Welcome to Week 16 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 past seven days have been extremely quiet, with only 15 games being played in the league since Monday (18 if you want to count the All-Star game). The limited amount of games isn’t going to stop us from taking a look at the current state of the league coming out of the All-Star break.
|1||–||Tampa Bay Lightning||0-0-0||37-10-2||871.7|
|3||+2||Toronto Maple Leafs||1-0-0||30-17-2||793.5|
|4||–||San Jose Sharks||1-1-0||29-16-7||788.0|
|6||+1||New York Islanders||0-0-1||29-15-5||781.4|
|7||-4||Vegas Golden Knights||0-2-0||29-19-4||781.3|
|8||–||Columbus Blue Jackets||0-0-0||28-17-3||766.9|
|19||–||St Louis Blues||1-1-0||22-22-5||703.3|
|24||+1||New York Rangers||0-0-0||21-20-7||671.3|
|26||–||New Jersey Devils||0-0-0||18-23-7||667.1|
|28||+1||Los Angeles Kings||1-0-0||20-26-4||633.2|
|30||–||Detroit Red Wings||1-0-0||19-25-7||627.7|
Power Ranking Notables
The Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t play a single game last week, one of nine teams that held a perfect 0-0-0 record, but still retain the number one spot in our rankings. The week off didn’t hurt the league juggernauts as they still hold a decent margin over the Calgary Flames. The Flames won’t play again until February 1st, giving the rest of the contending teams a chance to make up some ground on the top two teams in the league.
Rounding out the top five are the Toronto Maple Leafs (more on them later), San Jose Sharks, and Winnipeg Jets. The Jets are actually in an interesting position coming out of the break. They were one of the aforementioned 0-0-0 teams, but were actually fortunate to jump up a single spot. Having played the fewest number of games in the Western Conference thus-far, the Jets still remain tied atop the Central Division lead. Having games in hand is always beneficial entering the latter part of the season, but too many means that there are a few extra games to make up. The Jets will feel that his week, as they have four upcoming games only six days. They will be a team to watch for sure.
An interesting team to point out is the that team tied with Winnipeg at the top of the Central: the Nashville Predators. The Predators used a 2-0-0 week to move up a single spot back into the top ten. Once found at the top of our rankings, the Predators have faltered a bit over the past few months. Injuries have played a part in that, but the team appears to be heading back into the right direction. Viktor Arvidsson is having a phenomenal 2019, and P.K. Subban is getting back up to game speed. This easily could be the team to have the best second half in the league.
Trending in the wrong direction are the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks, as both fell two spots in our rankings. Both teams were in the news this past week, but for opposite reasons. The Canucks got future Calder winner Elias Pettersson back from injury, while the Oilers finally cut ties with GM Peter Chiarelli. Fortunately for both teams, they are still in the hunt for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. It’s somewhat shocking to see both teams still have a legitimate shot at the post season, but mathematically both teams could end up in both wild-card spots come April. The Canucks seem to have a better shot at the moment, with Pettersson and Jacob Markstrom leading the charge, but can you really count our McDavid?
It may be surprising to know that the New Jersey Devils are currently tied for the worst point total in the NHL. From surprise playoff appearance last season to bottom of the barrel, it’s hard to comprehend what is happening in Jersey. Taylor Hall has dealt with some injuries this season, but it seems like everyone else has taken a step back. They don’t find themselves at the bottom of our rankings due to their advanced stats, but it’s entirely possible they end up there sometime this season.
Biggest Gainer and Loser
Gainer: Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, and Philadelphia Flyers (+2)
I guess in a quiet week a two spot increase is considered to be the biggest. The Leafs and Panthers both earned lone victories, but the Flyers didn’t even play a single game. The Leafs were fortunate enough to bounce back from a bit of a downturn to earn a strong 6-3 victory over the Washington Capitals. This jumped them back into the top three in our rankings, which is frankly where they should be. Although the Panthers and Flyers got a “jump” this past week, both teams look to have outside shots at the post season at the moment.
Loser: Vegas Golden Knights (-4)
I guess it’s not all glitter and gold in Vegas at the moment. Coming off a serious hot streak, the Golden Knights seemed to cooled off a bit in back-to-back losses. At one point almost tied with the Flames in the Pacific Division, they now find themselves nine points back with one more game played. It would be difficult to see them being displaced from the top three by another Pacific team, but the Knights need to keep pace with the surging Sharks and Flames if they want to supplant home ice advantage.
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.