Welcome back to the TWC Playoff 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 from our readers as to how we could improve this model moving forward. We have slightly altered the weightings of the statistical categories, but 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.
For this year’s playoffs, initial rankings and performance was primarily impacted by the Qualifier and Round Robin series that took place before the start of the official Stanley Cup Playoffs. 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 Playoff Power Rankings ? Leave us a comment and let us know!
|Rank||Change||Team||Team Name||Last Week||Record||TWCScore|
|1||+2||Vegas Golden Knights||3-1||6-1||1167|
|2||+4||New York Islanders||3-0||6-1||1157.6|
|5||+7||Tampa Bay Lightning||2-1||4-2||1066|
|13||-2||Columbus Blue Jackets||1-2||4-4||889.2|
|15||+1||St Louis Blues||1-2||1-4||756.7|
Power Ranking Notables
What a week of hockey! The first round has been nothing short of spectacular so far and most of the series are still up for grabs.
The rankings have a new number one team this week; the Vegas Golden Knights. After going undefeated through the seeding games, the Knights jumped out to a 3-0 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks. Although they lost Game 4 yesterday, the Knights still are well positioned to advance. The team has used both Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner in wins so far and look like a completely cohesive juggernaut. The West needs to watch out, yet again, for the Knights.
Although not number one, the New York Islanders came very close to taking the number one spot this week. The only team remaining with a 3-0 series lead, the Islanders have completely outplayed and out coached the Washington Capitals. Led by leading scorers Josh Bailey and Anthony Beauvillier, the Islanders are yet again getting wins by committee. Their brand of hockey may not be the flashiest, but boy does it get the job done.
Rounding out the top five we have the Philadelphia Flyers, who dropped just one spot, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Tampa Bay Lightning. All three teams have series leads at the moment and are riding strong winning percentages and above average advanced stats to reach the upper echelon.
One thing that we wanted to discuss this week surrounds the model that we use. In the model, winning percentage is one of the highest weighted stats, and because the data set includes the qualifiers and round robin, teams like the Dallas who have played quite well aren’t showing as highly in the model simply due to them not having won very many games relative to the total GP. If Dallas had won game 3, they’d swap spots with the Calgary Flames, just for example, who are fairing far worse in terms of their statistical numbers.
This week every single round robin team, except Philadelphia, is up this week. The Flyers only dropped one spot and is in third, so this winning percentage discrepancy isn’t impacting them as much. Round robin teams have picked up their play this week and they’ll continue to climb for a while if they keep winning. All are doing very well statistically, just a matter of time before their overall win records catch up.
As we look down near the bottom of the rankings, the Chicago Blackhawks took a bit of a hit due to their ongoing series with the Golden Knights. Although they avoided elimination last night, they still need to win their next three games to advance. The St. Louis Blues got a huge win in OT last night to avoid going down 3-0 to the surprising Vancouver Canucks, but that win was their first in the bubble so far. They surely have more in them right?
Finally, the Washington Capitals round out our list. As we mentioned previously, they have not matched up well against the Islanders. Nothing seems to be going right, even Alexander Ovechkin missed a wide open net, and they need a serious turn around and a whole bunch of luck to have a chance of making the second round.
Biggest Gainer & Loser
Tampa Bay Lightning (+7)
Well, they’re really good and it’s beginning to show. If it wasn’t for Joonas Korpisalo, this series would be far different. As if the 5OT win wasn’t exciting enough, the Lightning are looking far better than last year and that’s even without Steven Stamkos. Victor Hedman has been an absolute beast so far for the team, while depth scorers are getting the job done. The series is far from over, but the Lightning used a strong week to catapult up our rankings.
Carolina Hurricanes (-6)
Carolina is much more interesting. Their initial ranking was due in large part to their sweep of the New York Rangers and their top tier advanced statistics. The team now has faced some adversity against the Boston Bruins, causing both the winning percentage and stats to normalize a bit and therefore having them drop in our rankings. Does that mean they are a bad team?
TWC Playoff Power Rankings: Week 1
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.