NHL Power Rankings: Buckle up for the stretch run
NHL Power Rankings: Week 17
With the NHL All-Star break officially in the rear view mirror, teams are getting ready for the stretch run and preparing for a playoff push.
31. Arizona Coyotes (12-29-9, 33 points)
Coyotes GM John Chayka said the plan is to eventually transition Max Domi back to the wing, and that's definitely best for everyone. Domi has only four points in 16 games since moving to center and his shooting percentage has dropped to just 2.9 percent.
(Last week: 31)
30. Ottawa Senators (15-23-9, 39 points)
Senators leading scorer Mark Stone has missed the last three games with a knee injury, and his presence has certainly been missed. They've lost five in a row, and have scored only three goals in Stone's absence, which included a shutout loss to St. Louis. Luckily for the Senators, Stone could return as soon as Tuesday vs. Carolina.
(Last week: 29)
29. Buffalo Sabres (14-26-9, 37 points)
The Sabres have won three in a row, which has included back-to-back shutouts victories against Edmonton and Vancouver. They had only three wins in their previous 15 games.
(Last week: 31)
28. Florida Panthers (19-22-6, 44 points)
The Panthers have lost three straight, and have been outscored 14-6 over that stretch. On the plus side, Denis Malgin has two goals and an assist in his last two games.
(Last week: 25)
27. Vancouver Canucks (19-24-6, 44 points)
Brock Boeser went home with $337,500 and a car for winning the shooting accuracy contest in the Skills Competition, being on the winning team for the All-Star Game and winning the MVP. What'd you do this weekend?
(Last week: 27)
26. Montreal Canadiens (20-23-6, 46 points)
Jonathan Drouin played his best game of the season in Tuesday's 4-2 win over Colorado after scoring a goal and adding two assists. That's the guy the Canadiens traded for over the offseason, and they'd like to see more of it.
(Last week: 28)
25. Detroit Red Wings (19-21-8, 46 points)
The Red Wings rank 30th in shots per game (29.6), and haven't recorded more than 30 in seven straight games. Can't score if you don't shoot.
(Last week: 26)
24. Edmonton Oilers (22-24-3, 47 points)
The Oilers have scored only 18 goals during 5-on-4 power plays, which is second-to-last in the league. They were the fifth-best team in that area last season with 51 goals. That's a big reason why they are where they are in the standings right now. They aren't taking advantage of their power plays.
(Last week: 24)
23. Carolina Hurricanes (22-19-8, 52 points)
Noah Hanifin had three assists in 6-5 win over Montreal on Thursday. In his previous 14 games he had only two points total.
(Last week: 23)
22. Chicago Blackhawks (23-19-7, 53 points)
Since Dec. 1, the Blackhawks have controlled 54.9 percent of the even-strength shot attempts, which ranks first in the league. But their shooting percentage over that span is 6.91, which ranks 21st. The quantity of shots is there, the finish is not.
(Last week: 22)
21. New York Islanders (25-20-5, 55 points)
The Islanders are one of only three teams that have three players averaging at least a point per game: Josh Bailey (1.17), John Tavares (1.14) and Mathew Barzal (1.02).
(Last week: 21)
20. New York Rangers (25-20-5, 55 points)
The Rangers are reportedly preparing for a fire sale at the trade deadline, which is the smart thing to do. But it's also about two years too late.
(Last week: 20)
19. New Jersey Devils (24-16-8, 56 points)
Brian Boyle replacing Taylor Hall in the NHL All-Star Game was absolutely perfect, especially since it was in Tampa Bay, a team he helped get to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015. But unfortunately for the Devils coming out of the break, they're dealing with a pair of injuries to arguably their two most important players in Hall (thumb) and Cory Schneider (lower body). The former is expected to return soon, but for the latter it's unclear.
(Last week: 12)
18. Philadelphia Flyers (24-17-8, 56 points)
The Flyers rank 18th in puck possession numbers, controlling 49.51 percent of the even-strength shot attempts, which you'd think would be higher for a team that ranks No. 1 in faceoff percentage (52.8). They start with the puck a lot.
(Last week: 17)
17. Anaheim Ducks (24-17-9, 57 points)
The Ducks are the most penalized team with 229 infractions this season, but it's a good thing they have the ninth-ranked penalty kill unit (82.5 percent). Lately though it hasn't been very good. They've allowed seven power-play goals in their last 21 tries — a span of six games — for a 66.7 percent success rate.
(Last week: 19)
16. Minnesota Wild (26-18-5, 57 points)
The Wild have scored a power play goal in five straight games, and are 4-1-1 in their last six games. Zach Parise also lit the lamp in consecutive contests, a good sign for an important player for them down the stretch.
