While Tampa Bay was perfect this week and remains on top of the power rankings, Toronto, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia made huge gains in the rankings. Bottom-dwellers Chicago and Los Angeles also had great weeks but Calgary, Nashville and Anaheim dropped after poor weeks.
Columbus was also strong this week and made a small gain in the rankings.
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1. Tampa Bay
Record: 28-7-2 (3-0-0)
Last Week 1
The Lightning beat Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton this past week and take on Philadelphia and Montreal at home before travelling to Anaheim for a New Year’s Eve encounter with the Ducks. Nikita Kucherov was the third star of the week with two goals and nine points in the Western Canada swing. Tampa Bay have been the best club overall all season and deserve the top ranking.
Record: 25-10-2 (4-0-0)
Last Week 5
The Maple Leafs were perfect this week, defeating New Jersey, Florida, the New York Rangers and Detroit. This week they take on Columbus and the Islanders. The Maple Leafs play in the the toughest division in the NHL as they are in with Tampa Bay, Buffalo and Boston. Morgan Rielly is the favorite for the Norris Trophy as the NHL heads towards the halfway mark of the season. The trophy has been awarded since 1954 and no Maple Leaf has ever won it.
Record: 24-10-2 (2-1-0)
Last Week 3
The Jets went 2-1 this week and have won six-of-seven in the last two weeks. Winnipeg knocked off San Jose and Vancouver after losing to lowly Los Angeles. This week they are home to Calgary and Minnesota before going to Edmonton to play Connor McDavid and the Oilers on New Year’s Eve. The Jets have received amazing goaltending from Laurent Brossoit this season as the back up to Connor Hellebuyck. Brossoit is a 8-1-1 this season with a 2.11 GAA and a .939 save percentage after a 40-save shutout over Vancouver Saturday.
Record: 22-10-3 (2-1-0)
Last Week 6
The Capitals lost to surging Pittsburgh to start the week before beating Buffalo and Ottawa. This week Washington takes on Carolina, the Senators and Nashville. Pheonix Copley picked up his first career shutout, making 35 saves against Ottawa. He is 8-2-1 with a 2.67 GAA and a .912 save percentage, giving the Capitals as good or a better backup as they had last season in Philipp Grubauer.
Record: 22-12-3 (0-2-1)
Last Week 2
The Flames had a tough week after climbing to second in the overall rankings as they lost to Dallas and St. Louis as well as dropping a 5-4 decision to the Lightning in a shootout. This week the Flames play in Winnipeg and at home to Vancouver and San Jose. While their big four offensively continue to thrive (Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm), James Neal has not scored in the last 22 games.
Record: 22-13-2 (0-3-0)
Last Week 4
The Predators were stymied last week, losing to Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston on the road. This week they try and reverse the situation by facing Dallas and the Rangers at home and Washington on the road. The Predators are hoping that P.K. Subban is ready to return this week as he has missed the last 19 games. The Predators loaned their outstanding youngster Eeli Tolvanen to Finland for the World Junior Tournament.
Record: 21-11-5 (1-2-0)
Last Week 7
The Sabres lost to Florida and Washington but shutout Anaheim to end the week. This week Buffalo are in St. Louis to start the week and then return home to face Boston and the New York Islanders. Sam Reinhart is often the unsung star of the Sabres offense and he has had four multi-point games in his last five, as well as 20 points in his last 15 games.
Record: 21-12-3 (3-0-0)
Last Week 12
The Blue Jackets won all three last week, defeating New Jersey twice as well as Philadelphia, going to 5-0-1 in their last six. This week Columbus faces the Rangers in New York and return home to play Toronto and Ottawa. Sergei Bobrovsky was named the first star of the week as he was perfect in four starts with a 1.00 GAA and a .970 save percentage.
Record: 20-13-4 (2-1-0)
Last Week 11
Boston defeated Anaheim and Nashville this past week before going on the road and losing to Carolina. They face New Jersey and Buffalo this week. The Bruins hope to get Jake DeBrusk back after he missed the last nine games with a concussion. Ryan Donato snapped a seven-game goalless streak Sunday with a pair of goals to give him five in 24 games.
Record: 19-12-6 (1-2-0)
Last Week 9
The Avalanche continued their slumping ways as they beat Montreal but lost to Chicago and Arizona. Colorado take on the Golden Knights in Vegas and return home to play Chicago and Los Angeles this week. Colin Wilson looks to be out for a while with a shoulder injury as they placed him on the injured reserve list. J.T. Compher is seeing time on the first power play, alongside Tyson Barrie on the point.