It’s early and everything is new.
This is no ordinary analysis because everything is new. The PWHL is just over a month into its debut season, which means we’re not just seeing how teams adapt after some offseason adjustments. We’re not talking about how things are changing after the league expansion.
No, in the PWHL we are talking about six newly formed teams. It combines all levels of women’s professional hockey, including PHF, PWHPA, NCAA, and international leagues. There are new rules, a new combination of elite talent, and a new atmosphere to balance out.
Therefore, it is not possible to make a comprehensive declaration yet. Outside of Ottawa and New York, players haven’t suddenly forgotten how to score on the power play. The answer may be that teams initially specialize in even-strength systems because that’s where the majority of the game takes place.
Shooting percentage may also be low for the first month or more of play. However, it will soon be regulated.There is no need to make dramatic changes to address it at the female level alone. One A month into the league’s history, take a look, especially if this isn’t a broader topic beyond the league and level of play. Shooting percentage in NCAA. Apart from the very small sample of play, the main factor may be the result of the world’s best goalkeepers competing on the same stage, which has not happened in recent years outside of international matches ( Team support before the crease is not as balanced as his PWHL).
However, these early season trends can spark conversation. The starting point is to talk about how the flex may not be ideal for most players because sticks in general aren’t designed for women, especially when it comes to shooting percentage. Now that it’s coming to the forefront, things will probably change in the coming months and years.
Otherwise, it’s still too early to give concrete answers at this early stage of both the season and the league as a whole. The PWHL may not be the first ever arena for women’s hockey, but it is still a brand new environment with its benefits, features, and challenges. So there’s a learning curve for everyone in the ever-growing realm of her PWHL, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It goes beyond just special teams and shooting percentage to factors like speed of the game and expanded physical play. As the play progresses and the sample size expands, there is more to learn.
PWHL Power Rankings: Minnesota impresses, New York disappoints a third of the way through the season
PWHL’s new points system
When it comes to this new playing field, what sets the PWHL apart from other leagues like the NHL is the points system. The PWHL opted for a 3-2-1 system instead of the standard 2-1-0. Regulation wins are worth the most at three points, while overtime and shootout wins earn two points. If you lose in overtime or a shootout, you get one point, and if you lose in regulation, you get no value.
This system put Montreal in first place with 17 points and Ottawa in last place with 10 points.
But what if PWHL doesn’t? Neatly Did you use a 2-1-0 points system, with wins in awards and wins in overtime different?
I don’t think the standings will change much at this point in the season. Naturally, without the regulation three points, there would be fewer points available. Montreal’s three wins in regulation are worth six points, the same as three wins in overtime. Adding this to overtime and shootout losses, they have 14 points at the top of the league. Ottawa will sit further down the table with just six points.
A one-place change would put New York in fourth and fifth place, overtaking Toronto. Both teams had eight points from four wins, but New York, with four wins in regulation or overtime, will be slightly ahead of Toronto, which has won three games in regulation and one in penalty shootouts.
This is still not that interesting. With most of the season left, there is room for each team to make a big difference in the standings. You’ll have to go back and watch Down the Line to see if and by how much the playoff standings change at all.
If the NHL adopted a three-point system for regulation wins, what would the standings be?
Montreal is on the rise
Montreal won its third straight game with a 2-1 win over Boston on Sunday. The current league leaders still have issues to resolve in-game, especially in their own zones. The team is averaging a league-best 32.4 shots per game. But the driving force behind their success is in their goaltending and at the top of the lineup.
Starting pitcher Anne-Renee Desbiens has a save percentage of .930 through the six games she has played. And his goaltending partner, Elaine Tulli, has averaged 35 shots per game and has a league-leading save percentage of .962 through three starts. She was the most talented goalie in her playing time, saving an above-average 1.37 goals per 60 games.
Then there’s the attacking team, led by Marie-Philippe Poulain. No one would be surprised to see a team led by the greatest player grow. She’s a game breaker, and rightly so. Poulin is predictably the driving force behind her line, but she’s not the only forward to keep an eye on in Montreal.
