theBRKDWN: NHL Power Rankings

Joseph Caruso
NHL/MLB Analyst

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1. Washington Capitals (23-7-4)

The Capitals are red hot and have been scoring goals at a high clip the past few weeks. Alex Ovechkin is unstoppable as well, scoring 11 goals in his last 11 games and is now right up there with the league leaders in goal scoring.

Last Week’s Rank: 2

2. Tampa Bay Lightning (24-8-2)

Back to back regulation losses for the Lightning this past week bumped them from the number one spot for this week’s edition of the rankings. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is starting to finally look human this season.

Last Week’s Rank: 1

3. Colorado Avalanche (21-8-4)

The Avalanche have catapulted into the team we know that they can be. They’ve had elite goal scoring from their top players, fantastic defensive play and goaltending from Philipp Grubauer. Depth scoring and a backup goaltender should be on this team’s trade list before the deadline.

Last Week’s Rank: 7

4. Carolina Hurricanes (23-7-3)

Carolina is still one of the most balanced teams in the entire NHL. Martin Necas has emerged as a solid top six forward and this team is getting it done without Teuvo Teravainen and Vincent Trocheck in the lineup. It remains to be seen what they do at the deadline.

Last Week’s Rank: 6

5. Vegas Golden Knights (23-8-1)

The amount of overtime games this team has won is the main reason why they are so high in the standings. Their 5 on 5 play needs to pick up a little bit if they are going to make a run for the Stanley Cup.

Last Week’s Rank: 5

6. Florida Panthers (22-9-4)

A very crushing week for the Panthers and I’m not talking about back to back losses against the Hawks. Aaron Ekblad looked like he suffered a gruesome leg injury in their latest game and had to be stretchered off. There is no official diagnosis as of yet but it did not look good.

Last Week’s Rank: 3

7. Minnesota Wild (21-10-1)

The Wild are getting outstanding goaltending this year from an unlikely tandem of Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen to keep them in the top 3 in the division. Kirill Kaprizov is still dazzling on a nightly basis.

Last Week’s Rank: 8

8. Toronto Maple Leafs (22-10-2)

After back to back OT wins, the Leafs are starting to get more confidence. Auston Matthews finally broke his scoring drought but there are still major questions regarding the goaltending of this team, specifically the health of Frederik Andersen and Jack Campbell.

Last Week’s Rank: 9

9. New York Islanders (22-9-4)

The Isles are still playing their tough defensive style game but the scoring is starting to become a concern. With the gaping hole left by Lee’s injury, a trade to acquire a top six winger should be coming sooner rather than later.

Last Week’s Rank: 4

10. Pittsburgh Penguins (22-11-2)

The Penguins just continue to win games with their now reliable tandem and the scoring exploits of Sidney Crosby, Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel. With Jason Zucker poised to return, the Penguins should be in the market for a depth centreman.

Last Week’s Rank: 12

11. Winnipeg Jets (21-12-2)

The Jets are right there with the Leafs and Oilers for the top spot in the North Division. Acquiring a top 4 defenseman should be the top priority for this team to get to the next level.

Last Week’s Rank: 11

12. Edmonton Oilers (21-13-1)

After only playing one game this week due to the Canadiens shutting down with two positive COVID cases, they played well in an OTL against the Leafs. The issue for this team right now is depth scoring and a top nine forward should be added to this group before the deadline.

Last Week’s Rank: 10

13. Montréal Canadiens (14-8-9)

The Canadiens had a week off due to two players getting COVID and now the rest of the season will be a struggle to finish all 56 games. However, the team has some reinforcements in trading for Eric Staal and signing top prospect Cole Caufield from the NCAA who should join the team in the coming weeks.

Last Week’s Rank: 13

14. Boston Bruins (17-9-5)

Boston is really struggling to score and Charlie McAvoy is doing everything on the back end. Reinforcements are needed for a team whose core is getting older and the draft picks they had in recent years have done nothing to help.

Last Week’s Rank: 14

15. Nashville Predators (18-17-1)

Well what a week can do. Nashville has somehow resurrected their season and now sit in the 4th spot in the Central division after beating the Blackhawks in back to back games. There are even bigger questions now with this group. Will this team be sellers now or add at the deadline?

