Welcome back to the new and improved TWC Power Rankings! Here at TWC, we use a statistical model to effectively rank teams on a week to week basis. The model takes into effect winning percentages, CF%, SCF%, HDCF% as well as SV%. Each statistical category is weighed and scored differently, giving each team a unique TWC Score that determines their ranking after each week. The formula puts the highest emphasis on winning percentages over other statistics. All numbers are taken in all situations, to incorporate special teams into the fray. Don’t like where your team is ranked? Unfortunately, they will have to turn it around on the ice, as we take zero personal opinions into effect.
After the stage was set last week with initial positions for TWC Power Rankings, lots of moves have been made by some of the talented and not-so-talented teams. Streaks were broken, true contenders are starting to define themselves, and other teams look to be trending in the wrong direction. Where does your team sit now? Feast your eyes on this week’s rankings:
Power Rankings at a Glance
|2||+4||Tampa Bay Lightning||5-1-1||761.6|
|5||-2||Toronto Maple Leafs||6-3-0||697.9|
|7||-6||New Jersey Devils||4-2-0||688.8|
|10||+7||San Jose Sharks||4-3-1||672.8|
|16||-7||Columbus Blue Jackets||4-3-0||644.1|
|19||+3||Vegas Golden Knights||4-4-0||633.7|
|25||-4||New York Islanders||3-4-0||581.7|
|26||–||St Louis Blues||2-3-2||581.7|
|28||+1||New York Rangers||2-5-1||542.5|
|30||-12||Los Angeles Kings||2-5-1||520.5|
|31||–||Detroit Red Wings||1-5-2||510.7|
Power Ranking Notables
New week, new number one. The Nashville Predators take the top spot in Week 2 of the TWC Power Rankings, and for good reason. The Predators are easily the best team in the NHL at the moment, sporting a league-best 7-1-0 record and a perfect 3-0-0 this past week. What is most surprising about this team is that they aren’t an analytical darling. The team sits 14th in CF%, 8th in SCF%, and 18th in HDCF%. They are a top three team in terms of SV%, and Juuse Saros can likely handle things in net in the interim with Pekka Rinne’s recent move to the IR. Despite their seemingly average statistics, they have consistently capitalized greatly on the ice. It wouldn’t be a shocker to see them repeat their top spot down the road.
Rounding out the top five are the Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, the unexpected Montreal Canadiens, and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs are the only other team aside from the Predators that was able to retain a top five ranking from week one. Although they dropped two spots with a 1-2-0 record last week, they still managed good enough performances to keep them in the top five.
Montreal, on the other hand is a big shock. Coming off a 2-0-1 week, albeit against weaker competition, the Habs continue to ignore the doubters. They sit in the top 10 in both CF% and SCF% which, combined with their winning percentage, has allowed them to jump into the fourth spot.
Also making a splash are the Avalanche, jumping up nine spots into third place. The Avalanche are a much improved team compared to last season, and have a healthy Semyon Varlamov who is pushing his team to the second-best team SV% in the NHL. The Avalanche only trail Nashville in the Western Conference, and could continue to push them for the top spot.
Two teams that catch the eye, who were also opponents Sunday night, are the Buffalo Sabres and Anaheim Ducks. We touched on the Ducks last week as a team that didn’t have the stats to back up their spot in league standings. They went 1-2-0 last week, still at the top of the Pacific Division, but they continue to slide down our rankings. They still sit last in CF%, SCF%, and HDCF% and first in SV%. This is definitely unsustainable, and in terms of quality, the 18th spot seems appropriate. It really is a question of what will shift first: their terrible stats, or their exceptional goalie.
The Sabres on the other hand had themselves a 2-2-0 week, but also saw themselves drop five spots. Interestingly, the Sabres sit 23rd across CF%, SCF%, and HDCF%, which would help explain the lower ranking. As of right now they are the lowest ranked team currently sitting in a playoff spot.
In terms of the bottom dwellers, we see two new additions in the Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes. Arizona was finally able to score a 5v5 goal, but still only mustered one win over the past week. The Kings are in the midst of a four game losing streak in which some terrible hockey was played. These aren’t the Kings of old, and they need a huge week to jump out of the cellar.
Biggest Gainer and Loser
Gainer: Winnipeg Jets (+10)
Up ten spots compared to last week, the Winnipeg Jets are starting to look more like the team everyone predicted them to be. It really shouldn’t be long before they move even higher in our rankings, but you can hear the sigh of relief coming from the frozen prairies already.
Loser: Dallas Stars (-17)
Yikes. Our model was not kind to the Dallas Stars this week, dropping them 17 spots to 24th place. Of course, a 0-3-0 week where they were only able to score twice doesn’t make it that hard to see why. The Stars are probably a much better team than where they are ranked at the moment, but in the TWC Power Rankings the numbers never lie!
What are your thoughts? Are you surprised where your team landed this week? Let us know at @wincolumnblog.
All data courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.