NHL Power Rankings: Predators going for it all
NHL Power Rankings: Week 18
The Predators are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, and recently "acquired" former captain Mike Fisher, who's coming out of retirement for one more shot at a Stanley Cup.
31. Arizona Coyotes (12-31-9, 33 points)
The Coyotes have lost three straight, and have been outscored 12-2 over that span. This coming right after they scored a combined eight goals in back-to-back wins. They're also 13-for-20 (65 percent) on the penalty kill in their last eight games. Not great.
(Last week: 31)
30. Buffalo Sabres (14-29-9, 37 points)
That didn't last long. After putting together three straight wins, the Sabres have lost three in a row and were shut out for the fifth time this season in Saturday's 1-0 loss to St. Louis.
(Last week: 29)
29. Ottawa Senators (17-25-9, 43 points)
Mike Hoffman has had a great start to February. He has one goal and three assists in three games, two of which have resulted in wins. He'll certainly be a hot trade piece as the deadline approaches.
(Last week: 30)
28. Montreal Canadiens (22-25-6, 50 points)
The Canadiens are 5-for-10 on the power play in their last two games, and haven't gone more than two games without scoring at least one in nearly two months. Their power play percentage is up to 21.6, good for seventh in the league, yet the team is ranked 26th in overall goals per game (2.58). Weird.
(Last week: 26)
27. Vancouver Canucks (21-25-6, 48 points)
Brock Boeser needs 11 more goals to reach 40 for the season. No rookie has done that since Alex Ovechkin potted 52 in 2005-06. Will Boeser join him?
(Last week: 27)
26. Florida Panthers (22-22-6, 50 points)
Jonathan Huberdeau has registered at least a point in 14 of his last 16 games after going pointless in his previous four. He scored the game winner with 7.7 seconds left on Saturday in a 3-2 victory over Detroit to help the Panthers win their three consecutive contest.
(Last week: 28)
25. Detroit Red Wings (21-22-8, 50 points)
Jimmy Howard has allowed at least three goals in each of his last four starts — all losses — and hasn't seen the net since being yanked against Chicago. Petr Mrazek has gotten the last three starts and has two wins and a .951 save percentage over that stretch.
(Last week: 25)
24. Edmonton Oilers (22-24-4, 48 points)
The Oilers have fallen to 31st in power play percentage (14.2) and haven't scored with the man advantage in 17 straight tries. How is that possible for a team with Connor McDavid on it?
(Last week: 24)
23. New York Rangers (25-22-5, 55 points)
Henrik Lundqvist told Larry Brooks of the New York Post in an exclusive interview that he wants to stick with the Rangers even if they go through a rebuild. Was surprised by those comments from a 35-year-old goaltender clearly on the back nine of his Hall of Fame career and still without a Stanley Cup.
(Last week: 20)
22. Carolina Hurricanes (24-21-8, 56 points)
Since the calendar flipped to 2018, the Hurricanes are second in the league with a 30.2 percent success rate on the power play.
(Last week: 23)
21. Chicago Blackhawks (24-20-8, 56 points)
The Blackhawks picked up a huge win over Nashville right out of the All-Star break, but followed those up with back-to-back losses to Vancouver and Calgary (overtime) despite scoring first in each of those games. The inconsistency issues continue.
(Last week: 22)
20. New York Islanders (26-22-5, 57 points)
The Islanders are allowing an average of 40.9 shots on goal per game over their last 19 contests. That's absurd.
(Last week: 21)
19. Philadelphia Flyers (24-19-9, 57 points)
Travis Konecny is averaging a point-per-game in his last 16 contests, recording seven goals and nine assists over that stretch. He had just four points (two goals, two assists) in his previous 25 games.
(Last week: 18)
18. Columbus Blue Jackets (27-21-4, 58 points)
The Blue Jackets goal differential has slipped to minus-10, which is the worst among any of the 16 teams sitting in a playoff spot right now.
(Last week: 13)
17. Anaheim Ducks (25-18-10, 60 points)
At what point does John Gibson's injury history become a real concern? He's clearly one of the best young goaltenders in the game, but he's been on the injury report three times this season. Can he be a reliable franchise goaltender health-wise, especially in the playoffs? It's a good thing the Ducks have Ryan Miller as their backup.
(Last week: 17)
16. Calgary Flames (26-18-8, 60 points)
The Flames ended a six-game losing streak (0-2-4) by rallying from 2-0 down to beat the Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime on Saturday. But the home stretch is going to be difficult. Or will it? They will play 13 of the next 17 games, including six straight, on the road, where they are 13-5-5 compared to 13-13-3 at home. Perhaps this is a good thing for them given their success away from Scotiabank Saddledome.