Last Week’s Rank: 27

16. Chicago Blackhawks (16-15-5)

With the addition of Kirby Dach back into the lineup, the Hawks need to keep pace in the Central Division. There are questions about how long they can keep this up. An up and down week, indicates this team is going to fight till the end.

Last Week’s Rank: 19

17. Arizona Coyotes (16-14-5)

The Coyotes have experienced an offensive explosion as of late and are in the hunt for the 4th and final playoff spot in the West division. Phil Kessel and Clayton Keller had big weeks and helped the Coyotes rattle off some big wins.

Last Week’s Rank: 23

18. New York Rangers (15-15-4)

Adam Fox is the real deal for the Rangers as he is clearly their most valuable defecemen and should be for a long time. Has anyone seen Kaapo Kakko recently? They are going to need him if this team has any shot at the playoffs in a tough division.

Last Week’s Rank: 20

19. St. Louis Blues (16-13-6)

St. Louis has been flat out bad the past few weeks. Jordan Binnington has regressed, and outside of Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron, the offence has dried up. It’s gotten so bad that free agent acquisition Mike Hoffman was a healthy scratch the last game.

Last Week’s Rank: 15

20. Philadelphia Flyers (16-13-4)

The Flyers are quickly losing ground in the playoff race. A team many predicted amongst the top of the division has massively underachieved this season. The bad defensive play and goaltending could be the reason they miss.

Last Week’s Rank: 16

21. Calgary Flames (16-17-3)

The scoring almost completely dried up this past week but a big win against the Jets saved this team from dropping further. Still, trailing the 4th place Canadiens who now have a lot of games in hand, Calgary desperately needs to go on a run if they have any shot at making the playoffs.

Last Week’s Rank: 17

22. Los Angeles Kings (13-13-6)

The Kings have struggled as of late and that is no surprise as this team was projected to finish near the bottom of the league heading into the season. It will be interesting to see what players this team decides to sell at the deadline.

Last Week’s Rank: 18

23. Vancouver Canucks (16-18-3)

With back to back losses against the Jets, the playoff push for Vancouver is over. Jim Benning needs to realize this and sell off some players to recoup some assets.

Last Week’s Rank: 21

24. Columbus Blue Jackets (13-15-8)

This team is not good. The offence is abysmal and their hard working team game is getting them nowhere. Laine has been terrible for Columbus and it looks more and more likely that he will not resign with them this offseason. At this point, it is time to fire John Tortorella.

Last Week’s Rank: 22

25. New Jersey Devils (13-16-4)

The Devils are still not ready to compete and they should trade winger Kyle Palmieri to a contender and get back some assets. Mackenzie Blackwood is still showing that he is the real deal in net.

Last Week’s Rank: 26

26. Dallas Stars (11-12-9)

I think this season for the Stars is over. A lot of regression from players like Jamie Benn, Miro Heiskanen and Anton Khudobin limited this team’s chances of making the playoffs despite great years from Joe Pavelski and John Klingberg.

Last Week’s Rank: 24

27. San Jose Sharks (13-16-4)

Another bad season for the Sharks will result in them missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The only reason to watch this team is for Patrick Marleau to break Gordie Howe’s all time games played record.

Last Week’s Rank: 25

28. Ottawa Senators (12-20-4)

The pesky Sens have taken a lot of points away from playoff hopeful teams like the Canadiens and Flames this season. While the effort can’t be denied, the team does struggle to score goals on a nightly basis.

Last Week’s Rank: 28

29. Detroit Red Wings (12-20-4)

The Wings will be sellers at the deadline and Bobby Ryan is sure to be acquired in a bottom nine role on a contender. The big question is due they ship out the only goalie that can win games for them in Jonathan Bernier?

Last Week’s Rank: 29

30. Anaheim Ducks (11-19-6)

Big wins against the Blues aside, the Ducks are an intriguing team heading into the deadline. Rumors have swirled around the team and certain players getting dealt, this is a team to keep an eye on.

Last Week’s Rank: 30

31. Buffalo Sabres (6-23-4)

The record is within reach and all the Sabres need to do is continue playing the way they are and they will get the infamous distinction of the most losses in a row in NHL history. Eric Staal has been dealt, a lot of other players should be next.

Last Week’s Rank: 31