theBRKDWN: NHL Power Rankings

Joseph Caruso
NHL/MLB Analyst

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1. Colorado Avalanche (30-9-4)

For the second week in a row, the Avalanche top the power rankings list. The team seems to have addressed their back-up goalie issue with the acquisition of Devan Dubnyk. A few depth additions at the deadline like Carl Soderberg and Patrik Nemeth have this team poised for a long cup run.

Last Week’s Rank: 1

2. Carolina Hurricanes (27-10-4)

Carolina is a dangerous team heading into the playoffs. However, this team could have used some offensive reinforcements at the deadline but no move was made by GM Don Waddell. Hopefully it doesn’t come back to hurt this team from making a run to the Cup.

Last Week’s Rank: 6

3. Toronto Maple Leafs (28-11-4)

The Leafs have been playing well as of late and GM Kyle Dubas went all in acquiring Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets in addition to David Rittich from the Calgary Flames. The Leafs are all in to finally end their cup drought.

Last Week’s Rank: 5

4. Washington Capitals (28-11-4)

The Capitals offence just got a whole lot scarier with a blockbuster deal on deadline day to acquire scoring winger Anthony Mantha who now becomes part of the team’s core. The real question remaining for Washington is if they can rely on their two young goalies heading into the playoffs.

Last Week’s Rank: 4

5. Tampa Bay Lightning (28-12-2)

Tampa once again made a splash to bolster their chances of going back to back by adding shutdown defenceman David Savard from the Columbus Blue Jackets. With Kucherov returning at the start of the playoffs, this team is going to have the best ‘addition’ out of any team.

Last Week’s Rank: 3

6. Vegas Golden Knights (29-11-2)

While Vegas is right up against the cap, they were still able to make a depth move acquiring Mattias Janmark from the Chicago Blackhawks. Now with all this spending, let’s see if Vegas can get over the hump.

Last Week’s Rank: 9

7. Winnipeg Jets (26-14-3)

Captain Blake Wheeler is still out with a concussion and this team needs a spark. However, not much help is coming. With a glaring need on defence to get them to the next level, the only addition was Jordie Benn. Not the most encouraging signs from the GM to the team and it will hurt them.

Last Week’s Rank: 12

8. Florida Panthers (27-12-4)

Florida made a lot of moves leading up to the deadline including acquiring Brandon Montour, Nikita Gusev and Sam Bennett to bolster their lineup. It remains to be seen if this team can win it’s first round since 1996.

Last Week’s Rank: 2

9. Pittsburgh Penguins (27-13-2)

Pittsburgh is doing everything they can to get one last cup with the core they have and they stayed with that belief with the acquisition of Jeff Carter to anchor the third line. Carter can still provide some scoring depth but until Malkin is back healthy, we won’t know what this team is fully capable of.

Last Week’s Rank: 8

10. New York Islanders (27-11-4)

The Islanders kicked off the trade frenzy by acquiring both Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils in what was a solid deal. Now with the holes filled they had since the Lee injury, this team is a legit Cup contender.

Last Week’s Rank: 10

11. Minnesota Wild (25-13-3)

With the great season the Wild are having, you would think that GM Bill Guerin would reward his club with a move or two. But that did not happen and without a true #1 centre on this team, it will be tough for them to advance far.

Last Week’s Rank: 7

12. Edmonton Oilers (25-15-2)

Similar to the Winnipeg Jets, the Oilers have an opportunity to win the conference finals and the only move was acquiring a depth defenceman. The reason for this is that GM Ken Holland spent a lot of picks last trade deadline and almost none of them paid off.

Last Week’s Rank: 11

13. Boston Bruins (22-12-6)

Boston made the big splash the night before the deadline by acquiring Taylor Hall for pennies on the dollar. This is probably the last kick at the can for this group, let’s see what they can do.

Last Week’s Rank: 16

14. Nashville Predators (24-19-1)

Nashville who rose out of the depths the last few weeks decided to mostly stay pat at the deadline, and just add a depth defenceman. Whether they end of making the playoffs or not, if they were able to sell some of their assets, it would be beneficial to them in the long run.

Last Week’s Rank: 14

15. New York Rangers (20-16-6)

The New York Rangers are not going away. While this team predictably didn’t make any moves at the deadline because they are still not quite ready to make the jump into playoff contention, the development of some of their younger players has been really encouraging to watch this season.

