Welcome back to another edition of NHL Power Rankings here at Full Press Hockey.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are rapidly approaching. The Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche continue to battle for the President’s Trophy as they are the first two teams to clinch playoff spots. Neither team appears to be slowing down. However, both teams are facing still competition from teams right behind them in the rankings. The Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, and St. Louis Blues are peaking at the right time. In addition, the Edmonton Oilers are back into the Top 10 as they are playing the type of hockey they did at the beginning of the season. There were other changes not inside the Top 10, but around the rest of the NHL Power Rankings as well.
Time to dive into the NHL Power Rankings and find out where these teams stand.
NHL Power Rankings
1. Florida Panthers (Previous Ranking 1)
The Panthers are cruising having won eight games in a row and the last couple in comeback fashion. This team can hurt you in so many ways. The biggest thing for the Panthers is cleaning up their starts before the start of the playoffs. Good teams will not give them the luxury to come back in the playoffs.
2. Colorado Avalanche (Previous Ranking 2)
The Avalanche have won six in a row and making a real strong case to be considered the favourite to win the Stanley Cup. It will be all about the matchup for the Avs come the playoffs. The Avalanche have such a complete team, will the adversity from the previous two years carry them through.
3. Calgary Flames (Previous Ranking 3)
Another team starting to find its stride is the Calgary Flames. The Flames have now won five in a row and have put behind them the question marks surrounding their play. No Sean Monohan, no problem for the Flames. Darryl Sutter has got them playing playoff-style hockey at the right time. There is a lot to cheer about it in Calgary.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs (Previous Ranking 4)
The Maple Leafs are clicking on all cylinders but it does not matter how well this team does in the regular season, this team will be judged on what they do in the playoffs. Can we just marvel at what Auston Matthews is doing? He is on pace for 65 goals this season.
5. New York Rangers (Previous Ranking 5)
We know what Igor Shesterkin means to this team, but how about the play of Chris Kreider. Kreider is on the verge of scoring 50 goals and even more. That is more goals than he has scored in a single season. The way this team is constructed the Rangers have a shot to win this season.
6. Boston Bruins (Previous Ranking 6)
The Bruins have a legit shot to make a deep run in the playoffs. It does not matter who they play, you have to favour this Bruins team. Goaltending has been great all year and now they have something that has been missing, depth scoring.
7. Minnesota Wild (Previous Ranking 7)
How about those Minnesota Wild? The Wild have won two in a row after losing two tough divisional games. Minnesota has the best goaltending duo entering the playoffs in Marc-Andre Fleury and Cam Talbot.
8. Tampa Bay Lighting (Previous Ranking 8)
The Lightning have looked average over this last little stretch. Luckily they were able to halt that four-game losing streak. Having Ryan McDonagh back on defence has made a world of difference. Yes, it was against Buffalo, but man did they need him in the lineup. Let’s see if they can get cooking again.
9. Carolina Hurricanes (Previous Ranking 4)
The Hurricanes are battling it out with the Rangers over the top spot in the Metro division. It is nice to see Jordan Staal have the scoring touch. It only makes this team more dangerous once the playoffs begin.
10. Edmonton Oilers (Previous Ranking 11)
Who would have thought the Edmonton Oilers would be in a position to even make the playoffs a couple of months ago. They are back in the Top 10 in the NHL Power Rankings. Now they are only a few points away from locking up the second spot in the Pacific. Connor McDavid is a big reason with 26 points including 13 goals since March 9th.
11. St. Louis Blues (Previous Ranking 14)
The Blues are peaking at the right time under each Craig Berube. St. Louis has won five in a row with Robert Thomas leading the charge. Thomas has 18 points in his last six games. These are Vladimir Tarasenko type numbers.
12. Washington Capitals (Previous Ranking 17)
Just when you thought the Capitals would be caught for the final wild-card spot in the East, Washington finds the will inside to separate themselves from the pack even more. There is even a shot they could finish top three in the division.
13. Pittsburgh Penguins (Previous Ranking 10)
The Penguins are struggling and this is not the time to do it. No Evgeni Malkin for the next four games hurts this offence. It is great to see Sidney Crosby get his 1400th NHL point, but outside of that the rest of the team is not playing that great. They need to fix that quickly if they don’t want to fall into a wild card position.
14. Vegas Golden Knights (Previous Ranking 12)
The Vegas Golden Knights are three points back of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Every point matters to this team as they are at a disadvantage with no games in hand. They have a big road trip coming up that starts against the Vancouver Canucks, a team that is chasing them in the standings.
