Power Rankings

TWC Power Rankings 2021: Week 15

The East Division got a new number one team, while the West Division holds two of the hottest teams in the league. Add in the final fourth spot playoff races across almost every single division, and this week’s TWC Power Rankings have lots to keep an eye on.

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 Hurricanes2-0-231-10-6809.5
Florida Panthers3-1-031-13-5785.8
Tampa Bay Lightning3-1-032-14-2772.7
Dallas Stars3-1-020-15-12718.6
Nashville Predators2-0-126-21-2700.2
Chicago Blackhawks1-2-022-21-5626.7
Detroit Red Wings1-1-217-25-8585
Columbus Blue Jackets0-3-115-25-10545.8

For the first time in weeks, the top three in the Central Division remain the same. The Carolina Hurricanes retained the top spot in the division after going 2-0-2 last week. The most interesting story out of Carolina has to be in net, where Alex Nedeljkovic has taken the reigns from Petr Mrazek and James Reimer (for the time being). Having three competent goaltenders is an absolute wealth of riches, but there is no concrete answer to who starts come the playoffs. A story line to keep an eye on.

The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning did not swap spots in our rankings this week, but remained in the top ten overall after going 3-1-0. If Carolina continues to lead the division, this would be a must watch first round matchup.

The battle for the fourth spot continues, but looks to be a two horse race between the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators. The Predators hold the final spot by two points, but with two games in hand and better underlying numbers our model continues to give Dallas the slight edge. Interestingly, these teams only face each other one more time this season which is bound to be a massive difference maker.

East Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Pittsburgh Penguins4-0-032-14-3782.7
Washington Capitals2-0-031-13-4772.9
New York Islanders1-1-128-14-5751.9
Boston Bruins2-2-027-14-6727.8
New York Rangers2-2-025-18-5694.7
Philadelphia Flyers2-1-022-19-7674.9
New Jersey Devils0-3-114-27-7553.9
Buffalo Sabres1-3-013-29-7532.8

We have a new number one team in the East Division, as the Pittsburgh Penguins used four straight victories to take the top spot. There has been lots of rumblings that this may be the most quiet run a Sidney Crosby team has had in the past few seasons, but they are bound to get a lot of attention now.

What is more impressive is the strength of the overall division. The top four teams are 7th, 8th, 10th, and 11th respectively. Throw in the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers who aren’t in the top four, six of the top 15 teams reside in this division. This shows especially when the Boston Bruins, last week’s number one team, fell to fourth in the division after only going 2-2-0. Will seeding even really matter in the playoffs with such equally matched teams?

North Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Toronto Maple Leafs2-1-030-13-5790.9
Edmonton Oilers1-1-027-16-2718.3
Montreal Canadiens1-3-020-17-9663.6
Winnipeg Jets0-2-027-17-3656.9
Calgary Flames2-1-021-23-3656.6
Vancouver Canucks2-1-019-19-3638.3
Ottawa Senators2-1-017-27-4595.6

As we touched on last week, the playoff race in the Canadian division did get a whole lot interesting. The Calgary Flames won the first two games of a three game set against the Montreal Canadiens, leaving just a four point gap to overcome with one more game to come tomorrow. The Vancouver Canucks continued to win this week, going 2-1-0, and now have a better mathematical chance than the Flames to make the playoffs.

This didn’t seem possible last week.

Depending on what happens, the rescheduled four games in mid-May between the Flames and Canucks may end up being the deciding factor in the playoff race. Of course this all depends on what Montreal can do over that same period, but they aren’t trending in the right direction.

West Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Vegas Golden Knights3-0-034-11-2840.8
Colorado Avalanche1-1-031-10-4823.1
Minnesota Wild4-0-031-13-3788.5
St Louis Blues1-1-020-19-6635.5
Arizona Coyotes1-2-021-22-5620.7
Los Angeles Kings1-2-017-22-6600.3
San Jose Sharks0-2-118-24-5594.6
Anaheim Ducks0-2-014-27-7522.2

Similar to last week, I would not want to be the fourth team in the West Division. The Vegas Golden Knights won their ninth straight game this past week, while the Minnesota Wild just won their seventh. Three of the top five teams sit in the West Division, and it wouldn’t be shocking at all to see one of these teams in the Stanley Cup final at the very least.

The lucky fourth spot is owned by the Arizona Coyotes right now, but the St. Louis Blues continue to have the advantage of games in hand and should be able to jump back into that fourth position in the near future.

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 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

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