Welcome back to another edition of NHL Power Rankings here at Full Press Hockey.
The NHL’s regular season is coming to an end with only two weeks left. That means the second season will begin with 16 teams vying for the Stanley Cup. The Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche continue to dominate the NHL Power Rankings. That should come as no surprise as they are the two best teams in the NHL right now. However, teams like the Calgary Flames, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues are making cases to be near the top as well. The Blues are back into the Top 10 of the NHL Power Rankings this wee and you will be surprised where they land. There are other changes as well inside the Top 10 of the NHL Power Rankings. Plus this week and next we get closer to seeing who the 16 best teams are.
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 continue to cruise having won 11 straight games. This week the Panthers did not need any dramatic come-from-behind victories to keep that winning streak going. What we need to be doing is putting more respect on the now Jonathan Huberdeau and what he is doing this season.
2. Colorado Avalanche (Previous Ranking 2)
The Avalanche’s nine-game winning streak just came to an end on Monday night, but this team definitely looks like they can put the tough defeats from playoffs past in the rearview mirror. Cale Makar continues to play excellent hockey. He is one of, if not, the best defenceman in the game right now.
3. Calgary Flames (Previous Ranking 3)
Then there are the Flames, who clinched a playoff spot and only are only a few points away from clinching the Pacific Division. There was a lot of pressure on this team to perform this season. However, it appears instead of this core breaking up, Flames management is looking to keep them together.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs (Previous Ranking 4)
The Maple Leafs are definitely playing better than they did weeks ago, but there are still question marks surrounding their goaltending. One thing is for sure Mark Giordano has brought a calmness to this defence that had been missing.
5. New York Rangers (Previous Ranking 5)
Who would have thought the New York Rangers would be challenging for the number one seed in the Metro Division. The Rangers are right there. Their new additions have fit in perfectly into this lineup and even Alexandar Georgiev has raised his level to give Igor Shesterkin nights off.
6. St. Louis Blues (Previous Ranking 11)
The St. Louis Blues are back inside the Top 10. They just missed the Top 5 and there is an argument to be made they can be five. So much for that Vladimir Tarasenko trade. He was just named the first star of the week by the NHL. St. Louis has won nine of their past 10 games and has not lost a game in regulation since March 26th.
7. Minnesota Wild (Previous Ranking 7)
How about those Minnesota Wild? Not only do they have Kirill Kaprizov setting franchise records with 43 goals, but Matt Boldy as well. In back-to-back years, the Wild have hit the jackpot with rookies in their lineup.
8. Edmonton Oilers (Previous Ranking 10)
Moving up two spots are the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers are playing some good hockey lately because it is not just a two-man show anymore. We know Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl can dominate games, but the entire team has stepped up their game including goaltender Mike Smith.
9. Washington Capitals (Previous Ranking 12)
Weeks ago we said the Capitals did not have a chance to make it out of the first round of the playoffs being the 8th place team in the East. They looked like the weakest team in the East. Now they are catching Pittsburgh for 3rd in the Metro Division. Washington is getting goaltending from Vitek Vanecek. That has to continue for the Capitals to make a deep run.
10. Tampa Bay Lighting (Previous Ranking 8)
The Lightning continue to look average as they battle Toronto for home ice in the first round of the playoffs. This team does look tired from all the hockey they have played, but the Lightning are still the champs and you can’t count them out once the playoffs start.
11. Carolina Hurricanes (Previous Ranking 9)
The Hurricanes are battling it out with the Rangers over the top spot in the Metro division. Rod Brind’Amour‘s team has looked average at best over this last little while. However, injuries to Frederik Andersen and Jordan Staal could play a major role in how this team does in the postseason.
12. Boston Bruins (Previous Ranking 6)
The Bruins have cooled down a bit after their recent offensive outburst. Boston finally ended their losing streak, but they see Washington coming up behind them. It does not help when David Pastrnak and Hampus Lindholm are not in the lineup.
13. Vancouver Canucks (Previous Ranking 17)
The Canucks playoff hopes are still alive with wins in six of their past seven games. Bruce Boudreau was brought in to turn this team around and he has. Elias Pettersson is a new player under Boudreau with 20 points in his last 12 games. and that bods well for the Canucks and their playoff chances.
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14. Pittsburgh Penguins (Previous Ranking 13)
The Penguins are struggling and this is not the time to do it. Not having number one goalie Tristan Jarry in between the pipes definitely hurts this team. It is on Casey DeSmith to get the job done. It does not help with Evgeni Malkin out of the lineup as the chemistry on the second line is not there.
