theBRKDWN: NHL Power Rankings

Joseph Caruso
NHL/MLB Analyst

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1. Tampa Bay Lightning (23-6-2)

There is nothing else to say about Tampa Bay at this point. One thing they should consider however is addressing the back-up goalie position as Curtis McElhinney is just not getting the job done to give their number one goalie rest down the stretch.

Last Week’s Rank: 1

2. Washington Capitals (20-7-4)

After a six game win streak was snapped over the weekend, the Capitals have been playing much better defensively as of late. Wilson is now back from his suspension and this team should look to acquire another winger or extra defenceman before the trade deadline.

Last Week’s Rank: 9

3. Florida Panthers (20-7-4)

The Central Division is extremely top heavy with three teams with 20+ wins. Florida is one of them and have been a quality team this year. The pairing of Aaron Ekblad and MacKenzie Weegar have been one of the best in the league to boot.

Last Week’s Rank: 6

4. New York Islanders (20-8-4)

A devastating injury to captain Anders Lee, as he is out for the season. This is a big blow for this team with cup aspirations. It will be interesting what GM Lou Lamoriello will do to add this team very soon.

Last Week’s Rank: 2

5. Vegas Golden Knights (21-7-1)

Robin Lehner is now back from a lengthy concussion and in the net for the Golden Knights. However, leading goal scorer Max Pacioretty is now banged up and this team is already without Alex Pietrangelo.

Last Week’s Rank: 4

6. Carolina Hurricanes (20-7-3)

The Hurricanes took a step back this week but were robbed on an overtime winner with an offside review. There are rumblings that longtime Hurricane Eric Staal could be traded back to Carolina, and with Vincent Trocheck back soon, this team is waiting to break out when fully healthy.

Last Week’s Rank: 3

7. Colorado Avalanche (19-8-2)

Well it looks like the shooting percentage is now turning into goals, and a lot of them. With Makar back in the lineup this team has thoroughly dominated teams the last few weeks.

Last Week’s Rank: 11

8. Minnesota Wild (18-10-1)

Now returning back to earth a little bit, the Wild are still hanging around the top of the West division. It will be interesting to see if this team is a buyer at the deadline.

Last Week’s Rank: 8

9. Toronto Maple Leafs (20-10-2)

The Leafs continued to slip but finally got back on the horse with a win on Saturday. There is now officially a goalie controversy in Toronto and no one knows the answer to that right now.

Last Week’s Rank: 5

10. Edmonton Oilers (21-13)

Edmonton is back, tied atop of the North Division standings, this team is playing a much more complete game, the one that coach Dave Tippet loves to play. At this point, Connor McDavid is a lock for the Hart trophy.

Last Week’s Rank: 13

11. Winnipeg Jets (18-11-2)

A big week from Kyle Connor aside, the Jets dropped back to back against the Oilers and their top line of Scheifele, Stastny and Wheeler were extremely quiet. A defecemen should be a must add for this team before the deadline.

Last Week’s Rank: 7

12. Pittsburgh Penguins (19-11-2)

The Penguins took a big hit this past week with Evgeni Malkin out week-to-week with an injury. With the window of this team almost completely shut, what does new management do at the deadline?

Last Week’s Rank: 10

13. Montréal Canadiens (14-8-9)

Montreal finally won a game past regulation over the week and have picked up six of a possible eight points. With Calgary hot on their tails, it will be interesting to see what GM Marc Bergevin does to bolster this squad.

Last Week’s Rank: 16

14. Boston Bruins (16-8-4)

Now with a bunch of players on the COVID list, the Bruins now have to push through for a few games without key players like David Pastrnak. Boston is linked to a few wingers and they could make a splash soon.

Last Week’s Rank: 12

15. St. Louis Blues (16-10-5)

David Perron has had a career resurgence since returning for his third stint with the Blues. However, the team has been mostly average this season. The Blues will make the playoffs but it remains to be seen if they do any damage in them.

