Welcome to Week 24 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||58-14-4||883.4|
|4||+1||Toronto Maple Leafs||1-1-1||44-25-6||797.2|
|5||+1||Vegas Golden Knights||2-0-1||42-27-6||795.5|
|7||-4||San Jose Sharks||0-2-1||43-23-9||793.7|
|9||-1||New York Islanders||2-2-0||44-25-7||775.2|
|10||+2||St Louis Blues||3-0-0||40-27-8||774.0|
|15||-1||Columbus Blue Jackets||1-2-0||41-30-4||742.9|
|26||–||New York Rangers||1-1-0||29-32-13||664.0|
|27||–||New Jersey Devils||1-2-0||28-39-9||647.9|
|29||+1||Los Angeles Kings||2-1-0||27-39-8||633.2|
|30||-1||Detroit Red Wings||2-1-0||27-38-10||628.7|
Power Ranking Notables
As the season winds down, the power rankings have started to cement. There is still no doubt that the Tampa Bay Lightning are the bees knees of the NHL, and that the Ottawa Senators are whatever the opposite of the bees knees are (elbows?). Every night of NHL action is likely going to contain some kind of clinching or elimination scenario, and while the top of the league has remained the same for quite a few weeks now, there are still several interesting races in the middle of the pack with teams fighting for wild card spots.
This week, East playoff bubble teams the Canadiens and Hurricanes both rose up the rankings thanks to some big wins as they try and solidify a playoff berth. The Canadiens picked up seven of a possible eight points last week, and the Hurricanes six of eight, and these teams currently hold both Eastern wild cards. In the West, the Avalanche moved up two spots as they race against the Stars and Wild for the west wild cards.
With those teams making a late season push, it has come at the expense of others. The Blue Jackets moved down one spot and the Coyotes down two as they combined for zero wins last week. Their playoff lives are at stake, and both teams need to rebound this week to get back in the mix.
One team that isn’t in the playoff picture and just continues to slide down the power rankings is the Sabres. At one point this season they were a top five team in the NHL, but now sit 25th in the power rankings. Even in garbage time, they can’t seem to get anything going.
The Flames have been the team closest to Tampa Bay all season long, but as good as they are, they won’t catch the Lightning in the power rankings. Still, they are the only team that has consistently been on the Lightning’s heels, and that’s impressive in its own right.
Biggest Gainer and Loser
Gainer: Montreal Canadiens (+3)
For a good portion of the last week, the Canadiens were outside the playoff picture. Picking up points in every game last week is a great way to not only get back in the mix, but also head into the playoffs with some momentum. The Canadiens are playing great hockey, and it is showing in the rankings. Their success is coming at the expense of the Blue Jackets which is crazy considering how many big fishes ended up in Columbus following the trade deadline. The Flames, Jets, and Maple Leafs are all going to compete in the playoffs this season. If the Canadiens keep on playing the way they did last week, they’ll be Canada’s fourth team in contention for the Stanley Cup.
Loser: San Jose Sharks & Nashville Predators (-4)
It’s perplexing watching what is happening with the two teams that went to the Stanley Cup Final in the last two years. The Predators won just a single game last week, and the Sharks have lost five in a row. Both of these teams were once on top of their respective divisions, and now sit in second. The Jets and Flames have four and six point leads on the Predators and Sharks respectively, and it looks like these two teams won’t finish as Division champions. They are still among the best teams in the NHL, and will compete in the playoffs, but it’s never a good sign to head into the post season on a cold streak. Both teams will need to pick up their socks this week if they want to regain momentum.
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.