NHL Power Rankings: Flyers' nine-game run boosts them to the top 10
NHL Power Rankings: Flyers' nine-game run boosts them to the top 10
Watch out for that Metro Division.
Although a couple of the winning streaks have ended this week, five Metro Division teams (Rangers, Flyers, Capitals, Penguins and Blue Jackets) entered Tuesday night having won a combined 28 games in a row, and appear to be making a statement that there will only be three Atlantic Division teams in the playoff field this spring.
The biggest movers are the Flyers with a whopping nine game winning streak that’s catapulted them into the middle of the playoffs standings, and a six game win streak for the Penguins that has pushed Pittsburgh right to the top of the division. The Blue Jackets also continue to defy the odds and the fancy stats critics with a seven game winning streak that has also put them into the playoff conversation with the holiday roster freeze coming up within the next week.
So while the Rangers have dropped out of the winning streak brigade, Columbus, Philadelphia, Washington and Pittsburgh are still going strong with the winning streaks that have also seen them infiltrate the top-10 of the NHL power rankings this week. It really doesn’t feel like many of those teams are going downward once the dust settles on the win streaks, but time will tell as it always does.
Without further ado here are this week’s power rankings:
1. Pittsburgh Penguins (19-7-3, previous ranking: 1)
The Penguins have won six in a row, Sidney Crosby leads the NHL with 21 goals scored and pretty much “Everything is Awesome” in Pittsburgh right now.
2. Montreal Canadiens (19-6-4, previous ranking: 3)
While the Habs continue to be up near the top of the NHL, they can certainly improve on the 5-5-2 record on the road this season. Credit where it’s due: they’re doing okay without Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais thus far.
3. Chicago Blackhawks (19-8-4, previous ranking: 2)
The Blackhawks have won a couple of games in a row and are at the top of the Central Division, but it feels like they should be better than 14th in the NHL in offense doesn’t it?
4. Columbus Blue Jackets (18-5-4, previous ranking: 4)
It seems that the fancy stats crowd is finally starting to make peace with the Blue Jackets after two months of disproving their knee-jerk judgments based on a couple of statistical trends. So thank goodness for that, and the ultimate statistic (wins) that disproves everything else while riding a seven game winning streak.
5. New York Rangers (20-10-1, previous ranking: 6)
Antti Raanta is getting some play with four starts in a row between the pipes as Henrik Lundqvist isn’t quite to kingly right now for the Blueshirts.
6. Washington Capitals (18-7-3, previous ranking: 9)
The Capitals keep on rolling along, but they’ve got a lot of company in the suddenly excellent Metro Division. The feeling is that Washington is just cruising through the regular season toward bigger and better things.
7. Philadelphia Flyers (18-10-3, previous rank: 11)
Jakub Voracek gets the No. 1 Star of the Week and the Flyers have won nine games in a row. Things are looking up on Broad Street for a team reliant on offense and power play scoring.
8. Anaheim Ducks (15-10-5, previous ranking: 15)
The Ducks had a bit of a hot streak with three wins in a row before their loss to Dallas, and have taken temporary ownership of first place in the Pacific Division. Ryan Kesler leading the team in goals is a bit of a surprise at this point.
9. St. Louis Blues (16-10-4, previous ranking: 5)
The Blues are 9-4-1 in their last 14 games, and getting yeoman’s work out of Vladimir Tarasenko and Jake Allen right now. That’s enough to get them close to top billing in the Central Division.
10. Minnesota Wild (16-8-4, previous ranking: 14)
Devan Dubnyk is riding a five game winning streak where he’s allowed only seven goals, and the Wild have continued to keep pace while going through a less compacted portion of their schedule. Dubnyk hasn’t allowed more than three goals in a game this season, so that’s pretty good.
11. Calgary Flames (16-13-2, previous ranking: 20)
Calgary is in the middle of a six game winning streak that’s pushed them toward the top of the Pacific Division, and few have been hotter than Johnny Gaudreau since his “Johnny Hockey” was officially approved for trademark rights.
12. Edmonton Oilers (15-12-5, previous ranking: 12)
The Oilers snapped a four game losing streak with a big win over the Winnipeg Jets, but it’s a credit to Edmonton that the Oil took a point in three of those four defeats. Then they hit another wall with a loss to the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
13. Boston Bruins (16-12-2, previous ranking: 7)
The Bruins played one of their best games of the season in taking a 2-1 overtime win against the Habs in Montreal, but they’re in the middle of a grueling part of their schedule right now.
