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Power Rankings

Power Rankings Week 14

by Michael Finewax

The top-five are the same teams although Washington and Winnipeg switched places with the Capitals at three. Tampa Bay and Toronto continue to be the top-two teams in the NHL and that will make for an interesting second round in the Atlantic Divisions if it remains the same and there are no upsets in the first round of the playoffs.

 

Pittsburgh, Vegas and the New York Islanders made nice moves upwards this week while Colorado and Edmonton plunged down the rankings.

 

Ottawa sank to the basement and are currently the worst team in the NHL.

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1. Tampa Bay

 

Record: 31-7-2 (3-0-0)

 

Last Week 1

 

The Lightning beat Philadelphia, Montreal and Anaheim and are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games. This week they take on Vegas and Edmonton at home. The Lightning are firing on all cylinders. Nikita Kucherov leads the NHL with 65 points and Brayden Point is having an outstanding season with 23 goals and 52 points.

 

2. Toronto

 

Record: 26-11-2 (1-1-0)

 

Last Week 2

 

The Maple Leafs beat Columbus and lost to the Islanders this past week. Toronto is home this week to Minnesota, Vancouver and Nashville. Auston Matthews has not scored in his last four games and William Nylander continues to struggle since returning from holding out the first two months of the season. He has only two assists in 11 games. Coach Mike Babcock played them together at practice so look for the duo to break out of their slumps together.

 

3. Washington

 

Record: 24-11-3 (2-1-0)

 

Last Week 4

 

The Capitals lost to Nashville Monday after beating Carolina and Ottawa. They are on the road this week with games against St. Louis, Dallas and Detroit. Brooks Orpik returned to the lineup Monday after missing 27 games with a knee injury that required surgery. Jakub Vrana has 12 goals and is giving the Capitals some nice scoring from the second line.

 

4. Winnipeg 

 

Record: 25-12-2 (1-2-0)

 

Last Week 3

 

The Jets were beaten by Calgary and Minnesota before they toppled the Oilers on Monday. This week they take on the Penguins in Pittsburgh and are home to Dallas. The Jets suffered a big loss on the weekend when Dustin Byfuglien suffered an apparent knee injury and will be lost for at least four weeks. Brendan Lemieux scored twice Monday in the 4-3 win.

 

5. Calgary

 

Record: 24-12-4 (2-0-1)

 

Last Week 5

 

The Flames knocked off Winnipeg and San Jose and lost in overtime to Vancouver. It’s a busy week for Calgary as they are on the road for all four games as they play Detroit, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago. Sean Monahan had a big game Monday with five assists giving him eight assists in his last three games. Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each had two goals and two assists against San Jose Monday while James Neal found the back of the net for the first time in 25 games.

 

6. Columbus

 

Record: 23-13-3 (2-1-0)

 

Last Week 8

 

The Blue Jackets sandwiched wins over the New York Rangers and Ottawa around a loss to Toronto. Columbus will play in Carolina and Florida this week. Pierre-Luc Dubois had two goals and four points Monday and is up to 16 goals and 36 points this season. Artemi Panarin loves playing alongside him and it could be a determining factor as to whether or not Panarin stays and signs a long-term deal with the Blue Jackets.

 

7. Pittsburgh

 

Record: 21-12-6 (3-0-0)

 

Last Week 13

 

The Penguins were a perfect 3-0 for the second week in a row as they beat Detroit, St. Louis and Minnesota. Pittsburgh plays the New York Rangers, Winnipeg and Chicago this week with the Jets being a big test for the red-hot Penguins. Phil Kessel has three straight games with three points in each one as he has three goals and six helpers including six points on the power play in the three games. Bryan Rust is day-to-day with a lower-body injury and Zach Aston-Reese has taken his spot on the top line with Sidney Crosby.

 

8. Vegas

 

Record: 23-15-4 (3-0-0)

 

Last Week 12

 

The Golden Knights defeated Colorado, Los Angeles and Arizona this past week. They take on the Kings again this week as well as Anaheim and New Jersey. Vegas is playing like they did last season and are 6-1-3 in their last 10. Paul Stastny has had a goal and an assist in each of his last two games and has nine points in 12 games this season. He has given the Golden Knights the second scoring center that has been missing all season.

 

9. Nashville

 

 Record: 23-15-2 (1-2-0)

 

Last Week 6

 

The Predators ran their losing streak to five games before defeating Washington Monday. They lost to Dallas and the New York Rangers at home. They are 2-5-3 in their last 10 contests. Nashville is home to the Flyers this week before travelling on the road to face Detroit, Montreal and Toronto. Filip Forsberg continues to lead the Predators in goals with 14 despite missing the last 14 games with an upper-body injury. Craig Smith is the only other Predator in double digits and he has 10 goals.

 

10. Buffalo

 

Record: 21-13-6 (0-2-1)

 

Last Week 7

The Sabres lost to St. Louis and the Islanders in regulation time and were beaten in overtime by Boston. This week they take on Florida and the Bruins once again. Jack Eichel left Monday’s game with an upper-body injury. It is not considered to be long-term. Both he and Jeff Skinner have combined to score 41 of Buffalo’s 112 goals this season. Skinner has 26 markers in 40 games.

 

Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 16th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.