NHL Teams Most Likely to Surprise in 2nd Half of Season

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NHL Teams Most Likely to Surprise in 2nd Half of Season
Bill Wippert/Getty Images

Which struggling teams will catch fire in the second half of this season? The Oilers, the Islanders, the Rangers and the Blue Jackets are all among teams that were expected to be in the mix rather than the basement. These are just four of nine teams we've identified that should be much improved the rest of the way.

Several analytic factors went into the system used to project the number of points each team would earn past the midway point. One way to find teams poised for a surprising second have, for example, is to look at a team's record in overtime/shootout games and/or regulation games decided by a single goal to find which teams are hanging in there but are currently coming up just a little bit short. 

Looking at teams recovering from injuries, like the Blue Jackets and Rangers for instance, is another way to find teams with the potential for a second-half surge. So is looking at who is controlling the play but simply getting stung by poor shooting and/or save percentages.

Just missing this list are the Carolina Hurricanes and the Ottawa Senators. Of the nine teams that bubbled to the top of the spreadsheet, all but two should come as absolutely no surprise. Let's begin!


All advanced statistics are via writer's own original research unless otherwise noted.


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