Joe Haggerty's NHL Power Rankings: Post-deadline edition
The trade deadline has come and gone, and there will be winners and losers declared as a result of the immediate impact. Certainly Mark Stone will be considered a winner after signing a deal for almost $10 million per season and essentially orchestrating a trade to Vegas, and the Golden Knights absolutely were winners landing him after hitting a bit of a lull in their season.
Certainly the Bruins upgraded with Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson, and the Sharks got a good one in Gustav Nyquist to add to a group that’s already loaded. The Jets and Predators both beefed up their Central Division résumés with big power forwards in Kevin Hayes and Wayne Simmonds respectively, and other teams like the Penguins and Maple Leafs got their heavy lifting done early ahead of the deadline.
But now, the next few weeks and months will show us the true winners and losers of the NHL trade deadline with the ultimate winner hoisting the Cup at the end of the season.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (48-11-4)
First team to 100 points and the Lightning have won nine games in a row. The Bolts are rolling and the only question is whether they’re going to be caught napping to start the playoffs.
LAST WEEK: 1
2. Calgary Flames (40-16-7)
The Flames lost out in the Mark Stone sweepstakes, but still have the best record out in the West with an explosive offense with or without Stone.
LAST WEEK: 2
3. Boston Bruins (37-17-9)
The Bruins have taken points in 14 straight games and have rocketed up to second in the Atlantic while adding Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson to their NHL roster. They are definitely good, but are they great?
LAST WEEK: 4
4. San Jose Sharks (37-19-8)
Who wouldn’t want a Bruins/Sharks Stanley Cup Final given how fun the two games have been between these two contenders? The Bruins got the best of them in Boston, but the Sharks are for real.
LAST WEEK: 3
5. Toronto Maple Leafs (38-20-4)
The Leafs seem to have stabilized after a losing stretch, but the specter of another first round matchup against the Bruins has to be haunting them right now. They can’t handle another Game 7 at TD Garden.
LAST WEEK: 6
6. New York Islanders (36-19-7)
There is something incredibly right about the Isles playing to a rocking Nassau Coliseum. And John Tavares making his return this week too? All kinds of fun for the Isles.
LAST WEEK: 5
7. Washington Capitals (36-21-7)
The Capitals are as explosive as ever, but they’re 23rd in the NHL in goals against and in the penalty kill as well. There’s really a question as to whether they can survive a playoff run playing like that.
LAST WEEK: 9
8. Winnipeg Jets (37-22-4)
The Jets have hit a 3-6-1 spin over their last 10 games, but they also added Kevin Hayes to a group that was already big, strong and skilled. It will be interesting to see if they see any bump from it.
LAST WEEK: 7
9. Nashville Predators (37-24-5)
A gritty, physical Predators team added Wayne Simmonds for just Ryan Hartman and a fourth-round pick. That’s great value for a Preds team that could use a little more offense from a guy like Simmonds.
LAST WEEK: 8
10. Montreal Canadiens (34-23-7)
Andrew Shaw had a hat trick for the Canadiens in a win over the Red Wings this week. Boy, it really is their season isn’t it?
LAST WEEK: 10
11. St. Louis Blues (34-23-6)
Jordan Binnington has five shutouts in two months for the Blues as their long winning streak has them in the playoffs, and relevant out in the West. What a turnaround for the Blues.
LAST WEEK: 13
12. Carolina Hurricanes (34-23-6)
The “Bunch of Jerks” have won three games in a row and taken eight out of their last 10 games while also driving Don Cherry and Brian Burke nuts at the exact same time.
LAST WEEK: 15
13. Pittsburgh Penguins (33-22-8)
The Penguins are scoring over three goals per game, but they’re also allowing more than three goals per game as well. That’s going to be a problem when the rubber meets the road in the postseason.
LAST WEEK: 11
14. Columbus Blue Jackets (35-24-3)
The Blue Jackets held onto Artemi Panarin and added some significant pieces while looking they are going to try and make a run this season. Give them credit for taking a stand in a tough situation.
