Welcome back to another edition of NHL Power Rankings here at Full Press Hockey for this season.
The NHL season is winding down as the playoff races are heating up in the Eastern and Western Conferences. Things are becoming clearer in the East while the West is still open. After last week’s NHL Power Rankings, there was some shakeup in the Top 10 with the top three remaining the same. Though the gap is closing between the Boston Bruins and the other teams in the league. It is still the Bruins Stanley Cup to lose, but you can see there will be some contenders. The bottom of the rankings has not changed much either. Some movement, but there is a clear distinction between the good and the bad teams.
Time to dive into the NHL Power Rankings and find out where these teams stand after a couple of weeks off.
NHL Power Rankings
1. Boston Bruins (Previous Ranking 1)
The Boston Bruins are hitting the skids right now with three losses in their past four games, but that does not mean they are not the most complete team. This will be good for them as it allows the coaches to regain and re-establish the room.
2. New Jersey Devils (Previous Ranking 3)
The Devils continue to show this team is for real. The Devils continue to find different ways to win hockey games. And you can argue if they should be ahead of Carolina, but their run over the last 10 games has been better than the Hurricanes. Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, Vitek Vanecek, and Timo Meier are all stepping up. The Devils just need to adjust their game come playoff time.
3. Carolina Hurricanes (Previous Ranking 2)
The Carolina Hurricanes are still in first place in the Metro but they had some tough news with the loss of Andrei Svechnikov. But the one good thing is that Jesperi Kokotkaniemi is stepping up for the Canes with eight points in his last six games.
4. Vegas Golden Knights (Previous Ranking 12)
Vegas is starting to roll as Jonathan Quick is showing why he can still guide a team to a Stanley Cup with wins in four straight games. The Golden Knights are clicking under Bruce Cassidy as they are showing never count them out.
5. Los Angeles Kings (Previous Ranking 6)
The Kings are still hovering in the Pacific Division sitting in second place in the division. The additions of Vladislav Gavrikov and Joonas Korpisalo filled areas of need. Los Angeles is a sleeper team in the West as they are starting to click on all cylinders.
6. Minnesota Wild (Previous Ranking 9)
The Wild are right there in the Central Division. Even with the loss of Kirill Kaprizov, the Wild are performing well. Their additions of John Klingberg and Marcus Johansson have really stepped up. In addition, Matt Boldy has seen a bigger role as the tandem of Filip Gustavsson and Marc-Andre Fleury are playing well.
7. Dallas Stars (Previous Ranking 13)
The Stars continue to hold on to the top spot in the Central as they are starting to play much better. A tough loss in Vancouver for the Stars, but recently they have been clicking in every aspect of their game. Jamie Benn is playing well for the Stars along with their top line.
8. Colorado Avalanche (Previous Ranking 10)
And just like that the Colorado Avalanche are back in playoff contention. Losing Artturi Lehkonen will be a major loss, but he will be back in time for the playoffs. As Nathan MacKinnon said if the Avalance get in, nobody wants to play them and he is right.
9. Edmonton Oilers (Previous Ranking 7)
The Oilers defence got better with the addition of Mattias Ekholm. Goaltending is still an issue for them. But when you have Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl the issue is not scoring it is defending and the Oilers have to do more of that.
10. Toronto Maple Leafs (Previous Ranking 5)
The Maple Leafs have a goaltending issue like the Oilers do. It appears it is Ilya Samsonov‘s net to lose. Toronto made the moves to be successful in the playoffs, but the next key for them is to win a first-round series. Recent struggles show they might be in tough against Tampa Bay.
11. New York Rangers ( Previous Ranking 11)
The Rangers find themselves in a good spot in the Metro Division and the playoff picture. They are starting to click now that all the changes have been made. Patrick Kane now has goals in three in his past four games including his two-point night as a Ranger. Next for the Rangers is to get Ryan Lindgren back.
12. Tampa Bay Lightning (Previous Ranking 8)
We know what this Lightning team is all about. Survive the regular season before the playoffs come in April. They have played a lot of hockey over the past three seasons it can take its toll on the body. This team is not the same, especially on defence. The loss of Ryan McDonagh has been huge, but Andrei Vasilevskiy once he enters the playoffs is a different person. Still can’t count out this team despite struggles.
13. Seattle Kraken (Previous Ranking 4)
The Seattle Kraken are still hanging in there in the Pacific, but they are in a battle now with the Oilers on the charge up the standings. Seattle has to get back to basics. It is still not out of the question they miss, but it is looking pretty good they will make the playoffs this season. However, they need to step up their game.
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14. Pittsburgh Penguins (Previous Ranking 17)
Quietly the Penguins put together a 7-2-1 stretch over their last 10 games. The big boys of Sidney Crosby, Jake Gueztnel and Evgeni Malkin are stepping up. Teams battling can’t have bad losses, as they did to Montreal, but Pittsburgh is not going away. Goaltending will be the issue if they get in.
