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NHL Power Rankings: Panthers in first; Blues make big climb

NHL Power Rankings

SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 29: Jonathan Huberdeau #11 and Aleksander Barkov #16 of the Florida Panthers gather information between shifts against the Montreal Canadiens at the FLA Live Arena on March 29, 2022 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings we have a new team in the top spot as the Florida Panthers replace the Colorado Avalanche. It is not necessarily because the Avalanche have done anything wrong (they have won nine games in a row!), but more because the Panthers have won 10 games in a row and are scoring goals at a pace we have not seen in the NHL in close to 30 years.

Quite honestly the Panthers and Avalanche might best be suited as a 1A and 1B right now because you can not go wrong with either team in the top spot. They are both fantastic, dominant offensive teams that are clearly the class of the NHL right now.

Along with that change in the first two spots, we also have a new team make a move into the top-five as the St. Louis Blues move into the fourth spot thanks to their own fantastic offense and current nine-game winning streak.

We take a look at all of that and more in this week’s rankings.

Where does your team sit?

To this week’s NHL Power Rankings!

1. Florida Panthers (Last Week: 2). If they can score 14 goals in their remaining seven regular season games they will be the first time since 1995-96 to average at least four goals per game over a full season. Just need the goaltending to be solid.

2. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 1). If you wanted to fight me on them not being first again I would listen to it. There is not a wrong choice between the Panthers and Avs right now.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 3). They have set franchise records for wins and points in a single season despite getting some lousy goaltending for half of the season.

4. St. Louis Blues (LW: 10). Very quietly the Blues have become one of the leagues deepest and most explosive offensive powerhouses. They could have nine 20-goal scorers this season.

[Related: Blues have transformed into offensive powerhouse]

5. Calgary Flames (LW: 5). Bringing back Darryl Sutter has worked out quite well. Very solid team from top to bottom.

6. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 4). Injuries to Frederik Andersen and Jordan Staal are very concerning.

7. New York Rangers (LW: 6). You got a glimpse of why Alexis Lafrenière can be such an X-factor for them with his two-goal effort against the Detroit Red Wings this weekend.

[Related: Trade additions giving Rangers new life]

8. Minnesota Wild (LW: 7). Paul Fenton’s run here was definitely weird for that one year but he did bring them Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Fiala. Those were big-time franchise changers.

9. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 9). Still not a team that I would want anything to do with in a playoff series.

10. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 11). If Mike Smith can keep giving them solid goaltending they might have something here. That is a big if, but this recent run has been encouraging.

11. Boston Bruins (LW: 8). They have scored exactly two goals in five consecutive games and somehow still managed to win two of those games.

12. Washington Capitals (LW: 12). Offense is really coming to life lately. When fully healthy this is still an excellent team. Goaltending is the big question.

13. Dallas Stars (LW: 13). Jason Robertson is blossoming into a superstar for them. He is the engine that drives their team and offense right now.

14. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 14). They really miss Evgeni Malkin, but his suspension ends soon. Tristan Jarry’s injury is the big concern right now.

15. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 15). They will be a nightmare opponent if they make the playoffs. But they still have some work to do and need some help.

[Related: Golden Knights would be nightmare playoff opponent]

16. Nashville Predators (LW: 16). Sometimes they look like a team capable of making some noise in the playoffs, then they go and give up seven goals in a period.

17. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 17). The main thing they have going for them right now is their remaining schedule.

18. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 19). They have a nice winning streak going, but it will not be enough to make the playoffs. No team in the league will be more fascinating going into this offseason with the coaching situation and the salary cap situation.

19. New York Islanders (LW: 18). At least they know they have their goalie. Ilya Sorokin is sensational.

20. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 22). Still not sure what to make of this Tage Thompson season. Looked like a disappointment until this season, now he might score 40 goals and it is not even because of a crazy shooting percentage.

21. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 21). Jakub Voracek has five goals and 50 assists in 73 games as a forward. Just a truly bonkers stat line for the season.

22. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 20). Not a particularly good team. Not a particularly bad team. Just a disappointing team.

23. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 23). Pressure is on to make a big step forward next season. Just seems hard to make that happen in the Eastern Conference.

[Related: Red Wings mixed hope with more growing pains]

24. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 25). They do not win a lot right now but they are pretty fun to watch. Keep skilling it up.

25. Ottawa Senators (LW: 28). Everything we said about Detroit applies here as well.

26. New Jersey Devils (LW: 27). They have some foundation pieces. That is the important part. Now they need the complementary pieces. As well as the goalie.

27. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 24). Seeing Carey Price back on the ice this week was a welcome sight for Canadiens fans. Not sure he would have made a huge difference this season, but he can still make an impact.

[Related: Reviewing the Canadiens’ season as Price returns]

28. San Jose Sharks (LW: 26). Just not sure what direction they are going in here. This is not a good team, it is very expensive, and has an older core.

29. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 29). They missed the playoffs just eight times in the first 45 years of their existence in the NHL. They have missed the playoffs six times in the past 10 seasons.

30. Seattle Kraken (LW: 30). So many what ifs from the expansion draft. It still does not make any sense what they were trying to accomplish here.

31. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 31). How much of Jonathan Toews’ contract would they have to eat next season to find a taker for it in a trade? At least 30%. Maybe more.

32. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 32). They have allowed 45 goals in eight games in the month of April. Teams are padding their stats against them right now.