NHL Power Rankings: Bruins looking like contenders again; Stars keep winning
In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings there are no changes in the top five with Colorado, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Calgary, and Florida holding firm in their spots. The Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings keep inching their way up with their recent strong play, while the Dallas Stars continue to solidify their place in the playoff race with some of their best hockey of the season.
The Bruins are the team that really stands out this week (climbing to the No. 7 spot) given their recent play. They enter the week with an 8-2-1 mark over their past 11 games. They have played four potential playoff teams during that stretch, going 3-0-1 in those games and outscoring them by an 18-5 margin. Pretty good numbers. They still have a quartet of elite players at the top of the lineup (Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Charlie McAvoy) while Jeremy Swayman has really solidified things in goal. They are also getting some important secondary scoring from players like Jake DeBrusk, Craig Smith, and Erik Haula. Do not rule them out in the Eastern Conference.
We take a look at them and every other team in this week’s rankings.
Where does your team sit?
To this week’s NHL Power Rankings!
1. Colorado Avalanche (Last Week: 1). They did lose two games this week, but the second was a tough overtime loss to Calgary in a potential Western Conference Final preview. Colorado has lost consecutive games in regulation just once all season (Game Nos. 2-4). Even great teams lose a couple of games. Still the NHL’s best team.
2. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 2). They are so good and so many of their top players are just entering the prime of their careers right now. They are going to be here for a long time.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 3). Outside of that loss to Pittsburgh they have looked incredible over the past month. So much talent and an elite goalie.
4. Calgary Flames (LW: 4). They are looking like a team you are not going to want to face in the playoffs. Just dominant right now.
5. Florida Panthers (LW: 5). We do not talk enough about how good Sam Reinhart has been for them. Point per game player since coming over from Buffalo this offseason.
6. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 9). They earned three out of four points in a back-to-back, on the road, against Tampa Bay and Carolina. Very impressive stretch even if they did let a two goal lead slip away against the Hurricanes.
7. Boston Bruins (LW: 11). If Jeremy Swayman can keep his hold on the top spot this is going to be a nightmare opponent in the playoffs with the way they defend.
[Related: Potential Bruins trade deadline targets; buy or sell?]
8. New York Rangers (LW: 10). Igor Shesterkin should not only be the NHL MVP, it should not even a debate. Or a close vote.
9. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 6). They better hope Jack Campbell figures it out. They are going to have to face Tampa Bay or Florida in the First Round and they are going to need better goaltending than this.
[Related: Maple Leafs have goalie concerns but trade deadline options are shaky]
10. St. Louis Blues (LW: 7). They will go as far as their goaltending, specifically Ville Husso, allows them to go. Good team, but that is a big question.
11. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 12). The offseason additions of Viktor Arvidsson and Philip Danault has really accelerated the rebuild.
12. Dallas Stars (LW: 13). Maybe they are starting to find some consistency. They are 14-4-1 over their past 19 games and starting to really establish themselves as a playoff team.
13. Minnesota Wild (LW: 8). They are fighting it right now. The good news is there is still time to correct it.
14. Washington Capitals (LW: 14). Vitek Vanecek is doing his part to prove to the front office a goalie upgrade is not on their trade deadline shopping list.
15. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 17). When healthy, they are great on paper. We have not really seen them healthy this season, and as a result, have not really seen a great team. Yet.
16. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 18). Bruce Boudreau is a heck of a coach. They are 20-8-4 with him since replacing Travis Green. Would they actually add instead of sell?
[Related: J.T. Miller should carry a high trade price]
17. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 15). Remember that five-game winning streak when it looked like they turned things around? They are 2-4-1 since then.
18. Nashville Predators (LW: 16). Yeah, they crushed San Jose, but that loss to Seattle is going to hurt. Can not lose that game when you are fighting for a playoff spot.
19. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 20). Nikolaj Ehlers being back will help, but it is not going to make up that much ground in the standings.
20. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 19). Patrik Laine keeps rolling. If they get him signed long term there is a nice future here.
21. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 23). Every team competing with them for a playoff spot has multiple games in hand on them. That is going to be their problem the rest of the way. Valiant effort this season. Not quite there yet.
22. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 21). They are running out of steam, but the core of players that will make them contenders again is in place.
23. New York Islanders (LW: 22). The lack of offense has finally caught up to them, among other things.
[Related: 2021-22 NHL Trade Tracker]
24. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 26). They have won seven out of their past eight games and beaten St. Louis, Calgary, Edmonton, and Toronto along the way. It is crazy the impact Martin St. Louis has had on this team already.
25. New Jersey Devils (LW: 28). Jesper Bratt’s development has been a huge bright spot this season.
26. San Jose Sharks (LW: 26). Erik Karlsson’s injury has been too much to overcome this season. They are just 3-7-5 since he exited the lineup.
27. Ottawa Senators (LW: 24). Just when it looked like Matt Murray had turned things around he hit another ugly stretch of hockey.
28. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 27). There should be no untouchable players on this roster in trade talks.
29. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 29). The worst thing about this season would be if the front office thinks it is a fluke and they can compete again next season. Not sure that is going to happen.
[Related: Finding the right team for Giroux to chase the Stanley Cup]
30. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 31). Is Tage Thompson’s season the result of him finally having a breakout season, or simply a matter of “somebody has to score some goals.” Somebody is going to get top minutes, and top power play time, and finish as the leading scorer, even on bad teams.
31. Seattle Kraken (LW: 30). The Kraken should be aggressive at the trade deadline in terms of shopping players. Not sure their “core” is in place yet.
32. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 32). They have beaten the Avalanche twice this season. That is stunning.