Foto: Bildbyrån/Simon Eliasson

ELLENTHAL: Special teams winners and losers


I sin senaste SHL-krönika tittar amerikanske bloggaren Zach Ellenthal närmare på hur lagen i vår toppliga presterar i numerära över- och underlägen och hur det påverkar deras framgångar i stort. 

A lot of hockey analysis focuses on 5v5 play. Metrics like corsi, expected goals, and on-ice shooting percentages typically refer to a player or team's impact at 5v5. And there's a good reason for that -- the majority of a hockey game is 5v5 action and knowing how players and teams perform at full strength is often most appealing from an analysis standpoint.

But there's also a good reason why the standings do not simply follow in order of the best 5v5 teams -- just 60 percent of the goals scored in the SHL this season have been at 5v5. Everyone knows special teams are critically important to a team's success, and can make or break a season, regardless of how strong the underlying even strength play is. So let's take a look at how SHL teams are performing on special teams this season.

A few observations:

Luleå, currently carrying a negative goal differential at even strength, has both of their special teams to thank for their third place in the league standings. On the powerplay, they've scored the second-most goals and are generating the most shots on goal on a per minute basis. On the penalty kill, they've allowed the fewest goals, have been the best team at limiting shots against, and lead the league in shorthanded goals. 

It's been a nightmarish season for HV71, and that's with the second-best goal differential on special teams. They have the most productive power play in the league, and five HV71 players are top 20 in the league in points per 60 on the man advantage.

Special teams have plagued Djurgården for several years now, but they've reached a new level this season, especially on the power play. There they've scored the fewest goals in the league, four fewer than second-to-last Malmö, despite having played six more games.

What is going on with Örebro's penalty kill? They've given up 37 shorthanded goals in 37 games. No team has given up a goal per game since the start of the 17/18 season -- the closest a team has come is 19/20 Växjö, with 49. On a per minute basis, they're allowing 12.2 goals per 60 shorthanded minutes -- the highest over a full season over the same time span is 19/20 Leksand, at 10.7.


Here's how each team's goal share on special teams compares to their goal share at 5v5:

Success at 5v5, the power play, and the penalty kill takes different skill sets. Strong and sustainable 5v5 performance is still the cornerstone of a good team, but we see here where the other 40 percent of goals are either propping up or holding back teams in the standings.

Who is Zach Ellenthal?

I am a hockey fan from the United States, who after studying abroad in Sweden in 2014, fell in love with all things related to Swedish hockey. I've even been fortunate to make a couple trips back to Sweden in the last few years to travel around to different cities and games, including a seven game trip across the country right before the pandemic. I enjoy watching, reading about, and blogging about Swedish hockey, and as a quarantine project last year created a stats website called Svengelska Hockey. I've been reading content for seven years, and now look forward to contributing some of my own.

