Welcome to Week 14 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.
|1||–||Tampa Bay Lightning||3-1-0||35-9-2||880.8|
|3||-1||Toronto Maple Leafs||1-2-0||28-14-2||810.7|
|4||+2||San Jose Sharks||4-0-0||27-13-7||803.1|
|5||-1||Vegas Golden Knights||2-1-0||28-16-4||798.8|
|7||+1||Columbus Blue Jackets||3-1-0||27-15-3||777.7|
|12||-1||New York Islanders||2-2-0||25-15-4||760.4|
|19||+4||St Louis Blues||3-1-0||19-20-4||689.6|
|21||-1||New Jersey Devils||1-2-0||17-20-7||677.3|
|27||-3||New York Rangers||1-3-0||18-20-7||649.8|
|28||–||Los Angeles Kings||1-2-0||18-25-3||628.9|
|31||-1||Detroit Red Wings||1-2-0||17-23-7||622.7|
Power Ranking Notables
Once again, the top three teams remained unchanged. However, the order has shifted slightly. The Tampa Bay Lightning are still the top dogs, and the way things are going, will likely stay there for the rest of the season. The Toronto Maple Leafs, that occupied the second place slot last week, fell one spot to third in favour of the surging Calgary Flames. The Maple Leafs struggled last week, partly due to the injury to starting goaltender Frederik Andersen, and their lead among the rest of the teams in the league is closing quickly. The Flames are now winners of five straight and despite a stretch of play that left a lot to be desired, continued to win and finished last week a perfect 4-0-0. They are in sole possession of second place in the NHL and in the power rankings, and are looking like a juggernaut in the West.
It’s crazy to think that just a couple months ago, the Pacific Division was criticized for being the weakest division in the league. Now, three of the top five teams in the power rankings are Pacific teams, with the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights joining the Flames. The division is very top heavy though; the next team in the rankings is the Edmonton Oilers in 20th place.
A team to keep an eye on in the coming weeks is the Columbus Blue Jackets. There is a bit of uncertainty surrounding their star players Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky because both have expressed their interest in testing the market after their contracts expire this summer. Bobrovsky’s relationship with management seems truly turbulent after being suspended by the team last week, but he beat the Rangers in a barn burner on Sunday night and Columbus continues to win games. Their 3-1-0 week kept them in the top 10, up one spot to seventh this week. With the trade deadline looming, do the Blue Jackets hold onto their star pending UFAs and make a run for it? It’s risky, but if they keep winning, it might be a good option. They continue to rank highly in the power rankings, in large part because of their strong possession statistics, and indication of continued success.
At this point in the season, it appears that the true sellers have cemented themselves in the basement of the standings. Detroit, Ottawa, Chicago, LA, and the Rangers have found themselves among the lowest ranked teams for several weeks now, but we may see another team creep down to their level soon. The Anaheim Ducks are without a win in 11 straight games now, and if they hadn’t picked up a few loser points along the way, they would have plummeted down the rankings already. The Ducks are a battered team, but for the first time in what seems like decades, don’t have the depth to overcome it. They’re hanging onto playoff hopes solely because of superb play from John Gibson, but as the last few weeks have shown, their early success was unsustainable and it hasn’t lasted. The way things are going, the Ducks are on the verge of a major collapse in the standings.
Biggest Gainer and Loser
Gainer: St. Louis Blues (+4)
The Blues are this weeks’ biggest gainers, moving up four spots to 19th on the rankings. Their slot might not be anything to write home about, but the Blues had a stellar week going 3-1-0 and picking up four wins in their last six games. They’ve had captain Alex Pietrangelo back in the lineup for eight games and he’s been a big part of their recent success. Most importantly though, has been the surprisingly excellent play of goaltender Jordan Binnington. In his last three starts, he’s earned three wins, allowed just two goals, earned one shutout, and posted a .974 SV%. If he continues to play this way, the Blues become a real threat to earn a playoff spot in the Central Division.
Loser: Florida Panthers (-4)
The Panthers continue to be one of the most perplexing teams in the league. They have so much talent up front with more offensive weapons than most teams, but can’t seem to win games going 0-3-1 last week. Their reliance on veteran goalie Roberto Luongo is a big part of their struggles; he’s had a GAA under 3.00 in just one of his last eight games. And, James Reimer hasn’t been much better either. It just doesn’t seem like this is the year for the Panthers.
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.