14. San Jose Sharks (17-11-1, previous ranking: 10)
Twelve goals and 25 points in 28 games for Brent Burns along with 24:11 of ice time per night. That dude is a beast, and he deserves all these accolades as the NHL’s closest thing to Chewbacca with Rogue One coming out this weekend.
15. Ottawa Senators (16-11-2, previous ranking: 8)
The Sens have lost three of four games, and given up 19 goals in those four games while slipping quite a bit defensively. If Guy Boucher were the Bond villain that he looks like he is, this would be the time when a henchman gets offed for the group’s insolence.
16. Los Angeles Kings (14-12-2, previous ranking: 18)
The Kings are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, and continue to successfully battle through injures to their goalies, and through an offensive power outage from Anze Kopitar as well.
17. New Jersey Devils (12-10-6, previous ranking: 13)
The Devils are in the middle of a three-game losing streak where they’ve been outscored by a 14-3 margin, so saying they’re not playing very good hockey right now would be accurate.
18. Florida Panthers (13-13-4, previous ranking: 22)
The Panthers are 2-3-3 since firing Gerard Gallant, and got drop-kicked by the Minnesota Wild to the tune of a 5-1 final score on Tuesday night. It doesn’t feel like things are any different with them now than prior to axing the head coach, does it?
19. Detroit Red Wings (13-13-4, previous ranking: 19)
The Red Wings feel like a team stuck in the middle. They’re not good enough to be truly dangerous, and not close to bad enough to sink down and get the difference-making players they really need to reset things.
20. Tampa Bay Lightning (14-13-2, previous ranking: 16)
The Lightning have lost three games in a row and continue to flounder without Steven Stamkos. The Bolts are 1-6-1 in their last eight games, but one has to wonder when they’ll start to turn it on a little bit. They’re far too talented not to.
21. Nashville Predators (13-11-4, previous ranking: 17)
The Predators aren’t great, and they’re not terrible. But they might not be good enough to cause a ripple in the Central Division despite Pekka Rinne and a still pretty decent D-men corps.
22. Winnipeg Jets (13-16-3, previous ranking: 21)
Patrik Laine is such a scoring machine that he’s even a danger to fire in a puck or two into his own net. Boy, was that a rough moment for the brilliant rookie.
23. Carolina Hurricanes (12-11-6, previous ranking: 23)
The Hurricanes have the best penalty kill in the NHL that’s killing 92.1 percent of the power plays that they come up against. So they have that going for them, which is nice.
24. Buffalo Sabres (11-11-6, previous ranking: 24)
Jack Eichel erupted for a couple of goals in a six-goal outburst for the Sabres against the Kings, and showed the kind of offense that Buffalo needs a great deal more of. The Sabres are too talented to be dead-last in the NHL in goals scored.
25. Toronto Maple Leafs (11-11-6, previous ranking: 27)
A big win over the Bruins last weekend was a nice little boost for the young group, but the Maple Leafs are going to have to grind, and probably find a defenseman along the way, if they truly hope to make a move into the playoffs this season.
26. Dallas Stars (12-13-6, previous ranking: 25)
Tyler Seguin leads the Stars in goals (10) and points (29), but so many things other than Seguin’s stat line have gone way wrong for Dallas this season. It’s getting to the point where something needs to wake this team up.
27. Vancouver Canucks (12-16-2, previous ranking: 26)
Giving up eight goals to the Carolina Hurricanes is some kind of impressive bad. It feels like the Canucks are slowly sinking to the bottom of the barrel in the Western Conference.
28. New York Islanders (11-12-5, previous ranking: 28)
Two steps forward and two steps back for the Isles, who dropped back-to-back games against Columbus and Washington with the Blackhawks on tap next for them. At least John Tavares is playing well and scoring because there isn’t much else happening right now for them.
29. Arizona Coyotes (10-14-5, previous ranking: 29)
The Coyotes suffered a big loss with Max Domi succumbing to surgery, and have some urging their young GM to start selling off parts for a hockey club that doesn’t have much hope this season.
30. Colorado Avalanche (11-15-1, previous ranking: 30)
Three wins in their last 10 games for the Avalanche, who got absolutely pounded in Montreal with Jarome Iginla taking a big hit from Alexei Emelin late in the game that added insult to scoreboard injury. If Iginla wanted to add a Stanley Cup to his great NHL career then it would appear that Colorado wasn’t the best place for him to sign when he exited Boston.