Ben Burns' NHL Notebook – November 15

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There are not any changes in the NHL team power ratings from last week, as the league's top teams continue their strong play. I expect to see a shake-up soon though, as overachieving teams like Montreal and Carolina will begin to fall back to the rest of the pack.

Ottawa Senators (13-2)

Based on a potent offense and a stingy defense, the Senators retain the top spot. The Sens do not have the most points in the league but that's only due to the fact that they have played the few games. Through 15 games, Ottawa has outscored its opponents by an average margin of 5-2. There is little doubt that they are currently the most powerful team in the league.

Detroit Red Wings (15-3-1)

The Red Wings continue to show no signs of slowing down. Their 31 points is the most in the entire NHL. However, critics would argue that Detroit has faced a reliably easy schedule that far. More than half of the Wings' wins have come vs. St. Louis, Chicago and Columbus. Those three teams have an ugly combined record 14-36-3.

Carolina Hurricanes (12-3-1)

This may be the last time we see Carolina on this list. The Hurricanes recently saw their nine-game win streak snapped, in a big way, losing 9-0 at home to Atlanta. Over the next five games they face Ottawa twice, the New York Rangers twice, and the defending champions (Tampa Bay) once. I'll be surprised if they can manage five points in those five games.

Montreal Canadiens (12-3-3)

Despite outscoring their counterparts by only six total goals (57-51) the Canadiens have the most points in the Eastern Conference. Like Carolina, this may be the last time we see Montreal on this list though. Back to back overtime losses, combined with the recent injury to high-scoring Alexei Kovalev, could mark the beginning of a slide for the Habs.

Philadelphia Flyers (11-4-1)

The Flyers lost last night to the Lightning. However, they are still a healthy 7-2-1 their past 10 games. The Flyers boast a strong and balanced lineup. They are also beginning to get fairly decent play in goal from Robert Esche, who has a record of 8-3 and a respectable goals-against-average of 3.08.

ROOKIE REPORT

By now, almost everyone has heard of Penguins' sensation, Sidney Crosby. Most hockey fans have also become familiar with Capitals' star, Alexander Ovechkin. This week, I felt it was only fair to include a pair of promising young goals to the list. Kings 'goalie Jason LaBarbera and Rangers' goalie Henrik Lundqvist have gotten off to strong starts and have both important factors in their team's early success.

Sidney Crosby Through 19 games, Crosby has recorded seven goals and 14 assists.

Alexander Ovechkin

While Crosby has been more of a set-up man, Ovechkin continues to 'light the lamp'. Through 18 games, he has 13 goals and five assists.

Henrik Lundqvist

Through the first 11 games of his NHL career, Lundqvist has a 7-2-2 record and leads the league with a sparkling 1.88 goals-against-average.

Jason LaBarbera

LaBarbera is 8-2-1 with a solid 2.44 goals-against-average.

HANDICAPPING TRENDS

Does it seem like home teams have been winning the major of the games this season? That's because they have been! After greater than 250 games, home teams have been cashing at a 60 percent clip. Totals remain fairly balanced with 'Under' bettors enjoying a slight advantage.

Away Teams 107-159 (40.23%)

Home Teams 159-107 (59.77%)

Favorites 160-106 (60.15%)

Underdogs 106-160 (39.85%)

Road Favorites 43-42 (50.59%)

Home Favorites 117-64 (64.64%)

Home Dogs 42-43 (49.41%)

Total (Over / Under) Results

All games: Over: 95 (47.5%) Under: 105 (52.5%)

Overtime games: Over 24 (47.06%) Under 27 (52.94%)



Source by Ben Burns

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