Power Rankings

TWC Power Rankings 2021: Week 17

With just a few games left in the season, 15 of 16 teams have clinched their spots in the post season. Florida is set for a state rivalry to be renewed in the playoffs, while a number of classic matchups are bound to be finalized this coming week. The only thing left to determine this regular season is just who is going to be playing who in the first round.

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.

Central Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Florida Panthers2-0-036-14-5812.5
Carolina Hurricanes2-1-136-11-8806.9
Tampa Bay Lightning1-2-036-16-3747.8
Nashville Predators2-1-030-23-2697.1
Dallas Stars1-2-122-19-14676.3
Chicago Blackhawks2-2-024-25-6622.6
Detroit Red Wings1-0-119-27-10602.3
Columbus Blue Jackets2-1-118-26-12594.3

A perfect 2-0-0 week has the Florida Panthers jumping back into the top spot in the Central Division. Although they have already booked a first round match-up with their state rival Tampa Bay Lightning, the Panthers have used top five ranked stats in the categories measured in our model to get the slight edge over the Carolina Hurricanes this week. Leading the way for the Panthers? Sam Bennett who now has 15 points through his first 10 games, which is the most in franchise history. Well worth the acquisition cost so far.

Although they didn’t rank first in our model, the Hurricanes did clinch the division, which is their first since the 2005-06 season. It’s hard to give one team the edge in the Central Division this year, but the Canes right now are a slight step ahead.

The race for fourth has been determined, as the Nashville Predators used a 2-1-0 week to secure a berth in the post season. Quite the turnaround for the team that was pegged to be deadline sellers just a few weeks ago. Our model finally has them overtaking the Stars, which in facts mimics reality.

East Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Pittsburgh Penguins3-1-037-16-3768.8
Washington Capitals3-1-035-15-5764.3
Boston Bruins2-1-132-15-7755.5
New York Islanders1-2-131-17-6734.1
Philadelphia Flyers2-1-124-23-8662.1
New York Rangers1-3-027-23-5651.7
New Jersey Devils2-2-019-29-7593
Buffalo Sabres2-2-015-34-7541.1

The Pittsburgh Penguins quietly went about their business this season and used a 3-1-0 week to clinch another division title. It’s crazy that expectations for the Penguins were sow low to start the season, but they look to give the rest of the teams in the East Division a hell of a time in the post season. With most of the team back to full health, the Penguins are heading into the playoffs in a much better position than they were for most of the season.

The other three teams that will be joining the Penguins also clinched playoffs spots over the past week. The Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, and New York Islanders are postseason bound as well, but seeding has yet to be determined. Regardless of where they fall, there are going to be two tough matchups for all four teams coming up.

North Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Toronto Maple Leafs2-0-135-13-6815.7
Edmonton Oilers3-1-033-18-2744.9
Montreal Canadiens1-3-024-21-9657.3
Winnipeg Jets1-2-028-22-3651.6
Calgary Flames1-1-023-26-3643.8
Ottawa Senators3-1-022-28-5629.4
Vancouver Canucks1-3-020-26-3578.4

The Toronto Maple Leafs officially clinched the North Division after leading it for almost the entirety of the season. Frederik Andersen is almost ready for the playoffs, but the team is dealing with a number of other injuries that will be interesting to watch down the stretch. The health of this team is going to be a huge factor in their first round matchup, but if they are able to get back one of Zack Hyman or Nick Foligno they will be in a much better position.

The fourth spot in the division has yet to be finalized, although it’s more of a mathematical certainty at this rate. The Montreal Canadiens simply have to earn one more point, while the Calgary Flames have to win out. Is it impossible? Crazier things have been done, but it’s likely that the Canadiens will be named the final playoff team in the north this coming week.

West Division

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Colorado Avalanche3-1-036-13-4831.6
Vegas Golden Knights3-1-039-13-2820.3
Minnesota Wild3-0-135-14-5786.3
St Louis Blues1-1-224-20-9647.8
Arizona Coyotes2-2-024-26-6626.3
San Jose Sharks1-1-221-27-7618.7
Los Angeles Kings2-2-021-26-6611.4
Anaheim Ducks1-1-217-30-9565.8

The red hot West Division continues to power to the end of the season, as the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, and Minnesota Wild went a combined 9-2-1 last week. We’ve got absolutely no idea which team is going to come out on top at the end of the day, but our model is giving the edge to the Avalanche at this point in time. That gap is closing with the Golden Knights just 11.3 TWCScore points back.

The St. Louis Blues. despite some poor underlying numbers and struggles to start the season, locked in the final playoff spot in the West Division. Although they will be going up against most likely the Golden Knights, it would be foolish to consider themselves already eliminated. Anything can happen in the playoffs.

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!

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 | 15 | 16

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