Welcome back to 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.
We got some excellent feedback over the course of last season from our readers as to how we could improve this model moving forward. We have slightly altered the weightings of the statistical categories, bust also added a large recency component to make sure that each week the teams that are riding hot streaks are more appropriately demonstrated in the rankings.
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.
Have any suggestions for the TWC Power Rankings for next season? Leave us a comment and let us know!
|Rank||Change||Team||Team Name||Last Week||Record||TWCScore|
|3||-1||New York Islanders||2-0-0||10-3-0||803.6|
|5||+10||St Louis Blues||3-0-0||9-3-3||740.9|
|13||-2||Vegas Golden Knights||0-0-2||8-5-2||679|
|15||+5||Toronto Maple Leafs||1-0-1||7-5-3||673.8|
|21||+7||New York Rangers||2-0-0||5-5-1||636.7|
|23||+7||New Jersey Devils||1-0-2||3-5-4||598.6|
|24||-10||Tampa Bay Lightning||1-2-0||6-5-2||594.2|
|25||+2||Los Angeles Kings||1-1-0||5-9-0||560.9|
|26||-9||Columbus Blue Jackets||0-2-1||5-6-3||548.8|
|29||+2||Detroit Red Wings||1-2-0||4-10-1||478.6|
|31||-5||San Jose Sharks||0-3-0||4-10-1||417.8|
Power Ranking Notables
I think that the elephant in the room needs to be addressed first and foremost. Yes, the New York Islanders have won nine straight games since starting 1-3-0 and yet they did drop one spot in our rankings this week. How is this possible? Well keep in mind that we at The Win Column did not personally choose this, as it’s a no brainer a team on that type of win streak should be number one. There are two reasons behind this:
- The New York Islanders underlying stats aren’t that great. As we described in the preamble, the model takes into account CF%, SCF%, HDCF%, and SV% at all situations. The Islanders rank 30th in CF% and 30th in SCF%, which are weighted more in the model. Although they rank fifth in HDCF% and third in SV%, they don’t factor as much into the model, causing two 30th place stats to really bring them down.
- The Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals are REALLY good. The top two teams in our rankings. The Bruins are in the top 50% across all statistical categories, while also being 1st in SV%. They have the top offensive player in David Pastrnak, with Brad Marchand close behind in third. They also have the best goaltending duo in Tuuka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. The Capitals stats may not be as good, but they sit right in the middle of the pack in all categories which means they aren’t being dragged down as much as the Islanders are. Led by two players in the top 10 in points in John Carlson and Alexander Ovechkin, the Capitals just play a very high tempo offensive game comparatively.
It is completely understandable to question why the Islanders are not in first place, as we originally did as well. The Islanders are a fantastic team, and with their TWCScore being JUST behind the Capitals it would be wise to assume they stay in the top three, possibly even higher, moving forward.
Moving down our list we see the Vancouver Canucks shockingly proving the doubters wrong and jump into the top five. Led by Elias Pettersson who is sixth in NHL scoring right now, the Canucks have been offensive juggernauts as of late. Special mention to J.T. Miller who has 15 points in 14 games, proving that maybe the trade that was so heavily criticized in the offseason actually was worth it?
Another Canadian team, the Edmonton Oilers, also moved up this week into the top ten. Leon Draisaitl may be the team’s MVP right now over Connor McDavid, which seems blasphemous to say. The team may be lacking defensively, with them having six games allowing 50 shots or more. The difference? Goaltending. In those six games the team is 5-0-1. I guess a Mike Smith – Mikko Koskinen tandem actually works.
The Anaheim Ducks and New York Rangers rebounded a bit after tough weeks, while the Nashville Predators, Buffalo Sabres, and Columbus Blue Jackets headed in the other direction. Another team with a tough week? The Tampa Bay Lightning. The team sits sixth in the Atlantic Division and really don’t look like the team from last season. Nikita Kucherov is 80th in league scoring, which is a far cry from what we’ve expected, and outside of him only Steven Stamkos sits in the top 100 in league scoring. They need things to change quite quickly.
Finally, as we head to the bottom of our list, we find the lowly San Jose Sharks. This is not where the team was expected to be by any means, and sitting tied for second last in the NHL you wonder where they are going to head from here. Goaltending is again a huge issue, with Martin Jones and Aaron Dell just not being able to stop the puck. Brent Burns and Evander Kane are getting the job done offensively, but you can sure tell the team misses Joe Pavelski.
St. Louis Blue, Pittsburgh Penguins, & Dallas Stars (+10)
Three teams tied for the biggest moves this week. The Blues went 3-0-0, all in overtime wins, to catapult their way to the top of the Central division. Looking like the grinding championship winners of last season, the Blues show no signs of slowing down right now, despite being without Vladimir Tarasenko for likely the rest of the season. The Penguins had a quieter week, going 1-0-1, but saw a bit of stat boost as they rank in the top 10 for all statistical categories measured in our rankings. Third in both CF% and SCF%, the Penguins, although being down a few men to injuries, are still looking like a tough team to beat. Finally, the Dallas Stars are rebounding nicely after a disastrous start. Although they still hold a losing record, a 3-0-0 week continues to put them on the right track.
Colorado Avalanche (-13)
Injuries to star players are truly unfortunate, and for the the Avalanche to have two of them in a matter of weeks is simply cruel. Both Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog are down with injuries, leaving Nathan MacKinnon to lead his team. Although the Avalanche have some serious depth, it is still hard to lose such key cogs in the lineup. Going 0-2-1 this week, the Avalanche went from dominating the Central to now being on the verge of being out of the top three. Of course when they return to full health they will return to being a nightmare for teams, but where will they be when that happens?
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.