A new analysis measuring success of each NHL team during the salary cap era has put the Penguins at the top of the mountain.
In a story posted on The Athletic ($), rankings of all 31 franchises were made using a number of criteria, including:
- Winning the Stanley Cup
- Losing in the Stanley Cup Final
- Losing in the conference final
- Making the playoffs
Each criteria was weighed with more or less points, depending on how difficult each task is to achieve.
The Penguins ranked #1, with 51 points, ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks, who finished second with 44 points.
The NHL's salary cap was instituted for the 2005.06 season, Sidney Crosby's first in the league.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) July 10, 2021
And ever since then, the Penguins have been the top team of the era, according to an objective point system put together by @TheAthleticNHL.https://t.co/dAa42HX0m1
The longevity of success for the Penguins is summed up quite well by the Athletic, with the line of “They’ve won exactly one playoff series since their back-to-back Cups and still maintain a healthy lead on the No. 2 franchise in this ranking. “
Some of the Penguins’ division rivals rankings include:
- #8 (tie) - Washington Capitals
- #11 - New York Rangers
- #15 - Philadelphia Flyers
It’s interesting to see how teams like the Rangers and Flyers rank in the top half of the league, given that they managed success in terms of postseason appearances or longer runs toward the Stanley Cup Final, without reaching the ultimate goal of winning a Championship.
Here's the updated series win counter.— Bryce Chevallier (@FauxCentre) July 8, 2021
Tampa become the fourth team to win multiple Cups in the salary cap era and Montréal join SJS and NYR into "maybe should have a Cup range" pic.twitter.com/7YuJ6lhCqt
The San Jose Sharks are probably the best example of this, ranked #8 by the Athletic, with the 5th most playoff series wins in the salary cap era, falling short of a Stanley Cup victory in 2016 and running into several very good Western Conference teams during long Cup runs along the way.
One thing we can all agree on, though? Toronto being one of two teams with no playoff series wins and being ranked #30 by The Athletic? You hate to see it.