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TWC Power Rankings 2021: Week 3

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.

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

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Florida Panthers3-0-15-0-1932.9
Carolina Hurricanes3-0-05-1-0893.2
Tampa Bay Lightning1-0-14-1-1836
Dallas Stars2-1-14-1-1791.9
Nashville Predators2-1-04-4-0667.4
Columbus Blue Jackets2-1-14-3-3654.8
Chicago Blackhawks1-1-23-4-3605
Detroit Red Wings0-2-22-6-2512.8

Not too much change in the Central Division this week, aside from two huge movers. The Florida Panthers remained in first place, after going 3-0-1 and retained the number one overall ranking in the TWC Power Rankings. Although maybe not getting as much news time as others, the Panthers are ranked eighth in CF%, eighth in xGF%, third in HDCF%, and sixth in SV% at all strengths. This, combined with the fact they haven’t lost in regulation yet, has propelled them to the top spot.

Close behind the Panthers is the Carolina Hurricanes, who, after COVID related absences, rattled off three straight victories. Petr Mrazek is off to a very strong start in net, and the team continues to be analytical darlings. Hopefully for their sake, his injury is nothing serious.

Getting a big boost this week was the Nashville Predators, who jumped up a whopping 10 spots in the rankings and land fifth in their division. Ranking top 10 in CF%, xGF%, and SCF%, the Predators’ play is improving week after week and have started to make things interesting in the division.

East Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Boston Bruins2-0-15-1-2840.2
Washington Capitals3-0-06-0-3821.7
Philadelphia Flyers4-0-07-2-1792.4
Pittsburgh Penguins1-1-15-3-1713
Buffalo Sabres2-1-14-4-2680.3
New Jersey Devils1-2-14-3-2655.1
New York Islanders0-2-23-4-2617.4
New York Rangers1-1-12-4-2603.5

The East Division saw continued stellar play from the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals, who went a combined 5-0-1 last week. The biggest jump here was from the Philadelphia Flyers who won four straight games and jumped into a tie for first place in the division. The East looks to be a juggernaut this season with the likes of Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, and a close middle of the pack in Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Buffalo and the New York Islanders.

Speaking of the Islanders, they took a big hit this past week after going 0-2-2. They dropped 12 spots in our rankings, and now sitting seventh in the division. This does not bode well for a team who was expected to contend.

North Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Montreal Canadiens1-1-05-1-2812.1
Toronto Maple Leafs2-0-17-2-1805.3
Winnipeg Jets1-1-05-3-0711.1
Vancouver Canucks4-0-06-5-0685
Calgary Flames1-2-03-3-1639.2
Edmonton Oilers2-2-05-6-0637.3
Ottawa Senators0-4-01-7-1433.7

The Toronto Maple Leafs hold the bragging rights for now up north. They went 2-0-1 this week, putting themselves in a tie for most points in the NHL. It finally appears as if the gears are all working together at the same time, and it could be scary to see this team can keep it up all season.

The Montreal Canadiens took a small step back this week after a 1-1-0 record. Nothing at all to be concerned about, because they have the pieces to battle with the Leafs for the top spot, and have a few games in hand. This lineup is by far the deepest in the division right now, and with Carey Price looking like Carey Price – it is a scary time to be rolling into Montreal.

The biggest jump in the division came from the Vancouver Canucks, who were fortunate enough to play the struggling Senators in three straight games. We shouldn’t look past the fact that their top guns started to pour it on the last few games, but will be interesting to see how this team fares against more competitive teams in the division.

The Alberta teams were up and down the last seven days. The Oilers started out sluggish, but ended with a strong OT win against the Leafs and a dismantling of the Senators. The team still has some wrinkles to iron out, but the last two wins has them on the right track at least. The Flames also had a weak start, but another brilliant Jacob Markstrom performance saved the team’s week. Their next few games are against the Jets, and should be a fascinating series to catch.

West Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Vegas Golden Knights0-0-15-1-1853.1
St Louis Blues3-0-06-2-1787.1
Colorado Avalanche3-0-16-3-1786.3
Minnesota Wild2-2-06-4-0746.4
Los Angeles Kings1-1-03-3-2638.8
Arizona Coyotes1-1-03-4-1622.1
San Jose Sharks0-2-03-5-0524
Anaheim Ducks1-3-03-5-2519.1

The West Division has settled into two quite distinct tiers. First you have the Vegas Golden Knights, St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, and Minnesota Wild. In the other, you have the California teams and the Arizona Coyotes. It’s early, but don’t be surprised if this ends up being the final standings.

The top four teams are actually quite strong. The Golden Knights are simply one of the best teams in the NHL, while the Blues and Avalanche are also cup contenders. The Wild have been a welcomed surprise so far, but will look to survive the injury bug over the next few weeks.

The other four teams just don’t look to be fully there yet. The Kings have a promising young core that will make them dangerous in a few seasons, the Coyotes just don’t have the depth at the NHL level compared to other teams, the Sharks just need a save once in a while, and the Ducks are hanging on because they are getting so many saves from John Gibson.

Unless there is a massive change in the dynamic, the West Division could start their playoffs right now if they wanted.

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.

Previous Weeks: Week 1| 2 |

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