Maureen Murphy enjoyed success with Poulin. Players on Poulin’s side are automatically placed in a position to succeed. That’s the beauty of playing with players who are not just elite, but generationally talented. But there’s a difference between riding your linemates’ tails and complementing them, and Murphy does the latter.
Murphy has seven assists in the last seven games, five of which were as a primary helper. And those key passes occurred in critical situations. Watch the play below. Murphy scored the go-ahead goal with just over six minutes left in regulation time against New York, contributing to Montreal’s third win of the season.
Murphy has experience playing as a support player alongside the team’s superstars, and should play well alongside Alina Muller at Northeastern. Poulin seems like an ideal addition for Montreal as well.
Grace Zumwinkle thrives on top competition
There’s no denying Zumwinkle’s skill. The power forward played for five years at the University of Minnesota, scoring 109 goals and 209 points in 171 games. And she shined on the international stage for Team USA every chance she got.
But at senior level, the big question was how the forward would perform against top competition. Zumwinkle’s highlights were often against lesser teams, and then her usage (and her productivity thereafter) declined in more competitive games.
What better way to answer this question than with a best-versus-best league?
Zumwinkle quickly emerged as a star in Minnesota and has been the team’s most consistent offensive source. He scored six goals and eight points in nine games, ranking first on the team and sixth in the league. The forward scored in every situation, scoring one “get-out-of-jail” goal and two game-winning goals at key points in the game, helping Minnesota get off to a strong start.
It may have been expected that Minnesota would be the Taylor Heise Show, but Zumwinkle was just as brilliant throughout the first month of play. This was a very promising start for a player who looks ready to take his game to the next level. The challenge now is to keep opponents playing her against their best shutdown players.
Ottawa needs a more dangerous offense.
Ottawa is giving off a Carolina Hurricanes vibe in the best and worst ways.
This team has a very active blue line that pairs well with a forward group filled with wild cards and all-around talent. Combined, he stands out as one of the best offenses in the shooting volume department, averaging around 32 shots per game. Ottawa has also returned to its own zone, allowing only about 26.6 shots per game.
But just as Corsi Cane had to learn, not all shots are created equal. Ottawa may be good at possession and forechecking, but that doesn’t translate into a consistently high-quality offense. This team often shoots from the perimeter, which helps explain the difference between their impressive shooting volume and low goal percentage. Despite having the most effective power play in the league, the team currently ranks last in goals per game. A little more oomph behind these shots could be the difference between a regulation win and a close game that requires overtime.This is rapidly becoming a weakness four So far they have lost in overtime and have zero wins.
Choosing just three (and a few more) stars of the month is no small feat. We saw a great performance from Nicole Hensley and the Montreal duo. Muller has been great in Boston, Poulin has always been star-worthy, and Ella Shelton is the league’s highest-scoring defenseman in just over a month of play.
But the biggest star is PWHL points leader Alex Carpenter.
Carpenter has had success at every level of hockey during his career, and the PWHL is no different. She is New York’s brightest star, and much of that stems from her versatility and her elite talent. That proved to be the difference last Sunday. After trailing 0-3, Carpenter scored the game-tying goal to send the game into overtime, then scored the game-winning goal to turn the game around.
Natalie Spooner opened the season as Toronto’s backbone. That was clear from the moment she scored her first goal in franchise history.Spooner is of The spark that led Toronto’s turnaround after a slower-than-expected start. Let’s take a look at her performance on Saturday. She scored two goals and led the team to an important 4-1 victory over Minnesota with her primary helper. Spooner simply style icon He’s in Toronto and he’s the most valuable player.
The third star belongs to Corinne Schroeder. New York had some consistency issues through the first nine games of the season. However, Schröder is doing his best to give his team a chance to win. She earned a .943 save percentage in six starts and led the league through the first month-plus of her season with an above-average 4.29 goals saved.
— Data from PWHL.com, Elite Prospects, and Hockey Player Mike Murphy
(Top photo of Marie-Philippe Poulin and Grace Zumwinkle: Minas Panagiotakis and David Berding/Getty Images)