Welcome to Week 15 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||2-1-0||37-10-2||871.7|
|3||+2||Vegas Golden Knights||1-1-0||29-17-4||795.0|
|4||–||San Jose Sharks||1-2-0||28-15-7||793.0|
|5||-2||Toronto Maple Leafs||1-3-0||29-17-2||789.3|
|7||+5||New York Islanders||4-0-0||29-15-4||781.7|
|8||-1||Columbus Blue Jackets||1-2-0||28-17-3||766.9|
|19||–||St Louis Blues||2-1-1||21-21-5||700.5|
|25||+2||New York Rangers||3-0-0||21-20-7||671.3|
|26||-5||New Jersey Devils||1-3-0||18-23-7||667.1|
|29||-1||Los Angeles Kings||1-1-1||19-26-4||626.1|
|30||+1||Detroit Red Wings||1-2-0||18-25-7||621.5|
No surprises here, Tampa Bay remains in top spot. A few weeks ago, I got called out for calling them “unstoppable” but let’s be honest here, they’re miles ahead of every other team in the league. Sure, they lose every now and then, sometimes to much more inferior teams, but I wouldn’t pick any team in the league to win a seven game series against the Lightning right now.
But, right on their heels are still the Calgary Flames. They had a fantastic week and are 7-0-1 in their last games. If anyone is going to catch the Lightning, it’s probably them.
We also have a new team in the basement: the Chicago Blackhawks. This comes despite winning big against the Capitals on Sunday. The Blackhawks are in their predictable decline after a dynasty-like stretch.
Power Ranking Notables
The Pacific Division is again featured prominently in the top five, this week with three teams in the top four. It’s an interesting division. The Flames, Sharks, and Golden Knights are jockeying for the top three spots, and then a bunch of teams are fighting for a wild card berth. Keep an eye on the Arizona Coyotes, the next highest ranked Pacific team on the power rankings. They’ve played a much better game as of late and are probably the team with the best odds of sneaking into one of those spots.
A very interesting trend from the last week of action is that the only Central Division team that moved up the rankings was the Colorado Avalanche. Every other Central team either stayed in the same spot as they were in last week or moved down. The Avalanche went 2-1-0 last week and are holding down the third place spot, but have the Dallas Stars right behind them. The Central playoff race is heating up. It looks like five central teams will make the playoffs, at least right now, but grabbing one of those top three spots will be key heading into the post season. Right now, the second wild card would have to face the Flames, who have absolutely killed the Central so far this year.
Auston Matthews is in a slump. He has just one goal in his last 13 games, and combined with the underwhelming return of William Nylander, the Leafs are struggling. They went 1-3-0 last week and are falling fast in a rapidly tightening division after Tampa Bay. Boston is just one point back and the Lightning have increased their lead over the Leafs to 16 points. All of a sudden, the Leafs are in a fighting race for home ice in the playoffs. the rest of the season will be very interesting for the Atlantic.
Biggest Gainer and Loser
Gainer: New York Islanders (+5)
From out of nowhere, the Islanders have absolutely surged up not only the TWC power rankings, but the league’s standings. They’ve passed the Capitals and sit in first place in the Metropolitan. It’s a crazy storyline, but amazing to see the Isles, who lost John Tavares for nothing in the offseason, figure things out and prove all their doubters wrong. Time will tell if this is just a PDO bender or if their success can be maintained.
Loser: Washington Capitals (-4)
The team on the other end of the hot Islanders is the quickly falling Capitals. Braden Holtby had a stinker on the weekend, and the Capitals look very mortal right now. They have all the tools to rebound, but has their wild offseason finally caught up to them?
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.