Welcome to Week 19 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||3-0-0||44-11-4||883.7|
|2||–||San Jose Sharks||2-1-0||35-17-7||810.8|
|3||+1||Toronto Maple Leafs||2-1-0||36-19-3||810.2|
|6||-1||New York Islanders||2-1-0||35-17-6||797.5|
|9||+2||Columbus Blue Jackets||2-1-0||33-21-3||767.2|
|10||-1||Vegas Golden Knights||1-2-0||32-24-4||766.8|
|11||+4||St Louis Blues||4-0-0||31-22-5||764.4|
|23||-1||New York Rangers||1-2-0||25-25-8||675.2|
|24||+2||New Jersey Devils||2-2-0||23-28-8||670.9|
|28||+2||Detroit Red Wings||2-1-1||23-29-8||645.9|
|29||-1||Los Angeles Kings||0-2-1||23-29-6||641.2|
Power Ranking Notables
This week, a new team entered the top five: the Boston Bruins. Following a perfect 3-0-0 week, they moved into a tie for the third most points in the NHL, and just one point out of second. Tuukka Rask’s return to top tier form has made the Bruins a contender once again. The Maple Leafs and Flames swapped spots again. These teams have been neck and neck for what seems like the whole season. Obviously they’re very different teams, but in terms of power rankings, they’re basically the east west versions of the same team.
The St. Louis Blues’ recent surge has seen them soar up the power rankings charts, this week up another four spots to 11th overall. It doesn’t seem like their winning streak is sustainable, but they’re now up to 10 straight wins and are playing excellent hockey. There’s no reason to expect them not to have another perfect week. They could end up as one of the top teams in the league by the end of the season. It’s been a really interesting story to follow so far.
It’s crunch time in the season, and just one solid week isn’t good enough to carry a team forward too many spots in the rankings. With so many teams fighting for playoff spots, it’s not a matter of being individually good anymore, being better than your competition matters even more. The Pittsburgh Penguins are one team that finds themselves in this situation. They went 3-1-0 last week, but only moved up one spot in the rankings. Almost every team ahead of them had winning records as well and, despite a .750 points percentage for the Penguins, it was just barely enough to hold down a playoff spot. This is definitely a team to watch closely as the season winds down.
The usual suspects make up the bottom of the power rankings. The Chicago Blackhawks had a great run, but that came to an end last week with them only earning one win. There’s no doubt they’re in the hunt for a playoff spot, but climbing over teams in a tight conference is never easy. They still have their work cut out for them. Among those in the running for a lottery pick, the Anaheim Ducks still lead the way. They’re last in the NHL for a reason and despite winning two of their three games last week, it wasn’t nearly enough to get them out of last place in the rankings.
Biggest Gainer and Loser
Gainer: Carolina Hurricanes (+5)
Finally. Finally the Hurricanes’ strong play has resulted in some wins for the club, enough to bump the Penguins out of a playoff spot in the East, at least briefly. The Hurricanes are very much in the mix to snag one of the East wildcards. This is a team that was showing all the right signs of being a playoff team, and are finally being rewarded for their play. Their perfect 3-0-0 week brings them up to seventh on the power rankings.
Loser: Montreal Canadiens (-7)
The Canadiens, for most of the season, looked like a guaranteed playoff team. They had surpassed expectations and were among the best teams in the league for the majority of the season, and it seemed like the points they banked early in the year would be enough to send them to the postseason. Now, after a dismal 0-3-0 week, they’re fighting to hold onto a wildcard spot, and are in severe danger of dropping out of the playoff picture altogether. The Hurricanes and Penguins look to be trending in the right direction, and the Canadiens in the opposite one. They only hold a one point lead over the Hurricanes and need to right the ship if they want to play past game 82. They moved down seven spots to 14th in the power rankings this week.
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.