NHL Power Rankings: Blackhawks playoff streak in jeopardy
NHL Power Rankings: Week 19
The Blackhawks have lost five in a row and are in serious jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08.
31. Arizona Coyotes (13-32-10, 36 points)
The Coyotes overcame a 3-0 deficit to Minnesota on Thursday and won 4-3 in overtime for their most memorable victory of the season. Had to be a good feeling in an otherwise trying year, again.
(Last week: 31)
30. Buffalo Sabres (16-30-10, 42 points)
Jack Eichel will miss the next 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain, essentially sticking a fork in the Sabres this season.
(Last week: 30)
29. Ottawa Senators (19-26-9, 47 points)
The more I look at the Senators roster, the more trade pieces I see. They could spearhead an epic rebuild if they really wanted to.
(Last week: 29)
28. Vancouver Canucks (22-28-6, 50 points)
Jacob Markstrom was very critical of the team and some of his teammates in a radio interview with TSN 1040 Vancouver after Friday's 4-1 loss to Carolina, saying: "I'm not good enough, and we got a lot of guys on our team that's not good enough either to be in the league. It's embarrassing."
The Canucks responded with a 6-0 win over Dallas on Sunday behind a 30-save performance from Markstrom.
(Last week: 27)
27. Montreal Canadiens (22-26-7, 51 points)
Max Pacioretty is Montreal's leading scorer with ... 33 points.
(Last week: 28)
26. Edmonton Oilers (23-27-4, 50 points)
The Oilers have the fifth-best odds (8.5 percent) at landing the No. 1 overall pick. Can you imagine the reaction from the hockey community if they got it again?
(Last week: 24)
25. Detroit Red Wings (22-23-9, 53 points)
The Red Wings were on the losing end of what is probably the game of the year, squandering a 5-2 lead with less than six minutes to go in the third period against the Islanders on Friday and falling 7-6 in overtime.
(Last week: 25)
24. Florida Panthers (23-23-6, 52 points)
The Panthers have given up the fourth-fewest scoring chances at 5-on-5 this season with 1,114. The problem is, they don't generate a lot, rankings 28th in scoring chances for with 1,071.
(Last week: 26)
23. Chicago Blackhawks (24-23-8, 56 points)
The Blackhawks have reached a point where their draft lottery odds (5.4 percent) have exceeded their playoff chances (2.5 percent). All signs point to their nine-year postseason streak coming to an end.
(Last week: 21)
22. New York Rangers (27-24-5, 59 points)
Rick Nash and Michael Grabner are expected to be traded before the Feb. 26 deadline, but it will be interesting to see whether Ryan McDonagh and/or Mats Zuccarello moves as well.
(Last week: 23)
21. New York Islanders (27-24-6, 60 points)
The Islanders rallied from 5-2 down with 5:26 left in the third period to score four consecutive power-play goals and eventually win 7-6 in overtime against Detroit in arguably the game of the year in the NHL. Mathew Barzal recorded his third career five-point game, becoming the second rookie in league history to do that and first since Joe Malone (Montreal) in 1917-18. Incredible.
(Last week: 20)
20. Columbus Blue Jackets (28-23-4, 60 points)
Since Dec. 11, the Blue Jackets penalty kill percentage has been a league-worst 63.1 percent. The next worst is Detroit at 70.1 percent. Pretty large gap.
(Last week: 18)
19. New Jersey Devils (27-20-8, 62 points)
The Devils have had a league-most 62 power-play opportunities since Jan. 1, but they've been able to capitalize on only 11 of those for a 17.7 percent success rate, which ranks 22nd over that span.
(Last week: 14)
18. Carolina Hurricanes (26-21-9, 61 points):
Since going seven straight games without a goal, Sebastian Aho has 13 goals in his last 18 games, including three in his last five.
(Last week: 22)
17. Philadelphia Flyers (28-19-9, 65 points)
After going pointless in his previous four games, Shayne Gostisbehere has nine points (one goal, eight assists) in his past six games. He also leads all defensemen in power-play points (23).