15. Dallas Stars (Previous Ranking 15)
The Stars control their own destiny when it comes to the playoffs. With a game in hand on the rest of the competition, the Stars just need to win out in they are in. However, losses like the one they suffered to New Jersey do them no favours. They have a tough schedule ahead, but the Stars still sit in the driver’s seat.
16. Nashville Predators (Previous Ranking 16)
Nashville is barely holding onto the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference with Dallas breathing down their necks. It is great that Roman Josi is playing as well as he is and could potentially hit 100 points this season as a defenceman. Nashville needs to pick up their play if they have any hope of making a run in the playoffs.
17. Vancouver Canucks (Previous Ranking 20)
The Canucks are still showing signs of life in the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They are six points out with nine games to play. It is a tough ask but winning four in a row helps. But with two wins over Vegas all be it one in overtime, the Canucks still have a chance to make the playoffs.
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18. Los Angeles Kings (Previous Ranking 13)
The Kings are hanging on to third place in the Pacific Division. Vegas is right on their heels for the final spot in the division. Los Angeles has lost three of its past four games and their magical season could go up in smoke, especially with the loss of Drew Doughty on defence.
19. Winnipeg Jets (Previous Ranking 19)
The Jets are battling for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are still hanging on by a thread, two wins in a row on back-to-back nights help the cause. Five points out with eight games left is a tall task, especially with no Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler. However, Kyle Connor continues his tear recording 42 goals.
20. New York Islanders (Previous Ranking 18)
The New York Islanders gave it a good run this season. Injuries and COVID just caught up with this team not to mention playing so much hockey over the last two seasons. While Ilya Sorokin has been great in between the pipes, the Islanders must address goal scoring in the offseason.
21. Columbus Blue Jackets (Previous Ranking 28)
The Blue Jackets have found themselves on the right side of the ledger this past week. Columbus won two of their three games. Jack Roslovic recorded a hat trick in one of the team’s wins. He along with a bunch of other players are having rough seasons.
22. New Jersey Devils (Previous Ranking 21)
The Devils are showing signs of progress. Even though their goaltending has been a real issue this season, the Devils have got four 20-goal scorers on their roster. This is something they have not had since the 2011-12 season.
23. Ottawa Senators (Previous Ranking 22)
The Senators have good young pieces that are making progress. Josh Norris and Brady Tkachuk are leading the way for Ottawa. Tkachuk leads the team with 56 points with Norris leading the team in goals with 32.
24. Montreal Canadiens (Previous Ranking 25)
Just imagine if the Montreal Canadiens used Cole Caufield the right way at the beginning of the season. Caufield might have won the rookie of the year as he is two goals away from 20 in his rookie season.
25. Buffalo Sabres (Previous Ranking 23)
Just imagine if the Buffalo Sabres could hold on to a lead, they would have some impressive wins over the Panthers and Hurricanes. Despite losing those games, the Sabres are showing they have a good young team going forward.
26. Seattle Kraken (Previous Ranking 24)
The Kraken are going through some growing pains as an expansion team. They are horrible offensively, but they have a chance to have two 20-goal scorers Jared McCann is one and Jordan Eberle could be two. Just imagine if they drafted other players.
27. Chicago Blackhawks (Previous Ranking 27)
The Chicago Blackhawks have eight games in a row and things are not going to get better any time soon in Chicago. Questions will come up about Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews being with the team come the start of next season.
28. Anaheim Ducks (Previous Ranking 29)
29. Philadelphia Flyers (Previous Ranking 30)
It can be Sunny in Philadelphia that is because Owen Tippett has been great since coming over in the Claude Giroux trade. Now Bobby Brink is entering the fold so the Flyers are getting younger in the right positions.
30. Detroit Red Wings (Previous Ranking 31)
Nice to see Dylan Larkin continue to score goals for the Detroit Red Wings. He currently has 31 goals and is two away from his career mark with 10 games left to play. You know Steve Yzerman will try to re-sign him this summer when he becomes eligible.
31. San Jose Sharks (Previous Ranking 26)
The Sharks are not a good hockey team with one point in their last six games. San Jose has a lot of bad contracts on the books that will not allow them to address their issue of depth scoring. Timo Meier (31), Tomas Hertl (28), and Logan Couture (23) all have over 20 goals. The next highest scorer is Jonathan Dahlen (12), who wants to remain with the Sharks.
32. Arizona Coyotes (Previous Ranking 32)
The Coyotes are back at the bottom of the NHL Power Rankings and it should come as no surprise. They have been outscored 16-3 over their last three games with 10 games to play. That is not good.
That does it for this edition of NHL Power Rankings… Stay Tuned for another edition next week.
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