15. Nashville Predators (Previous Ranking 20)
The Nashville Predators showed they were in selling mode, but are on the cusp of being in a wild-card position after three straight wins. It is weird to see, but the Predators are just playing an overall good team game with Juuse Saros carrying the load between the pipes.
16. New York Islanders (Previous Ranking 14)
The New York Islanders are showing they can be a tough out. This Western Road Trip through California will be crucial for their season. Still holding on in the wild card race in the East, after back-to-back losses, they picked up a much-needed win to increase their lead.
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17. Winnipeg Jets (Previous Ranking 15)
The Jets find themselves in the wild-card mix. It seems Winnipeg just can’t put a winning streak together. They play well for a couple of games and lose a game they need to get points in. It is going to be a battle with teams pursuing them in the standings. Connor Hellebuyck has to be their best player.
18. Ottawa Senators (Previous Ranking 16)
The Senators are struggling and falling out of the playoff race quickly. The loss of Cam Talbot to injury again has really set this team back. Relying on young goalies this time of year is not helpful as the team has given up 25 goals on their recent West Coast road trip.
19. Calgary Flames (Previous Ranking 18)
Like with the Jets, the Flames are one of those teams that just can’t get to click at the right time. The Flames are right there, but they can’t afford bad losses to Arizona and Anaheim. Every point matters to them at this point. Changes could be coming if they don’t get in.
20. Florida Panthers (Previous Ranking 19)
Consistency matters for the Panthers right now. Sergei Bobrovsky has to be the team’s best player. Bobrovsky has been that, but the rest of the team has to start cooking. Florida is right there, but time is slipping away quickly.
21. Vancouver Canucks (Previous Ranking 26)
How about those Canucks right now. They have won five straight games and playing much better under Rick Tocchet. Thatcher Demko is playing much better along with the penalty kill and defence. The future is bright let’s see if it carries over into the next season.
22. Washington Capitals (Previous Ranking 21)
The Capitals are still battling in the East, but time is starting to slip away. Not having John Carlson on defence has hurt them. Ramus Sandin is playing great for them and is a sneaky piece the Capitals got from Toronto.
23. Buffalo Sabres (Previous Ranking 22)
The return of Alex Tuch did wonders for the Sabres against Toronto. There is a big hill to climb, but not out of reach. Goaltending has to be great down the stretch and Buffalo needs to get every point possible.
24. St. Louis Blues (Previous Ranking 23)
It is all about the future for the Blues. They are looking to see how guys perform down the stretch to see what they have for next season.
25. Detroit Red Wings (Previous Ranking 24)
GM Steve Yzerman knew his team was not ready to make a deep run in the playoffs. He wants them to be competitive when they do get there. But that does not mean they will not be playing hard down the stretch.
26. Philadelphia Flyers (Previous Ranking 25)
Look the Flyers made some changes over the weekend. Chuck Fletcher is out and Daniel Briere is in on an interim basis. Philadelphia will compete hard on the ice, but realistically there is not much Briere can do with so many bad contracts on the books.
27. Montreal Canadiens (Previous Ranking 27)
A change of scenery was the best thing for Denis Gurianov as he has goals in three straight games. He is fitting in nicely for the Canadiens. Montreal is a spunky team. They may not win a lot of games, but they will make sure the good teams earn their wins against them.
28. Anaheim Ducks (Previous Ranking 32)
The young core in Anaheim is playing well led by Trevor Zegras. It will be decision time for GM Pat Verbeek in the summer. Several key RFAs need new contracts. It will be interesting to see what he does.
29. Arizona Coyotes (Previous Ranking 30)
Despite the Coyotes playing in Mullet Arena, Arizona has been good on home ice. They have gone 4-0-2 in their last six games. That is good for a team that is in the Bedard sweepstakes. Who says playing in a small venue is a disadvantage? Arizona is making it work.
30. Columbus Blue Jackets (Previous Ranking 29)
Finally, Johnny Gaudreau had a breakout night for the Blue Jackets. Columbus is a bad team and could be in last, but right now they are the best of the bunch. Let’s see where they go with no Elvis Merzlikins in the lineup.
31. Chicago Blackhawks (Previous Ranking 31)
Even with no Patrick Kane, Max Domi, and Jonathan Toews, this group is working hard and have beaten teams near the top of the standings and hurt teams in playoff races.
32. San Jose Sharks (Previous Ranking 28)
It is great what Erik Karlsson is doing. Karlsson is closing in on a 100-point season for a defenceman. There was promise in San Jose early, but you can see this team is not ready to compete just yet.
That does it for this edition of NHL Power Rankings… Stay Tuned more another edition of NHL Power Rankings next week.
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