The Puck Prospectus metric GVT (goals versus threshold) allows us to compare players at every position to determine who the true leaders are. The first defenseman of the season cracks the top 10, as Chicago's Duncan Keith enters the power rankings.
Puck Prospectus: Player Power Rankings
Three goalies shoot up the ranking into the top 10, while the top spot is occupied by the same old fellow.
OGVT: Offensive GVT
GGVT: Goaltending GVT
DGVT: Defensive GVT
SGVT: Shootout GVT
GVT: Total GVT
Rank Player Last Week OGVT/GGVT DGVT SGVT GVT
1. Ryan Miller, G, BUF 1 26.9 -0.6 -0.5 25.8
Comment: Not only has Miller been good, but he's done it under a hail of rubber as well. In his last five games he's faced an average of 38 shots per game, including 50 in a 3-2 win against Toronto. The Sabres have gone from contending for the division crown to contending for the conference crown.
2. Evgeni Nabokov, G, SJ 3 18.6 -0.3 1.9 20.2
Comment: Yes, the Sharks have a potent offense, but it's not hard to win when your goaltender allows one goal per game, as he did all 3 times this week.
3. Henrik Lundqvist, G, NYR 11 18.4 -0.3 0.1 18.2
Comment: Tuesday's 1-0 loss to New Jersey may have been the greatest goaltending duel in recent memory, as Lundqvist and Martin Brodeur turned away 96 shots between them. Lundqvist has now lost his last two games despite allowing one goal on 78 shots.
4. Alex Ovechkin, F, WAS 5 15.3 2.5 -0.5 17.3
Comment: A sign of his growing maturity as a player, Ovechkin will likely break his career high of 54 assists this year.
5. Henrik Sedin, F, VAN 4 13.8 2.9 0.0 16.7
Comment: Sedin may well garner some MVP consideration if he can keep the Canucks in the playoffs. Sedin took advantage of Pittsburgh's shaky goaltending for three points on Saturday, but the story of the week was the Auger/Burrows controversy following a 3-2 loss to Nashville.
6. Martin Brodeur, G, NJ 6 13.5 1.0 1.8 16.3
Comment: Brodeur's game against the Rangers may well have been the performance of the year, with 51 saves and another four in the shootout. Sadly Brodeur had a couple of bad games this week as well, giving up seven goals on 26 shots to Tampa and Phoenix.
7. Jimmy Howard, G, DET 10 14.8 -0.1 1.4 16.1
Comment: Howard is near the head of the pack for consideration as rookie of the year, but the competition is strong.
8. Miikka Kiprusoff, G, CAL 2 18.8 0.2 -3.1 15.9
Comment: Kiprusoff's only weakness this season has been the shootout: he has allowed 10 goals on 19 shots, one of the worst marks in the league, including two in a shootout loss to Colorado Monday.
9. Sidney Crosby, F, PIT 7 11.2 2.2 2.4 15.8
Comment: Of Crosby's achievements this season, challenging for the Rocket Richard trophy as the league's leading goal-scorer is the most unexpected.
10. Duncan Keith, D, CHI 14 9.1 5.6 -0.0 14.7
Comment: While it is too soon to anoint Keith as the successor to Nicklas Lidstrom as the NHL's best defenseman, he's clearly in contention. He combines offensive skill (second among NHL defensemen with 43 points), durability (second in the league in ice time at 26.29 per game) and excellent two-way play (a combined +81 rating since 2007-08).
A version of this story originally appeared on ESPN Insider .
Tom Awad is an author of Hockey Prospectus.
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