(Last week: 16)
15. Pittsburgh Penguins (27-21-3, 57 points)
Sidney Crosby has 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) in a nine-game point streak, and surpassed Jaromir Jagr for sole possession of second place on the franchise's all-time points list with 1,082. Next up: Mario Lemieux at 1,723.
(Last week: 18)
14. Los Angeles Kings (26-18-5, 57 points)
Jonathan Quick was healthy enough to suit up as the backup in Wednesday's 2-1 overtime win over Calgary, but decided to skip out on the All-Star Game to recover from a nagging injury. Because of that, he's suspended for the first game out of the break but hopefully for the Kings that'll be the only one he misses.
(Last week: 15)
13. Columbus Blue Jackets (27-19-3, 57 points)
First Jack Johnson's reported trade request, now Brandon Dubinsky will be away from the team indefinitely reportedly because of ongoing personal issues. The Blue Jackets are reeling. Tough to deal with in a season they probably viewed themselves as serious Stanley Cup contenders. It'll be interesting to see how they approach the trade deadline.
(Last week: 14)
12. Calgary Flames (25-16-8, 58 points)
The Flames followed up their seven-game winning streak by losing four in a row, but all four of those losses required extra time, so if you're an optimist, they're on an 11-game point streak. If you're a pessimist, they left four extra points on the table.
(Last week: 10)
11. Toronto Maple Leafs (28-18-5, 61 points)
The Maple Leafs will play nine out of the next 13 games at home, where they are 13-8-2 compared to 15-10-3 on the road. But their slate of opponents isn't easy, so they must bring their best foot forward during this stretch.
(Last week: 13)
10. Colorado Avalanche (27-18-3, 57 points)
The Avalanche's winning streak ended at 10 games before they lost back-to-back contests to Montreal and St. Louis. They simply ran out of gas, so maybe the All-Star break came at a good time. And Semyon Varlamov is bound to return at some point down the road which could serve as another boost.
(Last week: 7)
9. San Jose Sharks (26-15-7, 59 points)
Joe Thornton suffered an MCL injury that will sideline him indefinitely, putting the Sharks in a really tough spot. With him, they're a playoff team with a chance to load up for a potential deep run. Without him for an extended period of time and they're probably not a playoff team, so is it worth being aggressive at the trade deadline?
(Last week: 9)
8. St. Louis Blues (30-18-3, 63 points)
The Blues have won four of their past five games, and are expected to get Jaden Schwartz back very soon. Things are starting to look bright again in St. Louis.
(Last week: 11)
7. Dallas Stars (28-18-4, 60 points)
The Stars rank seventh in goals against per game (2.64). Last year they ranked 29th in that department at 3.17. Pretty amazing how quickly they've turned it around.
(Last week: 8)
6. Washington Capitals (29-15-5, 63 points)
Alex Ovechkin has scored at least 30 goals in all 13 of his NHL seasons, becoming just the sixth player in league history to accomplish that feat at any point in his career, joining Mike Gartner (15), Jaromir Jagr (15), Wayne Gretzky (13), Phil Esposito (1
(Last week: 6)
5. Winnipeg Jets (29-13-8, 66 points)
The Jets went into the All-Star break picking up seven out of a possible eight points in their last four games, and they have a favorable stretch here coming out of it. They'll play 10 straight at home, where they are 17-3-1 compared to 12-10-7 on the road. That's great news for Connor Hellebuyck, who is 17-1-1 with a 2.35 goals against average, .924 save percentage and three shutouts at home vs. 9-5-6 with a 2.96 goals against average, .918 save percentage and one shutout on the road.
(Last week: 5)
4. Nashville Predators (29-11-7, 65 points)
P.K. Subban has scored a goal in three straight games, tying his career-long goal streak from March 30-April 5 of 2011 when he scored three in a row against Carolina, New Jersey and Chicago. He's never had a four-game streak and perhaps he can extend it against Chicago on Tuesday.
(Last week: 3)
3. Vegas Golden Knights (32-12-4, 68 points):
The Blue Jackets traded their 2017 first-round pick, 2019 second-round pick and David Clarkson to Vegas in the summer to essentially take William Karlsson off their hands. And in his first game against his former team, Karlsson lit the lamp twice and moved into a tie for second in the league with 27 goals. That must've felt good.
(Last week: 2)
2. Boston Bruins (29-10-8, 66 points)
Brad Marchand was hit with a five-game suspension but the Bruins had no problem stretching their point streak to 18 games without him. They likely will miss his production over the next three games against Anaheim, St. Louis and Toronto. Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak have arguably been the best line in the league this month, so the trio's hot streak has been put on hold for now.
(Last week: 1)
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (34-12-3, 71 points)
After losing three in a row for the first time all season, the Lightning bounced back with three straight wins despite being outshot in each of them. And they're only halfway done with their eight-game road trip.
(Last week: 4)