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TWC Power Rankings 2021: Week 1

Welcome back to the new and improved 2021 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.

TWC NHL Power Rankings Featured Image. Week 01.

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, 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. 

Additionally, due to the 2021 NHL Season realignment, we have broken down teams into their respective divisions while also maintaining their league ranking.

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!

Central Division

RankTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Florida Panthers1-0-01-0-0992.6
Tampa Bay Lightning2-0-02-0-0985.8
Nashville Predators2-0-02-0-0953.7
Carolina Hurricanes1-1-01-1-0705.9
Detroit Red Wings1-1-01-1-0597.8
Columbus Blue Jackets0-2-00-2-0352.0
Chicago Blackhawks0-3-00-3-0314.3
Dallas Stars0-0-00-0-00

The Central Division is so far known as the hit or miss division, as it houses three of the top six teams ranked in our model, but also the bottom three teams as well. Of course, we have nothing against Dallas, but due to our ranking requiring on ice statistics it makes it impossible to rank them so far this season.

The Florida teams are off to hot starts with the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning grabbing top spots in the division so far. The Panthers are coming off a single game last night against the lowly Chicago Blackhawks, so their ranking is completely dependent on one strong game, but the Lightning seem to be back to their old tricks.

The Nashville Predators are also off to a strong start, grabbing a pair of wins against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings split a pair of games during the first week, leading them to fall in the middle of the pack.

The aforementioned Blackhawks appear to be destined for a tough season coming up in a strong division. Missing their captain and lacking NHL depth goaltending, I would expect to see them near the bottom more frequently moving forward.

East Division

RankTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Philadelphia Flyers2-0-02-0-0938.0
New Jersey Devils1-0-11-0-1818.9
Boston Bruins1-0-11-0-1790.2
Washington Capitals2-0-12-0-1788.1
New York Islanders1-1-01-1-0655.0
New York Rangers1-1-01-1-0650.5
Pittsburgh Penguins1-2-01-2-0568.0
Buffalo Sabres0-2-00-2-0419.4

So far the East Division belongs to the Philadelphia Flyers, after two strong opening wins against their state rivals in the Pittsburgh Penguins. So far they look to be the favorites in the division, but obviously that is way too early of a prediction to set in stone.

One of the more interesting groups of teams is easily between the New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins, and Washington Capitals. As you can see the teams are separated quite closely based on their TWCScore, with the difference coming from a smaller sample size for the Devils and Bruins, and with the Capitals’ underlying numbers not being as strong. Expect these teams to separate a bit more down the line.

Finally, tough start for the Buffalo Sabres. Losing back-to-back games against the Washington Capitals was not how they wanted to start their season. At least the Bills are there to distract Buffalo sports fans for the time being.

North Division

RankTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Winnipeg Jets1-0-01-0-01003.1
Calgary Flames1-0-11-0-1808.1
Montreal Canadiens1-0-11-0-1771.7
Toronto Maple Leafs2-1-02-1-0764.8
Ottawa Senators1-1-01-1-0631.4
Edmonton Oilers1-2-01-2-0572.2
Vancouver Canucks1-2-01-2-0527.4

The Canadian Division is already lining up to be one of the closest and competitive this season. The Winnipeg Jets take the top spot do to them being the only undefeated team left, albeit with a one game sample size. Too early to declare them the “Kings of the North”.

The Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens overcame opening night overtime losses to bounce back in decisive victories against the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers respectively.

The Toronto Maple Leafs appear to be headed in the right direction, while the Ottawa Senators are proving they are going to be far more than just an easy two points.

The Oilers appear to be the one team headed for a bit of trouble as they handle their crease concerns. Mikko Koskinen is about to take the lion share in starts moving forward, with no real back-up help in sight. Can they weather the storm?

West Division

RankTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Vegas Golden Knights2-0-02-0-01011.9
Minnesota Wild2-0-02-0-01010.1
Arizona Coyotes1-0-11-0-1816.7
Colorado Avalanche1-1-01-1-0658.7
St Louis Blues1-1-01-1-0642.0
San Jose Sharks1-1-01-1-0634.1
Los Angeles Kings0-0-20-0-2591.6
Anaheim Ducks0-1-10-1-1441.8

Finally, the West Division holds the top two spots on our ranking in the Vegas Golden Knights and the Minnesota Wild. Both teams have started with perfect 2-0-0 records with impressive overtime victories highlighting their schedule. Of course, their wins came against the lowly LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks, but they still are able to take the early lead in our TWC Power Rankings.

The Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, St Louis Blues, and San Jose Sharks all split games this past week and to no shock end up in the middle of the pack to start 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.

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