Welcome back to another edition of NHL Power Rankings here at Full Press Hockey for this season.
The NHL’s regular season is passed the quarter mark of the season and everyone is looking at the standings to see where teams stand. Those teams at the top of the standings should not be surprises any longer. These teams are mainstays and are not going anywhere anytime soon. While the level of play may dip slightly, they have banked enough points in case of a skid to remain in playoff contention.
On the other side of the ledger, we already know what teams are already out of the playoffs and looking toward next year. You never want to be in that category. Then there are the teams in the middle who are trying to climb back into playoff contention but have to find the consistency to do so.
Time to dive into the NHL Power Rankings and find out where these teams stand after a week off.
NHL Power Rankings
1. New Jersey Devils (Previous Ranking 1)
The Devils remain red-hot no pun intended. Again they hold the top spot in this week’s NHL Power Rankings, but barely. New Jersey has such great bounce ability, especially after a loss. That is one thing that is different this year. The Devils do not let losses linger.
2. Boston Bruins (Previous Ranking 2)
The Boston Bruins are the most complete team in the NHL right now. Top to bottom there is not one weakness in their lineup. Good on Jim Montgomery for getting the most out of his players. Their depth scoring, behind their top line, which was an issue is no longer an issue. Yes, their 14-game home winning streak came to an end, but they look like the best team in the East.
3. Vegas Golden Knights (Previous Ranking 3)
A lot of the success this season the Golden Knights are having is because of new coach Bruce Cassidy. They are playing really well as a unit. Another key has been their goaltending. Maybe people should have realized Logan Thompson was this good last spring when the Golden Knights just missed the playoffs.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs (Previous Ranking 10)
All is right in Toronto. But fans are not playing the parade just yet. Cautious optimism about the Maple Leafs who are playing much better. Mitch Marner’s franchise-record 20-game point streak is something to celebrate. And with Auston Matthews hitting the back of the net, the offence is cooking. Not to mention defensively the Leafs are playing some of their best right now.
5. Winnipeg Jets (Previous Ranking 8)
Connor Hellebuyck is looking strong between the pipes for the Winning Jets. Josh Morrissey is a legit number one defenceman in the league. As the best players for the Jets continue to be their best players. There has always been potential in Winnipeg now it is coming together. They just needed a new voice.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning (Previous Ranking 5)
The Lightning remain in the Wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. But for Tampa Bay, it is all about the postseason. This team has played a lot of hockey, but as always they are right there. Head coach Jon Cooper definitely wants more consistency from his team.
7. Carolina Hurricanes (Previous Ranking 9)
The Hurricanes continue to march along to the beat of their own drum. While they are favourites to win a Stanley Cup, they always fly under the radar. Especially the way certain teams are performing in the Metro. Carolina is getting quality goaltending scoring. Those things win hockey games along with defence.
8. Seattle Kraken (Previous Ranking 6)
The Kraken have come back to Earth a little bit with two straight losses. But the conditioning stint for Shane Wright helped him find confidence. Hopefully, he will be a more consistent player in the lineup the Kraken. Great story about scoring his first NHL goal against Montreal, the team that was supposed to have drafted him first overall.
9. New York Islanders (Previous Ranking 7)
The Islanders have back to Earth with losses in three of their past four games. Yes they have great goaltending and defence, but man they could use a finisher to go along with Mathew Barzal.
10. Dallas Stars (Previous Ranking 10)
The Stars have lost two of their last three games picking up three points. Jason Robertson‘s 18-game point streak came to an end. However, the effort from Dallas is there. More consistency and depth scoring was all they needed. Dallas couldn’t be a one-line team anymore.
11. Pittsburgh Penguins (Previous Ranking 14)
Just when you think you have counted out the Penguins, here they come again. Winners of three straight games and doing it without Kris Letang. All the best to Letang in his health better. Sidney Crosby continues to show why he is one of the best players in the NHL.
12. Calgary Flames (Previous Ranking 15)
Flames are starting to turn things around. Jonathan Huberdeau is looking like his old self. Nazem Kadri has fit perfectly into this lineup. However, there is a goalie controversy in Calgary as Dan Vladar has taken over the starting job from Jacob Markstrom. Come playoff time, the Flames need Markstrom, that is if they get there.
13. Minnesota Wild (Previous Ranking 20)
Just when you think you have solved teams in this league, they flipped the script. Like the Minnesota Wild. Winners of four straight games, the Wild are back in the picture for wild card contention. Behind the great play of Kirill Kaprizov and Marc-Andre Fleury.
14. Los Angeles Kings (Previous Ranking 12)
The Kings should definitely be better than their record indicates. Gabriel Vilardi, Anze Kopitar and Kevin Fiala have done their part offensively. However, consistency in their defence and goaltending is concerning.
