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TWC Power Rankings 2021: Week 11

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
Carolina Hurricanes3-0-023-7-3830.4
Florida Panthers2-2-022-9-4773.6
Tampa Bay Lightning1-2-024-8-2770.8
Nashville Predators4-0-018-17-1692.3
Dallas Stars1-2-111-12-9660
Chicago Blackhawks2-2-016-15-5638.6
Columbus Blue Jackets0-3-113-15-8584.9
Detroit Red Wings2-2-012-20-4572.4

The Carolina Hurricanes earned three straight victories last week and jumped right back into the top spot in our TWC Power Rankings. We have spoken at length this season about their superior advanced stats that give them a boost in the model, but the most impressive part of their recent streak is thanks in large part to Alex Nedeljkovic who has won his last six starts and has pushed Carolina to own the 6th best SV% in the league. All around impressive from the bunch of jerks.

The other hot team in the Central Division are the Nashville Predators. Cast aside very early on this season, the Predators have strung together five straight victories and hold down the final playoff spot at the moment. The Predators statistical highlights are their current ranks of 9th in CF%, 12th in SCF%, and 13th in HDCF%. The rest of the team stats are middle of the pack, but these categories are giving the team a big boost in our model. Add in the win streak and the Predators are rolling.

East Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Washington Capitals3-0-023-7-4798.3
New York Islanders2-1-022-9-4788.1
Pittsburgh Penguins3-0-022-11-2766.6
Boston Bruins1-1-117-9-5724.3
Philadelphia Flyers1-2-116-13-4660.5
New York Rangers2-2-015-15-4659.5
New Jersey Devils2-2-013-16-4614.6
Buffalo Sabres0-4-06-23-4470.6

Going 9-1-0 in their last ten games, the Washington Capitals finally regain the top spot in the East Division. As we mentioned last week, their underlying numbers aren’t the flashiest when compared to other top contenders, but they are simply getting the job done on the ice and their winning percentage is helping them succeed the most in our model.

The Pittsburgh Penguins used a three game win streak to move up into third in the division this week. Their numbers sit middle of the pack aside from being ranked 9th in SCF% and 8th in SV% which has given them a big boost. They are 7-2-1 in their last ten games, which has helped them distance themselves from the likes of the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers. Are the Penguins back to their old tricks?

Finally, we would be remiss not to mention the Buffalo Sabres who now haven’t won a game in 17 tries, which is just simply an abomination. The craziest part is that in the metrics measured in our model, the Sabres don’t rank last in any of them. They actually are sitting in 23rd in CF% and 19th in HDCF%. It’s nothing to hand out awards for, but the Sabres just simply can’t get out of their own way and the way things are going who knows when they will win next.

North Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Toronto Maple Leafs2-0-022-10-2806.5
Edmonton Oilers0-0-121-13-1720
Winnipeg Jets3-1-021-12-2714.1
Montreal Canadiens0-0-014-8-9689.4
Calgary Flames1-3-016-17-3627.3
Ottawa Senators2-0-112-20-4604.9
Vancouver Canucks0-2-016-18-3587.4

The more interesting part of the North Division lays at the bottom, where for the first time this season the Ottawa Senators are not ranked last in Canada. That honor belongs to the Vancouver Canucks. The Senators beat the Calgary Flames twice this week in regulation which not only ruined the Flames’ dwindling playoff chances, but also jumped them out of the basement in our rankings.

As we touched upon in preivous weeks, teh Canucks are one of the worst analytical teams in the league right now. The only thing saving them is SV%, which is still ranked 19th in the league. They just simply can’t string together consistent efforts.

The same can be said for the Flames, who frankly aren’t terrible when looking at the underlying numbers. 10th in CF%, 14th in xGF%, 16th in SCF%, and 14th in HDCF% makes them look quite decent, but in fact the Flames just simply cannot score as they have the worst offensive output in the division. They also are struggling in net with the 22nd ranked SV%, which is not what they expected after signing Jacob Markstrom.

All in all, things are pretty dreadful for two of the Western Canadian teams.

West Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Colorado Avalanche2-0-221-8-4815.7
Vegas Golden Knights2-1-023-8-1805.1
Minnesota Wild3-0-021-10-1793.7
Arizona Coyotes3-1-016-14-5667.4
St Louis Blues0-3-116-13-6634.3
San Jose Sharks2-2-013-16-4619.7
Los Angeles Kings0-2-013-13-6608.1
Anaheim Ducks2-2-011-19-6570.8

I think its safe to say that the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, and dare we say it the Minnesota Wild look to be safely atop the Western Division. That being said, the fourth playoff spot is starting to get very interesting.

The St. Louis Blues are simply just not the same team that won the Stanley Cup two seasons ago. They are struggling right now, going 2-5-3 in their last ten, but their underlying numbers have struggled all season. 19th in CF%, 23rd in xGF%, 21st in SCF%, 29th in HDCF%, and 28th in SV% just isn’t the type of numbers you see out of a contending team. Of course the Capitals are in a similar position, but they are still able to edge out victories consistently as compared to the Blues.

Their struggles are the Arizona Coyotes opportunities as they now sit one point back of the Blues for the fourth spot with the same number of games played. Funny enough but the Coyotes underlying numbers are actually worse than the Blues in most regards, but they do hold the 14th ranked SV% in the league which is giving them a chance every single game. It will be interesting to see which team can hold their ground longer as the season reaches it’s final month.

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

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 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

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