TV: Veckans SHL-lag #16

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onsdag 06 december
18:00 Pardubice - Lukko Champions Hockey League
19:00 Nybro - Almtuna Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 Brynäs - Västerås Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 Östersund - Tingsryd Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 Västervik - BIK Karlskoga Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 Mora - Djurgården Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 Björklöven - Kalmar Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 AIK - Södertälje Hockeyallsvenskan
torsdag 07 december
01:00 Florida Panthers - Dallas Stars NHL
01:00 Tampa Bay Lightning - Pittsburgh Penguins NHL
03:00 St Louis Blues - Vegas Golden Knights NHL
03:30 Edmonton Oilers - Carolina Hurricanes NHL
18:00 Brynäs - HV 71 SDHL
19:00 Växjö - Färjestad SHL
19:00 Modo - Timrå SHL
19:00 Leksand - Frölunda SHL
19:00 Skellefteå - Rögle SHL
19:00 Oskarshamn - Örebro SHL
19:00 HV 71 - Luleå SHL
19:00 Malmö - Linköping SHL
fredag 08 december
01:00 Ottawa Senators - Toronto Maple Leafs NHL
01:00 Detroit Red Wings - San Jose Sharks NHL
01:00 Boston Bruins - Buffalo Sabres NHL
01:00 Montreal Canadiens - Los Angeles Kings NHL
01:30 New York Islanders - Columbus Blue Jackets NHL
02:00 Washington Capitals - Dallas Stars NHL
02:00 Nashville Predators - Tampa Bay Lightning NHL
02:30 Chicago Blackhawks - Anaheim Ducks NHL
03:00 Colorado Avalanche - Winnipeg Jets NHL
03:00 Calgary Flames - Carolina Hurricanes NHL
03:00 Arizona Coyotes - Philadelphia Flyers NHL
04:00 Vancouver Canucks - Minnesota Wild NHL
04:30 Seattle Kraken - New Jersey Devils NHL
17:30 KooKoo - Pelicans Liiga
17:30 TPS Åbo - Lukko Liiga
17:30 JYP - HPK Liiga
17:30 Ilves - Tappara Liiga
17:30 Helsingfors IFK - KalPa Liiga
17:30 Ässät - Kärpät Liiga
17:30 Jukurit - SaiPa Liiga
18:00 Leksand - HV 71 SDHL
18:00 Brynäs - Frölunda SDHL
19:00 Östersund - Kalmar Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 Björklöven - Tingsryd Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 Västerås - Nybro Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 Djurgården - Västervik Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 Almtuna - AIK Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 Södertälje - Mora Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 BIK Karlskoga - Brynäs Hockeyallsvenskan
lördag 09 december
01:00 Florida Panthers - Pittsburgh Penguins NHL
01:00 Columbus Blue Jackets - St Louis Blues NHL
03:00 Edmonton Oilers - Minnesota Wild NHL
13:45 Modo - SDE SDHL
15:00 Luleå - AIK SDHL
15:15 Örebro - Växjö SHL
15:15 Timrå - Oskarshamn SHL
15:15 Skellefteå - Malmö SHL
16:00 SaiPa - Jukurit Liiga
16:00 Vaasan Sport - JYP Liiga
16:00 Pelicans - Ilves Liiga
16:00 HPK - Tappara Liiga
16:00 Lukko - Kärpät Liiga
16:00 TPS Åbo - Ässät Liiga
17:30 KalPa - KooKoo Liiga
18:00 Rögle - Leksand SHL
18:00 HV 71 - Frölunda SHL
18:00 Linköping - Luleå SHL
18:00 Färjestad - Modo SHL
19:00 Boston Bruins - Arizona Coyotes NHL
22:00 Calgary Flames - New Jersey Devils NHL
22:00 Dallas Stars - Vegas Golden Knights NHL
söndag 10 december
01:00 Washington Capitals - New York Rangers NHL
01:00 Buffalo Sabres - Montreal Canadiens NHL
01:00 Detroit Red Wings - Ottawa Senators NHL
01:00 Toronto Maple Leafs - Nashville Predators NHL
01:30 New York Islanders - Los Angeles Kings NHL
02:00 Chicago Blackhawks - St Louis Blues NHL
03:00 Colorado Avalanche - Philadelphia Flyers NHL
04:00 Vancouver Canucks - Carolina Hurricanes NHL
04:00 Seattle Kraken - Tampa Bay Lightning NHL
12:00 Leksand - Frölunda SDHL
12:00 Djurgården - Linköping SDHL
15:00 Luleå - SDE SDHL
15:45 Davos - Langnau Tigers National League
16:00 Modo - AIK SDHL
19:00 Columbus Blue Jackets - Florida Panthers NHL
22:00 Edmonton Oilers - New Jersey Devils NHL
måndag 11 december
01:00 Chicago Blackhawks - Washington Capitals NHL
01:00 Montreal Canadiens - Nashville Predators NHL
01:00 New York Rangers - Los Angeles Kings NHL
02:00 Anaheim Ducks - Winnipeg Jets NHL
03:00 Seattle Kraken - Minnesota Wild NHL
04:00 Vegas Golden Knights - San Jose Sharks NHL
tisdag 12 december
01:00 New York Islanders - Toronto Maple Leafs NHL
01:00 Buffalo Sabres - Arizona Coyotes NHL
02:00 Dallas Stars - Detroit Red Wings NHL
03:30 Colorado Avalanche - Calgary Flames NHL
17:30 Lukko - Pardubice Champions Hockey League
18:00 Vitkovice - Rapperswil Champions Hockey League
19:00 Växjö - Servette Champions Hockey League
19:00 Färjestad - Skellefteå Champions Hockey League
onsdag 13 december
01:00 Ottawa Senators - Carolina Hurricanes NHL
01:00 New York Rangers - Toronto Maple Leafs NHL
01:00 Pittsburgh Penguins - Arizona Coyotes NHL
01:30 St Louis Blues - Detroit Red Wings NHL
02:00 Nashville Predators - Philadelphia Flyers NHL
04:00 Seattle Kraken - Florida Panthers NHL
04:00 Edmonton Oilers - Chicago Blackhawks NHL
04:00 Vegas Golden Knights - Calgary Flames NHL
04:00 Vancouver Canucks - Tampa Bay Lightning NHL
04:30 San Jose Sharks - Winnipeg Jets NHL
17:30 Ässät - JYP Liiga
17:30 Helsingfors IFK - Vaasan Sport Liiga
19:00 Djurgården - Brynäs Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 Södertälje - Björklöven Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 BIK Karlskoga - AIK Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 Almtuna - Östersund Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 Kalmar - Nybro Hockeyallsvenskan
19:00 Västervik - Västerås Hockeyallsvenskan
torsdag 14 december
01:00 Montreal Canadiens - Pittsburgh Penguins NHL
01:30 New York Islanders - Anaheim Ducks NHL
01:30 New Jersey Devils - Boston Bruins NHL
04:00 Colorado Avalanche - Buffalo Sabres NHL
04:30 Los Angeles Kings - Winnipeg Jets NHL
18:00 Tjeckien - Finland Swiss Ice Hockey Games
19:45 Sverige - Schweiz Swiss Ice Hockey Games