Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings: Deal or deal?
Haggerty's Power Rankings: Deal or no deal?
By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider
FOXBORO - The NHL holiday roster freeze is over and a quick trade was waiting to be executed with Montreal swapping Zack Kassian to Edmonton in exchange for goalie Ben Scrivens. It gives the Habs a little Carey Price insurance now that Mike Condon has struggled a bit under a heavy workload. It also gives Edmonton a power forward loaded with potential for a very low risk cost.
Kassian could be great with the Oilers group if he’s really cleaned up his act, but that really remains to be seen. Don’t expect a great deal more trades to be announced in the ensuing days, however, as many NHL GMs are having trouble getting any traction on deals, whether they’re actual trades or salary dumps, with plenty of buyers and almost no sellers three months into the regular season.
Without further ado, here are this week’s power rankings:
1. Washington Capitals (28-6-2, last week's rank: 1) - The Capitals have now won nine in a row, and firmly placed themselves atop the NHL heap. They’ve taken points in 17 out of their last 18 games while continuing to show few legitimate weaknesses on their team.
2. Dallas Stars (27-8-3, LW: 2) – The 132 goals scored by the Stars continue to set the pace in the league, and both Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are the heart of some ridiculous offensive numbers.
3. Los Angeles Kings (23-11-2, LW: 5) – Drew Doughty mighty finally win that elusive Norris Trophy this season as he appears en route to a monster season in Los Angeles. The 28:02 of ice time per game is a big number.
4. Florida Panthers (21-12-4, LW: 11) – The Panthers have won seven games in a row, and continue their rise into contender status in the Atlantic Division. It was only a matter of time for such a talented, young crew.
5. St. Louis Blues (23-12-4, LW: 3) – Vladimir Tarasenko’s point streak was snapped at eight games, but he’s still got 22 goals and 39 points in 38 games. Those are some mighty big numbers.
6. Boston Bruins (20-12-4, LW: 4) – The Bruins are now down David Krejci and Brad Marchand for the next three games against the Canadiens, Capitals and New Jersey Devils. This could get ugly.
7. New York Rangers (21-13-4, LW: 8) – The Rangers appear to be finding their footing, but they’ve won just five of their last 17 games while falling way behind the Capitals in a Metro Division that looks lost already.
8. Chicago Blackhawks (21-13-4, LW: 10) – Artemi Panarin has been a revelation as the Bread man in Chicago: 11 goals and 32 points in 38 games while topping 19 minutes of ice time per game is impressive for a rookie.
9. Montreal Canadiens (21-15-3, LW: 7) – The Habs are 2-11 in their last 13 games, and the offense has dried up in a major way without Brendan Gallagher helping to stir the drink.
10. Minnesota Wild (19-10-6, LW: 9) – Darcy Kuemper is stepping up for the Wild, who are in pretty good position with games in hand against just about every team in the West.
11. New York Islanders (20-12-5, LW: 6) – The Islanders have lost four of their last six games, and are another team – like the Rangers – that’s being left in the dust by the Capitals ascension in the Eastern Conference.
12. Detroit Red Wings (18-12-7, LW: 12) – Three wins in their last 10 games for a Wings team that’s fitting in nicely with the rest of the non-Florida malaise taking place in the Atlantic Division.
13. Nashville Predators (18-12-7, LW: 13) – It’s not often you see a pair of defensemen as the top two leading scorers for an NHL team, but that’s what is happening with Roman Josi and Shea Weber in Nashville. Filip Forsberg is starting to shoulder some of the load from the forward position as well.
14. San Jose Sharks (18-16-2, LW: 14) – San Jose might even be a decent team if they can figure things out at home where they are 5-10-0 this season.
15. Arizona Coyotes (17-16-3, LW: 15) – The Coyotes are 4-2-2 in their last eight games, and have climbed into a playoff spot in…um…charitable Pacific Division.
16. Ottawa Senators (18-14-6, LW: 19) – Only the last place Blue Jackets have allowed more goals (115) than the Senators this season, and they got worked while giving up seven goals to the Bruins on Tuesday. That’s a tough way to win consistently in the NHL.
17. New Jersey Devils (19-14-5, LW: 16) – Back-to-back wins over the Hurricanes and Senators have the Devils gathering up some momentum after a month-long lull.
18. Calgary Flames (17-17-2, LW: 17) – The 11 straight wins at the Saddledome was both impressive, and a franchise record for the Flames. It came to an end against the Ducks this week, but credit where it’s due.
19. Vancouver Canucks (14-15-9, LW: 18) – One step forward and one step back for a Vancouver team that’s in the hunt merely through the charitable graces of the Pacific Division.
20. Anaheim Ducks (14-15-6, LW: 29) – The Ducks have won a couple of games in a row as it’s essentially “now or never” time for a team that’s underachieved all season.
21. Pittsburgh Penguins (17-15-4, LW: 23) – At least Sidney Crosby is starting to look better, and put points up on the board, after sitting out for some time with a lower body injury.
22. Tampa Bay Lightning (18-16-4, LW: 22) – Some thought a blowout win over the Blue Jackets was a sign that the Bolts are turning things around, but they followed that up with a couple of losses.
23. Philadelphia Flyers (15-14-7, LW: 21) – After going weeks without a regulation loss, the Flyers have dropped back-to-back games in regulation while sitting neck-and-neck with the underachieving Penguins in the Metro Division.
24. Edmonton Oilers (15-20-3, LW: 20) – The Oil have lost three in a row, and can’t even get it together with a possible playoff spot there for the taking if they can figure things out. Instead they are 1-5-1 in their last seven games.
25. Colorado Avalanche (18-17-2, LW: 24) – Jarome Iginla is one goal shy of becoming the 19th player in NHL history to score 600 goals. Okay, so he’s a definite Hall of Famer. But the lack of Stanley Cup is something that will forever be tied to his career if he can’t get it. It certainly doesn’t seem that’s going to happen with the Avs.
26. Winnipeg Jets (17-17-2, LW: 26) – Connor Hellebuyck earned his first NHL shutout and the Jets have won a couple of games in a row. But they need a long win streak to get back into the thick of things.
27. Toronto Maple Leafs (14-15-7, LW: 27) – The Maple Leafs are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games, and are fully buying into Mike Babcock’s system. Who knows? Maybe that will make them a factor in the second half of the season.
28. Buffalo Sabres (15-18-4, LW: 28) – Quite a homecoming for Jack Eichel, who had four points in his first game in Boston and appears to be getting his second win after the holiday break.
29. Carolina Hurricanes (15-17-5, LW: 25) – The Hurricanes are 7-4-1 in their last 12 games, but still going nowhere fast.
30. Columbus Blue Jackets (14-22-3, LW: 30) – The Blue Jackets absorbed the brunt of the full John Tortorella explosion, and the veterans have been put on full blast. The question is whether it will have any effect whatsoever.