(Last week: 19)
16. Anaheim Ducks (27-19-11, 65 points)
The Ducks now lead the league in overtime/shootout losses. Turn half of those into wins and they'd be in second place in their division. That's how valuable every point is.
(Last week: 17)
15. Calgary Flames (28-19-8, 64 points)
Sean Monahan has scored the game-winning goal for the Flames in three consecutive wins. He's already up to 10 on the year, which leads the league. The NHL record is 16, set by Michel Goulet in 1983-84 and Phil Esposito twice in 1970-71 and 1971-72.
(Last week: 16)
14. Colorado Avalanche (30-21-4, 64 points)
The Avalanche are 3-5-1 since winning 10 in a row, and have fallen two points out of a playoff spot with three teams to jump. Nathan MacKinnon can't come back fast enough.
(Last week: 12)
13. Minnesota Wild (30-19-6, 66 points)
Devan Dubnyk turned aside all 44 shots he faced in a 3-0 win over Chicago for his fourth shutout of the season to help the Wild extend their franchise-record home point streak to 12 games (9-0-3). He's one shutout away from earning at least five shutouts in four straight seasons.
(Last week: 15)
12. Los Angeles Kings (30-20-5, 65 points)
Dustin Brown has already surpassed his point total from last year (36), and did so in 27 fewer games. Now if only he can avoid those Department of Player Safety meetings.
(Last week: 11)
11. San Jose Sharks (30-18-8, 68 points)
Joe Pavelski scored a pair of goals in back-to-back games for the Sharks last week. He had scored only two goals in his previous 18 games before that.
(Last week: 9)
10. Pittsburgh Penguins (31-22-4, 66 points)
Matt Murray is 4-0-1 with a .918 save percentage in five starts since returning to the lineup. Good to see him back between the pipes for a Pittsburgh team that is 12-4-1 since the calendar flipped to 2018.
(Last week: 13)
9. St. Louis Blues (34-21-3, 71 points)
Only one team has scored fewer goals (35) in the first period than the Blues and that's the Sabres (27). And that's not a team you want to be near this season.
(Last week: 8)
8. Toronto Maple Leafs (33-19-5, 71 points)
No goaltender has more wins this season when recording 40 or more saves than Frederik Andersen, who has five of them. Dark horse Vezina Trophy candidate?
(Last week: 10)
7. Dallas Stars (33-20-4, 70 points)
The Stars ripped off five straight wins before suffering a 6-0 loss to Vancouver on Sunday. Good luck to whoever has to face them in the first round of the playoffs if they get in.
(Last week: 7)
6. Washington Capitals (32-17-6, 70 points)
The Capitals are 3-2-1 in their last six games despite being outshot in each of them. It's good to have Braden Holtby back there.
(Last week: 6)
5. Winnipeg Jets (32-15-9, 73 points)
The Jets had only two regulation losses in Mark Scheifele's absence, going 11-2-3 over that span. He returned over the weekend and they lost back-to-back games in regulation. Alrighty then.
(Last week: 5)
4. Nashville Predators (33-12-9, 75 points)
Pekka Rinne is 9-0-1 with a 1.85 goals against average, .937 save percentage and two shutouts in his past 10 starts. Decent.
(Last week: 4)
3. Boston Bruins (34-12-8, 76 points)
The Bruins killed off all seven penalties in a 5-3 win over New Jersey on Sunday for their fifth victory in six games since having their 18-game point streak snapped. They are 28-5-4 since Nov. 16. We're way past the point of this being a "hot run." This is who they are and how good they are.
(Last week: 3)
2. Vegas Golden Knights (36-15-4, 76 points)
The Golden Knights went 4-2-0 on their six-game road trip, and kicked off a seven-game homestand on Sunday. They are are 19-4-2 at home compared to 17-11-2 on the road.
(Last week: 2)
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (38-14-3, 79 points)
Andrei Vasilevskiy made arguably the save of the year with this behind-the-back robbery on Anze Kopitar. Oh yeah, and he also recorded a season-high 44 saves to help the Lightning improve to 7-2-0 in their past nine games.
(Last week: 1)