Welcome to Week 5 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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Note: Rankings are updated up to games ending Sunday May 12. Stay tuned for Week 6 updates.
Top 20 Forwards
With four teams remaining, the list of Conn Smythe candidates drastically reduced. However, one player still stands out among the masses as the front runner. Tomas Hertl remains atop the rankings, his impact growing more gargantuan with every game. He’s joined by teammates Logan Couture and Timo Meier, who have both dominated the ice as well.
Not to be forgotten, Boston’s top trio of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak have been running roughshod, maintaining possession and generating many more quality chances for than against.
Due to Boston’s two routings of the Hurricanes, a few other players have risen considerably with their on-ice impacts, such as Charlie Coyle, Jake DeBrusk, and David Krejci.
One notable forward here would be Jaden Schwartz, whose playoff performance has far exceeded his regular season play.
Ultimately, Hertl runs away with the race for the Smythe. His impact on getting the Sharks to where they are right now can not be understated. After all, without Hertl, the Sharks would have been out after the first round. Talk about being valuable.
Top 10 Defencemen
The Sharks’ duo of Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson remain in a league of their own. Burns still looks dominant through the first games of the Western Final, whereas Karlsson has taken a bit of a step back.
Again, like their forwards, some of Boston’s defencemen have been beneficiaries of the outburst to open their series. Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy both gained a bit of ground in the race.
Matching teammate Hertl as the runaway forward candidate, Burns has established a large lead among defencemen. He’s been a driver from the blueline, and has played a large part in the Sharks’ playoff success.
No other goalie has performed as well as Tuukka Rask has this late into the post-season. He’s been largely above average in every aspect of his game, and has made things easier for his teammates. From the net out, the Bruins aren’t holding onto their sticks too tightly, and have opened up their chances at winning the Stanley Cup.
Also have to mention that Curtis McElhinney’s stepped up at the right time, given Mrazek’s injury and slight drop-off. If the Hurricanes make a comeback, a large reason for that would be how solid McElhinney’s been in his role.
Lastly, credit must be given to Martin Jones as well, who’s struggles have greatly diminished as the playoffs have gone on. His reliability has steadily increased for the most part, and going into the last few games of the playoffs, his resurgence is exactly what the Sharks will need to advance further in their vie for the Cup.
What are your thoughts? Are you surprised where your favourite players landed this week? Let us know at @wincolumnblog.