Welcome to Week 4 of the TWC Postseason Player Rankings: Road to the Smythe! Here at TWC, we use a statistical model to effectively rank players on a week to week basis. The model takes into effect individual statistics including goals and assists, as well as possession metrics like CF%, SCF%, HDCF%, and a correction for PDO. Each statistical category is weighed and scored differently, giving each player a unique TWC Score that determines their ranking after each week. Don’t like where someone is ranked? Unfortunately, they will have to turn it around on the ice, as we take zero personal opinions into effect.
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Top 30 Forwards
The New York Islanders were shockingly swept by the Carolina Hurricanes last week. Several Islanders forwards dropped out of the list and several Hurricanes climbed the list as a result. Jordan Eberle and Mathew Barzal specifically were among the top performers through to the second round, but couldn’t get it done against the Hurricanes. Hurricanes forwards Teuvo Teravainen is up 14 spots this week to 13th overall, Sebastian Aho up 12 spots to 16th, Warren Foegele down four to 20th, and Jordan Staal is up one spot to 24th.
Tomas Hertl is still number one on the list after two excellent performances that gave the Sharks a 3-2 series lead against the Avalanche. Nathan MacKinnon, arguably the best player in the playoffs so far, is in a bit of hot water for the first time this postseason, and will need to come up big for the Avs if they are going to even the series. Hertl is joined by fellow Sharks Logan Couture at seventh, Timo Meier at 12th, Evander Kane at 17th, and Kevin Labanc at 25th. MacKinnon is joined by teammate Mikko Rantanen at fourth overall. The Avalanche have the two highest ranking teammates in the league.
Joining the top five this week is Tyler Seguin. The Stars worked to go ahead 3-2 in their series against the Blues, and Seguin was a major force in doing that. He’s up eight spots this week to third overall, posting some of the best possession numbers out of all forwards this postseason, and now has 11 points in 12 games, just two fewer than the clubhouse leaders.
With 13 points so far, Couture, MacKinnon, and Rantanen share the lead for points in the playoffs with Brad Marchand. Marchand fell two spots this week but still sits in sixth overall. He and teammate Patrice Bergeron (ninth overall) have powered the Bruins in the second round, largely without the help of linemate David Pastrnak. That has changed this week, with Pastrnak now sitting at 11 points in 12 games. He is up two spots now to eighth overall.
Top 20 Defencemen
Brent Burns is still the man to beat on the blueline. His consistently stellar play keeps him in first overall among defencemen. He shares the lead for points among defenders with 11 with teammate Erik Karlsson (up one spot this week to second overall) and Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin (seventh overall).
John Klingberg has been a sparkplug for the Stars, creating offence almost every time he carries the puck into the offensive zone. Klingberg is a big reason why the Stars were able to go ahead in their second round series, and he’ll need to continue his strong play if the Stars are to win Game 7. He’s up two spots to third overall this week.
This week’s biggest gainer among defenders is Alex Pietrangelo. He was instrumental in the Blues fighting back to even the series against Dallas, and he’s been a rock on the back-end the whole postseason. Pietrangelo was involved in trade rumours last summer and it sure looks like those have gone away for good.
New entries to the rankings for defencemen this week are Brett Pesce at 19th and Vince Dunn at 20th.
Our top ranking goaltender, Robin Lehner, has been eliminated from the postseason. There’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is Tuukka Rask. Rask’s play this Spring has been incredibly overlooked. He’s been absolutely phenomenal for the Bruins and he’s a huge reason why they were able to not only advance past the Maple Leafs in Round 1, but also go up 3-2 in the second round against the Blue Jackets. Rask is up three spots to first place this week.
Philipp Grubauer is still looking like one of the best Avalanche players on the ice, and it shows in the rankings. Despite being down 3-2 in his series, Grubauer has made very few mistakes this Spring and is helping the Avalanche hold their own against the high powered Sharks. He’s the biggest gainer this week, up four spots to second overall.
With Petr Mrazek going down with injury, Curtis McElhinney has had to take the reigns for the Hurricanes. Well, in the few games he’s played, he’s managed to surpass Mrazek in the rankings, currently sitting at fourth overall. What an incredible story.
What are your thoughts? Are you surprised where your favourite players landed this week? Let us know at @wincolumnblog.