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|
|5||-2||New York Islanders||2-2-0||19-7-2||762.2|
|11||-7||St Louis Blues||1-2-0||18-7-6||717.3|
|17||+2||Tampa Bay Lightning||2-1-0||14-10-3||708|
|19||-3||Vegas Golden Knights||2-1-1||15-12-5||694.4|
|22||-5||Toronto Maple Leafs||1-2-0||14-13-4||654.7|
|23||-3||New York Rangers||2-2-0||15-11-3||651|
|26||-8||San Jose Sharks||0-3-1||15-15-2||619.1|
|27||-4||Columbus Blue Jackets||0-3-0||11-14-4||602.9|
|29||–||New Jersey Devils||0-3-1||9-15-5||575.2|
|30||-4||Los Angeles Kings||0-4-0||11-18-2||573.6|
|31||–||Detroit Red Wings||0-2-0||7-21-3||473.3|
Power Ranking Notables
The revolving door at the top of the rankings continues as the Washington Capitals retake the number one position over the Boston Bruins. The Capitals have won six games in a row, are 8-1-1 in their last ten, and have taken over the NHL lead in points. John Carlson continues to cement his name as the Norris front runner, while Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov continue their torrid pace. They also are getting a breakout season from Jakub Vrana, who sits with 15 goals and 27 points in 31 games. As if this team wasn’t already good enough, they will be getting Nicklas Backstrom back from injury tomorrow. The rest of the NHL better take notice.
Unfortunately, a 1-1-1 week caused our former number one team, the Boston Bruins, to fall back just a single spot in the rankings. We have spoken about the Bruin’s dominance so many times this season, so it’s safe to say they probably will get back to that top spot sometime soon. What is even more impressive is that Saturday’s loss to the Avalanche was the Bruins’ first regular season loss at home this year. That is outstanding.
Speaking of the Avalanche, they jumped another three spots into the number three position after a 3-0-0 week that pushed their win streak to six as well. The team is finally back to full health, with Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen returning to their top line alongside Nathan MacKinnon. The team is now only two points behind St. Louis for the Western Conference lead and it wouldn’t be shocking if they use their two games in hand to overcome that deficit. The Avalanche have also been rumoured to be the front runner for Taylor Hall, which would just be unfair at this point. Safe to say things in Denver are looking mighty positive.
Other notables from last week include the Pittsburgh Penguins using a three game winning streak to crack our top five. With the injuries to several key players, including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin has stepped up to lead to Penguins to the first wild-card spot. The New York Islanders went 2-2-0 and fell to our fifth spot, but still remained second in the Metropolitain Division.
Speaking of which, this has been noted by several readers over the past few weeks, but half of our top ten teams reside in the Metropolitan Division. I don’t know what is in the water over there, but life in that division is far more difficult than any other. Although they hold both wild-card spots, fans are sure to point out that many of these teams would be second, if not first, in other divisions if circumstances were different. Still lots of games left to play, but it will be hard to knock out the likes of the Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes, or the other three teams previously mentioned.
The most interesting team of the week has to be the Western Conference leading Blues. Even after going 1-2-0, they fell seven spots. We touched on this in previous weeks, but the Blues’ underlying numbers are their undoing. Of course, our model is based off these underlying numbers, which is corrected by their winning percentage, but smaller skids are going to be magnified more unless they can bring up their possession and scoring chance numbers.
As we move down the list, the Calgary Flames have rebounded nicely under new head coach Geoff Ward. After the entire Bill Peters debacle, the Flames now sit a perfect 4-0-0 under Ward and have reignited their playoff chase in the West. Best part of their week? Milan Lucic finally got on the scoreboard, in back-to-back games no less, leading to a little sliver of optimism about the much maligned trade in the offseason.
The Minnesota Wild, after being out biggest gainer last week, took a step back even with a winning record. This is most likely due to their significant jump last week, and the numbers simply stabilizing compared to others.
Outside of that, the bottom teams on our list didn’t fluctuate much and now it’s time to start assessing which teams are going to be selling in the upcoming weeks.
Vancouver Canucks (+10)
A 2-0-0 week, combined with a disastrous previous week, led to the Canucks jumping 10 spots this past week. We mentioned last week how the severe drop seemed to be out of place for the Canucks, and that a bounceback was to be expected. Well here is the bounce back. Sitting in the second wild-card spot, the Canucks are getting outstanding seasons out of J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson, and Brock Boeser. Combine that with Quinn Hughes and Thatcher Demko arriving on the NHL scene, the Canucks are making a very close Western Conference even closer.
San Jose Sharks (-8)
Another Pacific Division team, but this time headed in the opposite direction. The San Jose Sharks had a busy four game week, but unfortunately went 0-3-1. This included lopsided losses against the Capitals, Panthers, and Lightning. After Martin Jones caught fire in previous weeks, he was unable to keep that play up. It’s still unclear what team you are going to see this season, but safe to say the team needs Brent Burns to get back to his Norris self if they want to have a place in the playoff picture. His 21 points in 31 games isn’t terrible, but his -20 rating is the fourth lowest in the league and the lowest when not considering Detroit. The Sharks have the talent, but can they put it all together for the rest of the season?
What are your thoughts? Are you surprised where your team landed this week? Let us know at @wincolumnblog.
All data courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.
TWC Power Rankings: