Welcome to Week 4 of the 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.
October is over and the 2018-19 season is officially a month old. With that in mind, the TWC Power Rankings did not see as much fluctuation as it has in the previous three weeks, with only a handful of exceptions. The separation of teams are starting to become more evident, in terms of both quality and non-quality teams. Is your team separating themselves from the pack, or lagging behind? Week 4 rankings coming at you:
|1||–||Tampa Bay Lightning||10-3-1||707.9|
|3||–||Toronto Maple Leafs||9-5-0||680.3|
|6||-1||San Jose Sharks||7-4-3||663.8|
|14||+9||New York Islanders||8-4-1||622.0|
|16||-2||Vegas Golden Knights||6-7-1||620.0|
|17||-5||Columbus Blue Jackets||7-6-1||619.5|
|20||-18||New Jersey Devils||5-5-1||611.6|
|24||+6||New York Rangers||6-7-1||573.6|
|27||-5||St Louis Blues||4-5-3||562.3|
|29||-2||Los Angeles Kings||4-8-1||537.6|
|31||–||Detroit Red Wings||4-8-2||510.8|
Power Ranking Notables
For the first time this season, we have a repeat number one team. The Tampa Bay Lightning retain their first overall ranking for back-to-back weeks. For a second there, it seemed like the Nashville Predators would find a way to sneak back into that position, but Sunday night’s thrilling victory over the Ottawa Senators vaulted the Lightning back into first. Tampa Bay is a top ten team across all of the statistical categories measured in our ranking system. In addition to their 10-3-1 record, which contributes significantly to their TWCScore, the Lightning are riding a ton of momentum in terms of their underlying stats that helped them keep that top spot.
The Predators don’t trail the Lightning by much, and second place is nothing to scoff at. Both teams have distanced themselves from the rest of the league to easily be the best squads in their respective conferences. Unfortunately for the Predators, where the Lightning’s strengths come in terms of the advanced statistics, there are a handful of categories in which the Predators could use a boost. Sitting 16th in both CF% and SCF%, and 21st in HDCF%, Nashville would reclaim top spot if these areas are improved upon.
Rounding out the top five we have the Toronto Maple Leafs retaining their third overall ranking, as well as newcomers in the Minnesota Wild and Edmonton Oilers. Making their debut in the top five, the Wild have quietly put together a very impressive season so far. They are a top ten team in both HDCF% and SV%, and boast an impressive 8-3-2 record in one of the toughest divisions in the league.
The Oilers have bounced back extremely well since stumbling out of the gates, and were able to jump up eight spots this week due to a 2-1-0 record. The Oilers aren’t blowing any statistical category away, but do sit in the top ten in both SCF% and HDCF%. They appear to be an extremely opportunistic team, and have been able to beat a handful of quality teams in recent weeks. With Mikko Koskinen providing solid back-up goaltending, and Connor McDavid continuing to be Connor McDavid, the Oilers will continue to challenge for the Pacific Division crown.
Two teams that jump out from this week’s rankings are the Dallas Stars and Vancouver Canucks. Both teams had outstanding weeks, going 3-0-0, but only managed to climb five spots apiece. What is the reasoning behind this, especially with winning percentage being weighed the most? Well, to be quite honest, both teams are terrible in terms of every measured statistical category. The Stars have fared “better”, as they sit 22nd in CF%, 26th in SCF%, 24th in HDCF, and 10th in SV%. The Canucks on the other hand sit 28th in CF%, 30th in SCF%, 29th in HDCF%, and 19th in SV%. Both teams are getting it done on the ice in terms of wins, but beneath the surface they have a ton of work to do if they want to continue winning. Once again, a reminder that all statistics are taken at all situations to account for special teams.
Moving down the rankings, we have some new additions to the bottom five. The St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators continue to have lackluster results, while the Los Angeles Kings can’t seem to catch a break and have now made a coaching change just 13 games into the season. The Anaheim Ducks actually sat in dead last for the majority of the week, as the Detroit Red Wings actually went 2-1-0, but their overtime win late last night jumped them up to the 30th position. Bravo, Anaheim, bravo. Regardless, all the teams around this position are all in deep trouble.
Biggest Gainer and Loser
Gainer: Calgary Flames (+14)
What a difference a week makes. In Week 3, the Flames were the biggest loser; dropping 13 spots. They made up that ground entirely this past week, going 3-0-0 all in which they staged a third period comeback. Jumping up relatively the same amount this week, the Flames are back in the top ten and currently sit atop the Pacific Division. They are also sitting in the top ten in terms of CF% (4th) and SCF% (6th), but are still being dragged down by spotty goaltending (23rd in SV%). All in all, quite a successful bounce-back week for the team.
Loser: New Jersey Devils (-18)
Oh how they have fallen. Four weeks ago, the Devils opened the season with the number one ranking, but have now fallen all the way down to the 20th position. Since starting the season 4-0-0, New Jersey has gone 1-5-1 and have yet to win a game on the road. Last week’s record alone was a winless 0-3-0. The team looked liked it was primed for a successful season, especially based on impressive underlying numbers early on, but they have now dropped to the lower half of the league across all statistical categories used in our ranking, aside from HDCF%. The Devils are in need of a serious turnaround; maybe Cory Schneider‘s return to the crease will give them the boost they need.
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.