Welcome to Week 6 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.
It’s is officially the quarter mark for the majority of teams in the NHL. American Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which is usually the benchmark for teams that are in the playoff picture or on the outside looking in. Where does your team stand at the quarter mark? Week 6 of the TWC Power Rankings:
|1||+3||Toronto Maple Leafs||14-6-0||695.7|
|2||–||Tampa Bay Lightning||14-5-1||691.7|
|4||+6||Columbus Blue Jackets||12-6-2||662.5|
|8||-2||San Jose Sharks||11-7-3||655.4|
|15||+6||New York Rangers||10-8-2||607.6|
|16||+6||Vegas Golden Knights||9-11-1||607.2|
|17||+6||New York Islanders||10-7-2||604.7|
|20||+4||New Jersey Devils||8-9-2||592.2|
|27||-2||St Louis Blues||7-8-3||566.7|
|28||+1||Detroit Red Wings||9-9-2||559.5|
|30||–||Los Angeles Kings||6-12-1||525.5|
Power Ranking Notables
Just when we thought it was going to be a two-horse race, a new challenger approaches. For the first time this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs take the top spot in the TWC Power Rankings. Led by a 3-0-0 record this week, the Leafs are now just one point behind the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning for the lead league in points. The Leafs rank 6th in SCF%, 4th in HDCF%, and 5th in SV%, which gives them the edge over the two previous number one teams. What is even more remarkable is that the Leafs are doing very well without Auston Matthews, in addition to the already missing William Nylander. Imagine how good this team would be if they had their full roster.
The Lightning and Predators didn’t fall far, as they ranked second and third this week respectively. Only nine TWCScore points separated the top three teams, which goes to show that all three teams are extremely solid in terms of their underlying statistics.
Moving down the top five, we have a new addition. The Columbus Blue Jackets come in as the number four ranked team, their highest point reached this season. Due in large part to their 3-0-0 record the past week, the Blue Jackets used this hot streak to jump into first place in the Metropolitan Division. That being said, the Jackets don’t boast the strongest numbers of the top five, as they rank eighth in HDCF%, ninth in SCF%, and 15th in both CF% and SV%. This is a perfect example of a team that has used a strong winning percentage, and above average statistics, to jump up our rankings. As we will see later, winning percentage isn’t everything.
Lots of movement in the middle of the pack, with teams like the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, and New Jersey Devils riding small hot streaks. The Sabres having the hottest of the bunch, going 3-0-0, but are simply sitting well below average in the majority of statistical categories. Besides sitting 10th in SV%, the Sabres are ranked in the bottom half of the league in terms of the measured statistics. Still one of the hotter teams in hockey right now.
Looking further down the list we see the Arizona Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers have cooled off a bit. Both going 1-2-0 last week, the teams fell five and four spots respectively into the 20’s. Besides the Coyotes being ranked sixth in SV%, neither team stands out considerably in terms of the underlying numbers.
Nothing to note at the bottom of our rankings, as the Californian nightmares continue for the LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks. The Kings may be having a fun time with their new found basement ranking, but the Ducks are still trying very much to be in the mix for a playoff spot. The Ducks still rank either 30th or 31st across CF%, SCF%, and HDCF%, and would need a significant change to see themselves jump out of our basement ranking.
Biggest Gainer and Loser
Gainer: Columbus Blue Jackets, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, Vegas Golden Knights, and New York Islanders (+6)
Sharing the wealth this week, as we saw five teams jump six spots in our rankings. The Blue Jackets, as previously discussed, jumped into the top five with their increase. The other four teams ended up sticking together as a group, ranked from 14th through 17th. The Rangers, Golden Knights, and Islanders all went 2-1-0 last week, while the Avalanche went 2-0-1 giving them the edge in our rankings. Similar records produce similar results clearly, but outside of the Jackets, no team did one thing extraordinarily well over the past week to single themselves out from this group. Still a step in the right direction from all five teams!
Loser: Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks (-10)
Let’s talk about the Penguins first. Going 0-3-0 last week will easily drop you a handful of spots, but ten is significant at this point in the season. Their highest statistical category ranking is in CF% where they sit 13th, but their lowest is SV% where they are 17th. They aren’t exceptional at a certain aspect of their game, but they also aren’t terrible by any means. After making the trade for Tanner Pearson, the Penguins should be able to bounce back from a tough week. The question is are they a strong enough team to do so?
Just like last week, the Canucks are once again the elephant (or orca) in the room. How can a team that is currently third in their division at 22 points, be ranked 29th? Well for starters, that team could go 0-4-0 during the week. The Canucks bubble burst last week, even though they have the Calder winner on their roster. Vancouver ranks in the bottom five across all four categories used in our ranking model. Combined with the rough week, the Canucks find themselves falling ten spots to almost the bottom of our rankings.
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.