Welcome to Week 5 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.
The winds of winter are approaching across the league, as it is nearly halfway through November already. A bit more movement among the teams in the middle of the pack, while the top teams have retained their positions and are not taking their foot of the gas pedal. Week 5 of the TWC Power Rankings for your viewing pleasure:
|2||-1||Tampa Bay Lightning||12-4-1||695.9|
|4||-1||Toronto Maple Leafs||11-6-0||675.7|
|6||–||San Jose Sharks||9-6-3||650.2|
|10||+7||Columbus Blue Jackets||9-6-2||642.0|
|21||+3||New York Rangers||8-7-2||596.0|
|22||-6||Vegas Golden Knights||7-10-1||595.6|
|23||-9||New York Islanders||8-6-2||594.2|
|24||-4||New Jersey Devils||6-8-1||583.3|
|25||+2||St Louis Blues||6-6-3||577.3|
|29||+2||Detroit Red Wings||7-8-2||549.2|
|30||-1||Los Angeles Kings||5-10-1||534.7|
Power Ranking Notables
Another flip flop has occurred, as the Nashville Predators reclaimed their spot as the best team in both the league and the TWC Power Rankings. It is clear for the foreseeable future that both the Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning are in a two horse race for the top seed. Plenty has been said about the two teams over the previous few weeks, so we will keep it very simple this time around. Both teams are phenomenal across the board, especially in the categories measured in our model. Nashville gets the edge this time due to their league-leading SV% and number of wins.
The Minnesota Wild and Toronto Maple Leafs remain in the top five, after going 3-1-0 and 2-1-0 respectively last week. The Boston Bruins jump into the top five for the first time this season after a strong 3-1-0 week. The Bruins easily boast the best line in hockey, which has single-handedly won them a number of games this season, but the team on a whole has quietly put together a very strong season so far. They sit in the top half for all statistical categories used in our model, and currently have the second best team SV% in the league with .924% in all situations. The Bruins play in the same division as the Lightning and Leafs, and at the moment sit behind them in the standings, which has overshadowed their own impressive start. It’ll be telling how the Bruins manage without Tuukka Rask, but it looks like Jaroslav Halak is the right backup goaltender to take a starting job in stride.
The most interesting team on the list this week is the Carolina Hurricanes. Retaining their eighth spot this week, even after going 1-1-1, the Hurricanes have fallen to 7th in the Metropolitan division after such a promising start. That being said, what gives for such a high ranking after a lackluster week? The Hurricanes currently sit first in CF%, SCF%, and HDCF% in all situations. On paper, the skaters are putting up extremely impressive numbers, but their play simply isn’t translating to wins. The problem lies in the goaltending. Being first in a few categories while having the 30th ranked SV% will sink a team. Bill Peters may have left town, but the same problems are still giving the Hurricanes a tough time.
The Vancouver Canucks got a ton of interest last week, especially when the supposed best team in the Pacific was ranked 21st. While they are leading in the Pacific, the Canucks only moved up two spots. They still rank near the bottom of all major statistical categories, and simply are hitting tons of home runs that are masking other issues. In a way, they’re the inverse of Carolina. You can’t always be too caught up in the numbers, as at the end of the day, wins are all that really matter. The Canucks have been the feel good story of the season so far (for those who aren’t division rivals).
We also finally have a new #31 ranked team: The Anaheim Ducks. We have also highlighted this team frequently, and although they sit 6th in the Pacific, they finally have reached rock bottom on the TWC Power Rankings. A 1-2-0 week, combined with a 3-0-0 week from the Detroit Red Wings, pushed the “not-so-mighty Ducks” to the bottom of our list.
Biggest Gainer and Loser
Gainer: Florida Panthers (+12)
After a very concerning slow start, the Florida Panthers appear to have finally found their groove. In the midst of a four game winning streak, the team has acquired their scoring touch. Netting 17 goals over those four wins, the forward group of the Panthers seems to be gelling much more than they were in October. Of course the four wins only puts the Panthers at a measly 15 points on the season, and they still sit last in the Atlantic, but it’s a start!
Loser: Edmonton Oilers (-13)
Well that bubble burst fast. After clawing their way up to be a part of the top three in the Pacific, the Oilers went a perfect 0-4-0 this past week, knocking them down 13 spots on our rankings. Winning percentage is the biggest factor in our model, and not winning any games will hurt a ton. The team also sits pretty much in the middle of the pack across the statistical categories measured. There is nothing necessarily exclusively terrible about the Oilers, but there also isn’t anything particularly phenomenal either (that is of course excluding Connor McDavid). Just like their provincial rivals, the Calgary Flames, goaltending appears to be the Oilers’ biggest opportunity for improvement. Coincidentally, they mirror the Panthers perfectly, as over the Oilers’ four game losing streak, the team has allowed 17 goals. Not good.
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.