: 15.4%
  2. Edmonton: 15.2%
  3. Colorado: 15.0%
  4. Calgary: 14.5%
  5. Los Angeles: 14.2%
  6. NY Rangers: 12.8%
  7. Washington: 12.1%
  8. Philadelphia: 11.6%
  9. Pittsburgh: 10.9%
  10. Last Year’s Best (Pittsburgh): 10.9%

  11. San Jose: 10.6%
  12. St. Louis: 10.3%
  13. Dallas: 10.1%
  14. Columbus: 9.9%
  15. Chicago: 9.6%
  16. Anaheim: 9.6%
  17. Boston: 9.5%
  18. Detroit: 9.2%
  19. Vancouver: 8.9%
  20. Montreal: 8.8%
  21. Carolina: 8.5%
  22. Tampa Bay: 8.2%
  23. Ottawa: 7.7%
  24. New Jersey: 7.6%
  25. Last Years Worst (NY Rangers): 7.5%

  26. NY Islanders: 7.5%
  27. Minnesota: 7.5%
  28. Toronto: 7.1%
  29. Florida: 7.0%
  30. Phoenix: 6.9%
  31. Buffalo: 6.5%
  32. Nashville: 4.7%

Save Percentage

  1. Phoenix: .950
  2. Buffalo: .945
  3. Colorado: .940
  4. Columbus: .933
  5. NY Rangers: .928
  6. Last Year’s Best (Boston): .925

  7. Anaheim: .920
  8. Atlanta: .914
  9. Nashville: .913
  10. Edmonton: .912
  11. NY Islanders: .910
  12. Pittsburgh: .909
  13. Tampa Bay: .906
  14. Philadelphia: .905
  15. Ottawa: .901
  16. San Jose: .901
  17. New Jersey: .901
  18. Los Angeles: .898
  19. Carolina: .897
  20. Florida: .896
  21. St. Louis: .896
  22. Calgary: .894
  23. Washington: .893
  24. Montreal: .890
  25. Dallas: .888
  26. Last Year’s Worst (Toronto): .885

  27. Vancouver: .876
  28. Boston: .874
  29. Detroit: .873
  30. Chicago: .872
  31. Minnesota: .864
  32. Toronto: .841

What It All Means

View the bolded numbers as a rough framework of what kind of variance we can expect in shooting and save percentage. Teams on either end of the bolded numbers are going to see their shooting/save percentages move to the midpoint (or, to use the fancy math wording of commenter Thrillhouse from this morning, ‘regress to the mean’).

I mentioned it in the post linked above, but Toronto simply can’ continue to get batted around like this, unless they’ve decided to employ me as their starting and backup goaltender (they haven’t, by the way). They will rebound, and when a bunch of stories come out crediting Ron Wilson’s approach to their long break coming up, or Jonas Gustavsson’s lucky underwear, or even the motivational speaking of Ryan Hollweg, just remember that this was going to happen anyway.

Similarly, the Minnesota Wild (currently ranked 15th in the West) are going to improve. Their 7.5 shooting percentage will probably get better, and despite the fact that Jacques Lemaire has skipped town there’s absolutely no chance that their goaltenders finish the year with a combined .864 save percentage.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers are the two teams combining incredible shooting percentage with incredible save percentage; that will not continue, and with any luck John Tortorella will freak out on Sean Avery. I’m really hoping that the latter’s movie plans go ahead and that gets the blame, just for the sake of absurdity. That said, I imagine the Rangers will still be good (they should have a plus save percentage anyway), although I can’t say the same for Colorado.

Does anything else on this list stand out?