Last Week’s Rank: 17

16. St. Louis Blues (19-17-6)

With rumours swirling about Mike Hoffman leading up to the deadline, the Blues ultimately held onto him for their hopeful playoff run. While playing better as of late there are in a critical stretch the rest of the season.

Last Week’s Rank: 21

17. Montréal Canadiens (18-13-9)

Montreal has struggled since Price and Gallagher have gone down winning one of their last four games. Bergevin decided to add depth defencemen anyways bringing in John Merrill and Erik Gustafsson. I do not see this team making any sort of long run with their current roster.

Last Week’s Rank: 13

18. Chicago Blackhawks (20-18-5)

Stan Bowman must receive some praise for how he handled the deadline. Acquiring quality depth pieces and still regaining draft capital while his team still fights for the fourth playoff spot in the Central Division.

Last Week’s Rank: 19

19. Philadelphia Flyers (19-17-6)

Philly must realize their season is basically done selling off depth options at the deadline for small returns. It was an extremely underwhelming season for a team that will most likely miss the playoffs after coming in as a dark horse contender.

Last Week’s Rank: 20

20. Arizona Coyotes (19-20-5)

Arizona is struggling now and may fall out of a playoff spot. There are a lot of questions regarding this team in the offseason as they are up against the cap and with new GM Bill Armstrong, it will be interesting to see how he handles the expansion draft.

Last Week’s Rank: 15

21. Calgary Flames (19-21-3)

Calgary seemed out of it by selling their back-up goalie Rittich and troubled youngster Sam Bennett. The team has responded with back to back wins and now have a fighting chance at a playoff spot with 12-13 games to go.

Last Week’s Rank: 24

22. San Jose Sharks (18-20-4)

San Jose looks like they peaked and will miss the playoffs this year. However, they were an important player in allowing some trades to go through by brokering money around and getting a few draft picks because of it.

Last Week’s Rank: 18

23. Dallas Stars (15-14-12)

The Stars didn’t make many moves either picking up Sami Vatanen off waivers to provide any spark for a team that cannot win past 60 minutes. It was almost a lost season right from the start with this team and their delayed start due to COVID.

Last Week’s Rank: 22

24. Vancouver Canucks (16-18-3)

The NHL just got put on blast by the Canucks as most of the players are still sick and recovering from a contagious strain of the virus. Right when their season was supposed to start back up again, games were postponed. It looks more and more like this team’s season is coming to an end.

Last Week’s Rank: 23

25. Los Angeles Kings (16-20-6)

Well the Kings did what I asked them and sold off some of their older pieces as Jeff Carter is now a Penguin for a few conditional picks. Resigning Alex Iafallo was a bit steep but necessary. We will see what happens to more veterans in the offseason.

Last Week’s Rank: 26

26. Columbus Blue Jackets (15-20-9)

At least Columbus realized their team is not good and sold off their best assets recouping a lot of picks including two firsts. This team is now officially in retool mode and a lot of decisions have to be made in the offseason.

Last Week’s Rank: 27

27. New Jersey Devils (14-21-6)

New Jersey now has the youngest roster in the NHL and the young players are going to have to show what they got. With Hischier finally back healthy, hopefully this team can gain some confidence.

Last Week’s Rank: 25

28. Detroit Red Wings (15-23-6)

Steve Yzerman showed why he is the best GM in the league. Yzerman got an absolute haul for Anthony Mantha and those assets accelerated the rebuild in Detroit. The Red Wings are in good hands with their most iconic figure in franchise history at the helms of the organization.

Last Week’s Rank: 29

29. Ottawa Senators (14-26-4)

Ottawa also made a few moves selling off their depth veteran defecemen for a handful of picks and letting their young defecemen step into the lineup. All in all this was a great rebuilding year for the Senators.

Last Week’s Rank: 28

30. Anaheim Ducks (14-23-7)

The Ducks actually acquired a defenceman at the deadline in Hayden Fleury who was a top pick by Carolina that didn’t pan out. With Gibson still deadline with a lingering injury, it might be best to shut him down for the season.

Last Week’s Rank: 30

31. Buffalo Sabres (10-25-7)

The Sabres sold at the deadline but that doesn’t mean it was a good sale. With all of their assets at the lowest value they can be, Montour, Staal and Hall were sold for less than what they are worth. The only saving grace for this team is that at least they are not playing as poorly as they did before.

Last Week’s Rank: 31

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