LAST WEEK: 12
15. Vegas Golden Knights (33-26-5)
The Golden Knights have been treading water as of late, but adding Mark Stone is a major, major shot to the arm. It wouldn’t surprise to see the Golden Knights at the end again this season.
LAST WEEK: 14
16. Minnesota Wild (31-27-6)
The Wild are in the middle of a four game-winning streak while also having dealt off Charlie Coyle to the Bruins. It looks like they could sell and be a playoff team at the same time.
LAST WEEK: 17
17. Dallas Stars (31-27-5)
The Stars are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games and limping toward the finish line for the playoffs. Will they make it?
LAST WEEK: 16
18. Philadelphia Flyers (30-26-7)
It’s the end of an era in Philly with the Flyers trading away one of the last Broad Street Bully-type players in Wayne Simmonds. Unfortunately their epic win streak couldn’t get them into the postseason picture.
LAST WEEK: 19
19. Buffalo Sabres (29-26-8)
It was a solid run in the first half of the season for the Sabres, but they still have a way to go before they are truly ready for prime time.
LAST WEEK: 18
20. Colorado Avalanche (27-24-12)
The Avs are top-10 in goals scored and power play, and they are getting some dandy seasons from Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. They’re also one point out of the playoffs, so that could be the right formula for them.
LAST WEEK: 20
21. Arizona Coyotes (30-28-5)
The Coyotes have won four games in a row and sit just two points out of a playoff spot. That’s pretty amazing considering their brutal start to the season.
LAST WEEK: 22
22. Vancouver Canucks (27-28-8)
Nine goals and a minus-11 in 63 games for Loui Eriksson, who has been a total and complete bust for the Canucks. Just think how much better they would be if he could be what he was during his walk year in Boston.
LAST WEEK: 21
23. Florida Panthers (28-25-9)
The Panthers are 26th in the league allowing 3.32 goals per game and that’s pretty much exactly why they’re on the outside looking in: a lack of defense and goaltending good enough to compete.
LAST WEEK: 23
24. New York Rangers (27-26-9)
Jeff Gorton continues to store up assets and draft picks after dealing off Kevin Hayes, Adam McQuaid and Mats Zuccarello, and a couple of years from now they just might have something at Madison Square Garden.
LAST WEEK: 24
25. Chicago Blackhawks (26-28-9)
Still in last place and still don’t feel like playoff material even though the pack in the Western Conference has been kind enough to stay in shouting distance of them.
LAST WEEK: 25
26. Edmonton Oilers (26-29-7)
The Oilers have Sam Gagner back on their roster. That’s about the high point of the week for them. Okay doke.
LAST WEEK: 26
27. Detroit Red Wings (23-32-9)
The Red Wings have lost six in a row and traded off Gustav Nyquist in absolute seller mode at the trade deadline. These truly are dark days in Hockeytown.
LAST WEEK: 27
28. Anaheim Ducks (24-30-9)
The Ducks are dead last in the NHL and barely averaging two goals per game this season. That’s rough to try and win on a nightly basis, and that’s rough if you’re a Ducks fan watching it every night.
LAST WEEK: 30
29. New Jersey Devils (25-30-8)
The Devils dealt off pieces like Marcus Johansson and Keith Kinkaid at the trade deadline, and are the very opposite of last season’s feel good campaign. What a shame.
LAST WEEK: 29
30. Los Angeles Kings (23-33-7)
The Kings have sunk like a stone again in the Pacific amidst a nine-game losing streak, and didn’t even trade away a lot of their potential pieces that could have brought back value. What a loss.
LAST WEEK: 28
31. Ottawa Senators (22-36-5)
The Sens have lost five in a row and traded away the heart and soul of their team in Mark Stone. Dark, dark days in Ottawa right now.
LAST WEEK: 31