(Last week: 12)
15. Minnesota Wild (28-19-5, 61 points)
The Wild haven't lost back-to-back games in regulation since Dec. 22-23. They're 9-4-2 since then, yet are barely clinging to the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. That's how deep the Central is this season. They've been a solid run but it's still not enough to create some breathing room. Every point is critical.
(Last week: 16)
14. New Jersey Devils (27-16-8, 62 points)
For the first time since coming back from injury, Travis Zajac looked like Travis Zajac. He snapped a nine-game pointless streak by scoring two goals and adding an assist in a 3-1 win over the Penguins for their third straight victory.
(Last week: 19)
13. Pittsburgh Penguins (29-22-3, 61 points)
Since Evgeni Malkin returned to the lineup on Dec. 1, he's led the NHL with 39 points over that span. Nathan MacKinnon, Brad Marchand, Brent Burns and Sidney Crosby are tied for second with 33.
(Last week: 15)
12. Colorado Avalanche (28-19-4, 61 points)
Nathan MacKinnon was making a strong push to surpass Nikita Kucherov in the scoring race, but he hit a speed bump and will be sidelined at least another week with an upper-body injury. More importantly, the Avalanche need to get him back as quickly as possible as they continue their playoff push.
(Last week: 10)
11. Los Angeles Kings (28-19-5, 61 points)
Jonathan Quick has just one win in his last eight starts, and has allowed five goals in each of his last two. Darcy Kuemper has picked up the last three wins for the Kings thanks to back-to-back shutouts over the week, a 28-save performance in a 3-0 win over Dallas on Tuesday and a 27-save performance in a 6-0 win over Arizona on Saturday.
(Last week: 14)
10. Toronto Maple Leafs (30-19-5, 65 points)
Justin Holl is the sixth defenseman in NHL history to score a goal in consecutive games to start his NHL career and the first to do so in consecutive days, according to the NHL's PR department. Cool moment. But Holl was sent back down to the AHL over the weekend after Morgan Rielly was activated from injured reserve.
(Last week: 11)
9. San Jose Sharks (28-16-8, 64 points)
Aaron Dell stopped 29 of 30 shots in a 3-1 win over Carolina on Sunday to improve to 13-4-2 with a 2.44 goals against average, .919 save percentage and two shutouts this season. He deserved to be a full-time starter next season, and he's probably going to get Scott Darling money.
(Last week: 9)
8. St. Louis Blues (32-19-3, 67 points)
The league leader in save percentage? Oh, that would be Carter Hutton at .947. But you already knew that.
(Last week: 8)
7. Dallas Stars (30-19-4, 64 points)
The Stars have killed off eight straight penalties in the last two games, both of which were wins, after allowing a power-play goal in each of the four previous contests.
(Last week: 7)
6. Washington Capitals (30-17-5, 65 points)
John Carlson is having an incredibly underrated season. He has seven goals and 33 assists for 40 points, which ranks fourth among all defensemen. He's also logged 25:54 of ice time, fifth-most among defensemen, and 3:11 more than he averaged last season.
(Last week: 6)
5. Winnipeg Jets (31-13-9, 71 points)
The Jets have started their 10-game homestand by picking up five out of a possible six points. Michael Hutchinson stopped 23 of 24 shots (.958 save percentage) in his season debut, a 3-1 win on Tuesday against the juggernaut that is the Lightning.
(Last week: 5)
4. Nashville Predators (31-12-7, 69 points)
The Captain is back. Mike Fisher is coming out of the retirement to help with some unfinished business from last year, and it'll be interesting to see where he slots into the lineup. But that's a nice psychological boost for a Predators team that has Stanley Cup aspirations, and they didn't have to give up anything for him. It was basically a free trade deadline acquisition, but it likely won't be the last.
(Last week: 4)
3. Boston Bruins (31-11-8, 70 points)
Tuukka Rask is now 18-0-2 in his last 20 starts, and has a .942 save percentage, 1.59 goals against average and two shutouts over that span. It's also the 15th time in NHL history a goaltender has recorded at least a point in 20 or more decisions.
(Last week: 2)
2. Vegas Golden Knights (35-13-4, 74 points)
Reilly Smith was named the NHL's third star of the week after scoring four goals and an assist to help the Golden Knights set a league record for most wins by a team in its inaugural season. And there's still a little more than two months to go in the regular season.
(Last week: 4)
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (36-13-3, 75 points)
Alex Killorn had a career-high five-point game in a 7-4 win over Calgary on Thursday after going pointless in his previous eight. That's one way to increase your points-per-game rate.
(Last week: 1)