Power Rankings

TWC NHL Power Rankings 2021–22: Week 2

Week 2 of the TWC NHL Power Rankings are historically whiplash inducing. After setting the stage last week with a small sample size, seeing most teams basically doubling their games played over the last week has caused a number of teams to either jump up the rankings quickly, or fall at the same rate. Now that most teams have at least four games played, as opposed to one or two, it’s much easier to set the stage for the current state of the NHL.

TWC power rankings explained

If you’re new to our power rankings, this is how it all works.

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.

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. Without further ado, this week’s power rankings are below!

Week 2 NHL Power Rankings

RankChangeTeamTeam NameLast WeekRecordTWCScore
Edmonton Oilers3-0-05-0-0906.4
Carolina Hurricanes2-0-04-0-0904.5
St Louis Blues3-0-04-0-0887.6
Florida Panthers3-0-05-0-0882.8
Pittsburgh Penguins1-0-13-0-2827
Minnesota Wild2-1-04-1-0817.4
New Jersey Devils2-1-03-1-0809.2
San Jose Sharks3-1-04-1-0786.9
Washington Capitals2-0-13-0-2781.6
Boston Bruins2-1-03-1-0778.7
New York Rangers3-0-04-1-1767.6
Buffalo Sabres1-1-13-1-1765
Calgary Flames2-0-12-1-1747.1
Dallas Stars2-0-03-2-0674.6
Philadelphia Flyers2-1-02-1-1670.1
Vancouver Canucks2-1-03-2-1664.3
Tampa Bay Lightning0-1-12-2-1660.1
Columbus Blue Jackets1-2-03-2-0657.5
Detroit Red Wings2-2-03-2-1647.5
New York Islanders3-0-13-2-1644.3
Toronto Maple Leafs0-2-12-3-1625.7
Colorado Avalanche1-2-02-3-0612.1
Winnipeg Jets2-0-12-2-1592.2
Ottawa Senators0-2-02-3-0585
Nashville Predators2-2-02-4-0571.6
Los Angeles Kings0-2-11-3-1567.8
Anaheim Ducks1-2-12-3-1553.7
Seattle Kraken0-3-01-4-1508.1
Vegas Golden Knights0-3-01-4-0479.7
Montreal Canadiens1-2-01-5-0475
Chicago Blackhawks0-3-00-5-1438.3
Arizona Coyotes0-3-00-4-1437.5

Starting at the top of the rankings are the Edmonton Oilers. A perfect 5–0–0 to start the season, the forward group additions look to be blending well with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and company. This team is primarily built off of offense, and the much maligned defensive group and goaltending tandem heading into the season have been capable so far. The most interesting part of the Oilers ranking here is that they are being carried by their undefeated record. Across all of the categories measured here, their highest ranking is 11th in xGF% and HDCF%. Although they hold the slight edge for #1 right now, will be interesting to see where they level off to in the coming weeks.

Closely behind the Edmonton Oilers are the Carolina Hurricanes. Not phased by the offseason departures of many key players, the Hurricanes are also perfect to start off the season at 4–0–0. They are being propelled by the third best SV% in the NHL, and the 8th best SCF% right now. The Hurricanes have been analytical darlings the past few seasons, and that trend looks to continue this year. 

The St. Louis Blues and Florida Panthers round out the still undefeated teams in the NHL. All four teams at the top of our list have really strong TWCScores this week, and so really all four could have been at the top depending on where their advanced stats ended up. The Panthers were widely picked as a team that could make some noise this season, but the St. Louis Blues are far more interesting to see still undefeated. What is even more interesting is out of the categories measured in our model, St. Louis doesn’t rank in the top half for any of them. Is this team just off to a hot start? Or are they the real deal?

The most interesting team this week has to be the San Jose Sharks. After just playing one game last week, and being ranked first in our model, it was a bit shocking to see them drop to eighth after going 3–1–0. Sure the teams above them were mostly undefeated still, but they still should have stayed in the top five? Interestingly enough, the San Jose Sharks underlying numbers are far worse than their record would show. They are dead last in CF% at a measly 42%, they have the 26th ranked xGF%, 27th ranked SCF%, and the 22nd ranked SV%. Their HDCF% is 14th in the league, but the rest are just dragging them down in our model. They are getting wins which is what matters most here, but will be a team to keep an eye on in the coming weeks. 

The biggest mover this week were the Calgary Flames. Unlike the Sharks, the Flames underlying numbers and a 2–0–1 record propelled them up 14 spots to the number 13 spot. Having a 0–1–0 record last week did not help them much, but the team rebounded nicely with wins against the Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals. The Darryl Sutter effect is real, as the team is 4th in CF%, 1st in SCF%, 9th in HDCF%, and 7th in SV%. With such low expectations entering the season, could the Flames be the team to surprise this year?

On a much sadder note, the biggest loser this week was unfortunately the Buffalo Sabres. That being said, they are still ranked in the twelfth position and are 3–1–1 on the season. After starting 3–0–0, the team lost their last two games but still managed to salvage a point. The Sabres fall this week is absolutely due to their original high ranking last week at number two overall, combined with other teams just having better overall weeks. The team is 6th in CF%, SV% and HDCF%, and 2nd in xGF% and SCF%. This is an improved team that just had a mediocre week. 

Other notables from the past seven days: 

  • The Dallas Stars went 2–0–0 to jump up eleven spots to just behind the Calgary Flames 
  • The Toronto Maples Leafs, Ottawa Senators, and Los Angeles Kings had decent starts, but all struggled mightily last week going a combined 0–6–2 and all dropping nine spots in our rankings
  • The Seattle Kraken finally got to play a home game, but they also went 0–3–0, faltering late in most games
  • Also going 0–3–0? The Vegas Golden Knights, who are absolutely missing Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty. This team lacks the killer instinct without them
  • With the Montreal Canadiens picking up their first win last week, the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes are left as the league’s only winless teams

Past power rankings

Week 1

Check here for how teams have done over past weeks and stay tuned for upcoming power rankings.

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