15. Colorado Avalanche (Previous Ranking 11)
Are the Avalanche really in danger of missing the playoffs? Don’t think so, but the injury bug has hit this team hard with several top players out of the lineup for long stretches. They will need to survive in order to keep up with the teams at the top of the division.
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16. Nashville Predators (Previous Ranking 19)
Funny how a three-game winning streak will turn things around for a team. In a competitive Central Division, the Predators have clawed their way back into the conversation. Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg, and Matt Duchene are leading the charge up the standings.
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17. New York Rangers ( Previous Ranking 17)
Was Monday night’s win a rallying point for the Rangers season? Possibly. Something has to change in NY for them to find success. Right on the cusp of the playoffs, the Rangers have to find that right balance to go on a tear. There is time. No need to panic just yet.
18. Edmonton Oilers (Previous Ranking 13)
Edmonton offensively is fine with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, as the dynamic duo continues to power the Oilers. However, like in Calgary, the Oilers have issues defensively and with their goaltending. Stuart Skinner is not really the answer. Is He? Edmonton needs Jack Campbell to play better but that system has never been helpful to goalies.
19. Florida Panthers (Previous Ranking 16)
Florida is one of those teams trying to find their game again. After last year’s domination, it is good for them to come back to Earth and find ways to win hockey games. Matthew Tkachuk has been excellent, but like Colorado, injuries are catching up with this team.
20. St. Louis Blues (Previous Ranking 18)
The Blues are such a strange team. They are so hard to figure out. Too many inconsistencies in their game. Not to mention the second and third periods have not been kind to the Blues. Too many periods of giving up three or more goals has really hurt this team.
21. Detroit Red Wings (Previous Ranking 23)
Detroit is right in the thick of things when it comes to the playoffs again this season. Steve Yzerman found his goalie in Ville Husso. He has been a big reason why the Red Wings are in the position they are in to start the season. The question is can it last?
22. Montreal Canadiens (Previous Ranking 21)
The Canadiens are a fun team to watch. The dynamic duo of Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki is a thing of beauty. Montreal is in the thick of things. The question will be can they remain in this position later on in the season? But right now playing better than expected.
23. Buffalo Sabres (Previous Ranking 27)
Buffalo is starting to turn things around. They have something going, but it might be too little too late. One thing is for sure Tage Thompson is a star in this league. Remember when he was a throw-in as part of the Ryan O’Reilly trade? It is a win-win for both teams now.
24. Washington Capitals (Previous Ranking 24)
The injury bug has hit the Washington Capitals. This team has to find different ways to win. It is all well and good Alex Ovechkin continues to score goals as he is now 99 goals about from passing number 99.
25. Vancouver Canucks (Previous Ranking 31)
While the Canucks are winning games, the elephant in the room is Brock Boeser. It appears Vancouver is going in a different direction and the trade doors are open. The first piece to fall will be Boeser.
26. Arizona Coyotes (Previous Ranking 28)
The Coyotes are playing respectable hockey on the road. They are hanging in there and playing better than expected. All eyes will be on Jakob Chychrun and whether or not he gets moved.
27. Ottawa Senators (Previous Ranking 28)
The Senators should be better than what their record is especially with the offseason acquisition Pierre Dorin made in the offseason. Ottawa has won two straight and getting goals from their young core. That is who will have to carry them out of the cellar.
28. Chicago Blackhawks (Previous Ranking 27)
It will be a matter of time before the selling starts to happen in Chicago. The Blackhawks got shutout in back-to-back games by the same score and it is not if any more it is when Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews decide to pull the trigger.
29. San Jose Sharks (Previous Ranking 23)
So much for the success the week prior. San Jose lost all three of their games this week. And in regulation to boot. Erik Karlsson is a great story, but it is open season when it comes to the Sharks. But hey at least their retro jerseys look cool.
30. Philadelphia Flyers (Previous Ranking 30)
The one thing about the Flyers is they will never quit under John Tortorella. Wins may be hard to come by this year in Philadelphia, but hard work won’t be. Those in Philly will be in for a long season.
31. Columbus Blue Jackets (Previous Ranking 31)
It doesn’t matter who is in the net for the Blue Jackets, this team can’t consistently stop the puck. The Blue Jackets should have been this season, but they remain the biggest disappointment of the season.
32. Anaheim Ducks (Previous Ranking 32)
The Ducks are a bad team. In fact, they are the worst team in the NHL right now. There is no way of sugarcoating it. It is a long year in Anaheim. While it will be fun to watch the highlights and they will get their fair share of wins, this team is not very good.
That does it for this edition of NHL Power Rankings… Stay Tuned more another edition of NHL Power Rankings next week.
The post NHL Power Rankings: Devils Holding Onto The Top Spot appeared first on Full Press Hockey.
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