Welcome to Week 12 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.
As we prepare to say goodbye to 2018 (RIP), there are only a few of us that don’t need to make any serious New Year’s resolutions. For the rest of us, we have work to do, just like most of the teams on this list. The last edition of the TWC Power Rankings for 2018 for your viewing pleasure:
|1||–||Tampa Bay Lightning||2-0-0||30-7-2||888.3|
|2||–||Toronto Maple Leafs||1-1-0||26-11-2||823.8|
|5||+1||San Jose Sharks||2-0-0||21-12-7||785.7|
|7||+4||Vegas Golden Knights||3-0-0||23-15-4||776.6|
|8||-1||Columbus Blue Jackets||1-1-0||22-13-3||765.6|
|14||+3||New York Islanders||2-0-0||20-13-4||743.8|
|22||+2||New Jersey Devils||2-0-0||14-16-7||687.2|
|23||-1||New York Rangers||1-0-1||16-14-7||686.8|
|25||+1||St Louis Blues||1-1-0||15-17-4||667.4|
|28||+2||Los Angeles Kings||1-1-0||15-21-3||637.1|
|31||-2||Detroit Red Wings||0-2-0||15-19-6||624.5|
Power Ranking Notables
This doesn’t seem likely to change at any point, as the Tampa Bay Lightning retain top spot after a perfect 2-0 week. They look simply unstoppable right now, and after Mikko Rantanen led the league in points for 11+ straight weeks, Nikita Kucherov has taken over top spot in the Art Ross race. The Lightning are an incredible team top to bottom and they’re definitely the team to beat in the NHL right now.
Joining the Lightning in the top five are the familiar Toronto Maple Leafs who retain second place, the Calgary Flames who swapped spots with the Winnipeg Jets to round out the top three, and a new team for fifth, the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks have been on a roll as of late, and with a perfect week, they jumped up one spot. The Nashville Predators, who were in the fifth place slot last week, dropped five spots to 10th after failing to win in either of their games last week. The top 10 has remained fairly constant for a few weeks now, but there is still movement among these great teams. It’s interesting to note that after a poor start overall, Pacific Division teams now hold three of the top seven spots in the power rankings, with the Vegas Golden Knights joining the Flames and Sharks. Tonight’s contest between the latter two teams will determine who will head into the new year in first place in the division. The Flames have actually lost four of their last five games, but have picked up points in three.
The Edmonton Oilers look to be regressing from their PDO bender they were lucky enough to experience after the hiring of Ken Hitchcock. They went winless last week and dropped three spots to number 21 on the power rankings. After two interesting trades in an attempt to bolster their defensive depth yesterday, perhaps the Oilers will see even more movement in the power rankings this week.
It finally looks like the jury is out on the Carolina Hurricanes. Yes, they are fancy stats darlings that the model does like, but recently, they’ve been falling down the rankings as they continue to pile up losses. Early on, it seemed like their strong possession style of play would allow them to turn their luck around as the season went on, but that hasn’t come to fruition and they’re running out of runway to make up for a slow start. They fell to 17th on the list.
And finally, we have a new team in last place! Finally, after a perfect week for the Chicago Blackhawks, the Detroit Red Wings are now in last place on the rankings. The bottom five teams are rounded out by the Ottawa Senators, Los Angeles Kings, and Arizona Coyotes, teams that have been near the bottom of the list all year long.
Perhaps, now that we’re about to hit the halfway point of the season, teams are starting to separate themselves into very noticeable tiers. The majority of those near the top have stayed near the top, and the majority of those near the bottom have stayed near the bottom. It’s looking like it will be very difficult to make up ground in the second half of the year.
Biggest Gainer and Loser
Gainer: Pittsburgh Penguins & Vegas Golden Knights (+4)
With a relatively short week due to the Christmas break, there wasn’t a ton of movement between teams, and this week didn’t feature any huge jumps like we’ve seen in the past. However, the Penguins and Golden Knights had perfect weeks going a combined 5-0, launching them both up the rankings. The Penguins benefited from the return to form of Matt Murray, and the Golden Knights have looked like a much more complete team since Paul Stastny came back from injury. They’re out to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke, and they’re making a strong push for the Pacific Division title yet again. The Flames and Sharks better watch out.
Loser: Nashville Predators (-5)
It’s a bit surprising that the Predators have been struggling considering they welcomed PK Subban and Viktor Arvidsson to their lineup. They’re still without Filip Forsberg, who is a huge part of their offense. They still have Pekka Rinne playing like he’s 10 years younger than he actually is, and the Predators are a perennial contender in the West. They may have dropped five spots, but they’re still in the top 10.
What are your thoughts? Are you surprised where your team landed this week? Let us know at @wincolumnblog.
TWC Power Rankings:
All data courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.