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TWC Power Rankings 2021: Week 5

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.

Central Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Tampa Bay Lightning3-1-010-2-1845.9
Florida Panthers2-1-08-2-2819.6
Carolina Hurricanes2-1-09-3-0817.1
Dallas Stars0-1-25-3-4698.3
Chicago Blackhawks2-1-07-5-4679.2
Columbus Blue Jackets2-0-17-5-4672.6
Nashville Predators1-3-06-9-0583.5
Detroit Red Wings1-2-04-10-2531.3

The top three teams in the Central Division remained the same as Week 4, although the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes swapped places. The Tampa Bay Lightning remain the cream of the crop among Florida teams, even after splitting back-to-back lopsided efforts. All three teams have separated themselves from the rest of the division and for the time being looks to be a race for the fourth playoff spot.

Speaking of that spot, right now you would give the edge to either the Chicago Blackhawks or Columbus Blue Jackets if you are looking at standings alone. The Blackhakws have been a welcomes surpise this season, and the Blue Jackets look to be turning the tide led by Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic.

Of course the real favourite for that fourth slot would be the Dallas Stars. They are ranked in the upper half of all stats measured, including being first in SCF% in all situations. The Stars haven’t played as many games as the rest of the teams in the division, but once they catch up it wouldn’t be surprising to see them push for a top spot.

East Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Boston Bruins2-1-010-2-2831.1
New York Islanders2-0-16-4-3726.7
Pittsburgh Penguins2-0-07-5-1722.7
Philadelphia Flyers0-0-08-3-2705.4
Buffalo Sabres0-0-04-4-2642.8
Washington Capitals0-1-06-4-3637.4
New Jersey Devils0-0-04-3-2632.6
New York Rangers0-2-14-6-3600.9

May as well call this the COVID Division at this point unfortunately. Three teams didn’t register a single game played last week, and the Washington Capitals only played once. It’s slim pickings out in the East right now.

The Boston Bruins continued to dominate going 2-1-0 to lead the pace, while the New York Islanders used a 2-0-1 week to jump into the second spot in the division. The surprise of the week came with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who off the hiring of Brian Burke and Ron Hextall, went 2-0-0 and made the biggest move across the NHL. Will be interesting to see how the division shakes up after the majority of teams get back into action.

North Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Toronto Maple Leafs2-1-011-3-1816.2
Montreal Canadiens1-2-09-4-2755.1
Edmonton Oilers3-0-09-7-0724.2
Calgary Flames2-1-07-6-1686
Winnipeg Jets1-2-08-5-1676.8
Vancouver Canucks1-2-07-11-0561.7
Ottawa Senators1-3-03-12-1479.8

In Canada, the Toronto Maple Leafs continue to hold the “King of the North” crown. Even after a number of injuries to their roster, they still have put together a winning record week in and week out. Saturday’s loss to the Montreal Canadiens may have stung, but they still are ahead of them by a a few games.

The Edmonton Oilers made the second biggest move in the NHL this past week, going 3-0-0 and jumping 11 spots. The Oilers got strong goaltending from a returning Mike Smith, while also started getting contributions from their defensemen and depth scorers. The only thing to be concerned with is that four of their last six games came against the Ottawa Senators. Take away those games and the Oilers fall to 5-7-0 against other opponents. The amount of times a team has played Ottawa this season has somewhat skewed the standings.

West Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Vegas Golden Knights3-1-010-2-1865.3
St Louis Blues2-0-19-4-2751.3
Colorado Avalanche0-1-07-4-1713.5
Minnesota Wild0-0-06-5-0684
Arizona Coyotes1-1-16-6-2654.8
Anaheim Ducks1-1-06-6-3620.8
Los Angeles Kings1-0-14-6-3601.4
San Jose Sharks1-2-05-7-1581.5

Thing started to get back on track out West as some teams got back in action after COVID absences. The Vegas Golden Knights hold a comfortable lead over the rest of the teams, while the St. Louis Blues used their mini playoff series versus the Arizona Coyotes to move into second place.

The rest of the teams split games against each other, with none really starting to separate themselves. A very similar theme to last week. Once Minnesota gets back into action, I’m sure we will see a bit more movement in the West.

Have any suggestions for the TWC Power Rankings for next season? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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 | 3

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