Last Week’s Rank: 15

16. Philadelphia Flyers (15-11-3)

When Philly loses, they really do embarrass themselves. Terrible goaltending and team defence is killing this team and if they don’t turn it around soon they could miss the playoffs.

Last Week’s Rank: 14

17. Calgary Flames (15-14-3)

After the coaching bump, the Flames still resemble the same underachieving team that started the year. There is still a chance at the postseason but the team needs to go on a run soon.

Last Week’s Rank: 19

18. Los Angeles Kings (13-11-6)

The Kings upsetting the Vegas Golden Knights over the weekend prove they are a tough out each and every night. I believe it will be between them and the Wild for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West division.

Last Week’s Rank: 18

19. Chicago Blackhawks (14-13-5)

The Blackhawks are really struggling defensively now and they could fall out of the playoff picture completely. If Kane has a shot at the Hart trophy, he is going to have to carry this team the rest of the year.

Last Week’s Rank: 17

20. New York Rangers (13-13-4)

A 9-0 win over the Flyers once the coaching staff is in COVID protocol was a little surprising but is it too late for the Rangers to make a playoff push? Mika Zibanejad has also rounded back into form.

Last Week’s Rank: 22

21. Vancouver Canucks (16-16-3)

Vancouver is really making an improbable push for the playoffs. Their heroics in overtime and shootout as well as outstanding goaltending has now given this team a fighting chance even though they could be sellers at the deadline.

Last Week’s Rank: 23

22. Columbus Blue Jackets (13-12-7)

Seth Jones had a big week as Columbus occupies the fourth spot in the Central division in a tight race with the Blackhawks. It is extremely tough to predict this team on any given night.

Last Week’s Rank: 24

23. Arizona Coyotes (13-13-5)

Arizona’s offence outside of its latest game, has been a disaster. They do not generate many chances and fail to capitalize on the ones they do generate. This team is in limbo and their captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been a shell of his former self.

Last Week’s Rank: 20

24. Dallas Stars (10-10-8)

Dallas has been getting a lot of production from their depth and it has translated into the team playing better. It will be really tough for them to sneak into the playoffs however.

Last Week’s Rank: 25

25. San Jose Sharks (11-14-4)

The goaltending situation in San Jose unsurprisingly cost the team for most of the season. Two aging goalies both of whom should not be starting anymore have failed to keep the team in any games this year. Evander Kane has had a very solid season however.

Last Week’s Rank: 21

26. New Jersey Devils (11-14-4)

It looks like the Devils will be sellers at the deadline, and they should be. A lot of covid issues, injuries, and underperforming players have been the story of their season.

Last Week’s Rank: 27

27. Nashville Predators (14-17-1)

All eyes on the Predators, as they are seen as one of the biggest sellers at the deadline and a lot of long-time franchise staples could be on the move soon.

Last Week’s Rank: 26

28. Ottawa Senators (10-20-3)

Ottawa embracing the ‘sickos’ mentality has given their fans something to cheer about this year. The goalies have been dropping like flies recently however and they are currently on their fourth string goalie.

Last Week’s Rank: 28

29. Detroit Red Wings (10-18-4)

Another team that will be sellers at the deadline. Detroit fans are probably unimpressed with some of the development from a few key players this year but GM Steve Yzerman has a plan and he will stick to it.

Last Week’s Rank: 30

30. Anaheim Ducks (9-17-6)

Gibson has now collapsed from carrying this team on his back every night. Rumors about Rickard Rakell and Josh Manson have swirled this team for some time and the same goes for franchise icon Ryan Getzlaf.

Last Week’s Rank: 29

31. Buffalo Sabres (6-19-4)

Losses sit now at 13 in a row and Ralph Krueger has been mercifully relieved of his duties as head coach. What happens next with this team is anyone’s guess.

Last Week’s Rank: 31