15. Dallas Stars (Previous Ranking 15)
The Stars control their own destiny when it comes to the playoffs. However, the Stars have had some bad losses over this recent stretch as they have not been able to secure a playoff spot just yet with Vegas and Vancouver right behind them.
16. Nashville Predators (Previous Ranking 16)
Nashville continues to play sub .500 hockey down the stretch. That is no way to clinch a playoff spot and it does not get any easier with the schedule they have coming up. Nashville has to play better if they want to make the playoffs. There is talent on this team, but nothing that scares top teams once the playoffs begin.
17. Los Angeles Kings (Previous Ranking 18)
The Kings are hanging on to third place in the Pacific Division. Los Angeles is the only team currently in the playoff picture with a negative goal differential. That is not good when it comes to the playoffs. While they have the easiest strength of schedule down the stretch, that does not mean anything. Teams outside of the playoffs are giving teams inside the playoffs a run for their money to end the regular season.
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18. Vegas Golden Knights (Previous Ranking 14)
With five games left, the Vegas Golden Knights are four points out of the final wild-card spot and three points behind the Kings for third in the Pacific. Something is missing from this team this year. The ora of their first year is gone. Three losses in their past four games have not helped their chances. Something has to change quickly for this team to make the playoffs.
19. Winnipeg Jets (Previous Ranking 19)
The Jets are pretty much out of the playoff race in the Western Conference. 10 points out with six games to play just about will do it. This was a great run for the Jets, but it was a little too late for this hockey club.
20. New York Islanders (Previous Ranking 20)
The New York Islanders gave it a good run but fell short of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. This team has played a lot of hockey this past two seasons going to two straight Semifinal appearances. Lots of factors went into this team not making the playoffs this year. But now it is time to regroup for next year and get younger.
21. Columbus Blue Jackets (Previous Ranking 21)
The Blue Jackets are hobbling down the stretch with three wins in their last 11 games. You know it is bad for Blue Jackets fans when they are looking forward to Ohio State starting up in September.
22. New Jersey Devils (Previous Ranking 22)
The Devils are showing signs of progress. On their final big road trip of the season, the Devils got points in four of five games with a record of 3-2. Not bad for a team missing Jack Hughes. The developmental system is working as Fabian Zetterlund and Jesper Boqvist have really taken strides and fit in with the Devils this year.
23. Ottawa Senators (Previous Ranking 23)
The Senators have good young pieces that are making progress. Ottawa is putting together a nice foundation led by Brady Tkachuk. Tkachuk along with Tim Stutzle are having career seasons. Look out for this team going forward.
24. Montreal Canadiens (Previous Ranking 24)
It is nice to see Carey Price back between the pipes for the Montreal Canadiens. Though the result was not there, Montreal is playing much better. It will be an interesting off-season for sure.
25. Buffalo Sabres (Previous Ranking 25)
Like a lot of the teams near the bottom of the power rankings, the Buffalo Sabres have got nice foundational pieces in Ramus Dahlin and Owen Power on defence. Let’s see if they can improve their goaltending for next year.
26. Seattle Kraken (Previous Ranking 26)
The Kraken are going through some growing pains as an expansion team. This offseason will be a big one for this franchise with a ton of cap space and lots of draft picks. We know the GM is conservative in his approach, but he might have to be aggressive this offseason in order to improve this team.
27. Chicago Blackhawks (Previous Ranking 27)
28. Anaheim Ducks (Previous Ranking 28)
It is an end of an era in Anaheim when Ryan Getzlaf suits up one more time at home. He had some nice moments along the way. A shame this team could not keep the momentum they had going at the beginning of the season. The Ducks were right there too.
29. Philadelphia Flyers (Previous Ranking 29)
The bright spots in Philadelphia are the play of Bobby Brink and Owen Tippett. Brink has two assists in four games, and Tippett looks comfortable in a Flyers uniform. Those are some nice foundational pieces to have.
30. Detroit Red Wings (Previous Ranking 30)
With Dylan Larkin lost for the remainder of the season, the Red Wings have really fallen off after their hot start. Something has to change for Steve Yzerman‘s club next season. They want to take the next step, but the next step for them is just barely missing the playoffs, not falling flat in the final weeks of the season.
31. San Jose Sharks (Previous Ranking 31)
The Sharks finally won a hockey game. It was their first win since March 26th. They had lost four games in overtime. San Jose has come up short so many times.
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. Arizona has lost 10-games in a row. Just more pain in the desert before this team moves to a new arena.
That does it for this edition of NHL Power Rankings… Stay Tuned for another edition next week.
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