NHL Power Rankings: Avalanche takes top spot; here come the Bruins

NHL Power Rankings
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In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings the Avalanche takes over the top spot as they continue to dominate the Western Conference.

Since starting the season with a 4-5-1 mark, the Avalanche has gone on a 24-3-2 run over the next 29 games and is currently on a 12-game point streak (11-0-1) since the start of January. Their forwards and defense are as good and deep as any NHL team, and now that the goaltending is starting to get back on track they are looking like a fierce Stanley Cup contender.

In the Eastern Conference, the Bruins continue their recent climb up the rankings thanks to a 10-2-0 mark since January while working Tuukka Rask back into the mix.

We take a look at those two teams and more in this week’s NHL Power Rankings.

Where does your team sit?

To the NHL Power Rankings!

1. Colorado Avalanche (Last Week: 2). Their defense is what makes them so dangerous as a team. You know about Cale Makar, but do not sleep on Devon Toews as a potential Norris Trophy contender.

2. Florida Panthers (LW: 1). Seattle seems to be the only team that has solved them. Sometimes hockey is a random game.

3. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 3). As if they are not already deep enough, they have 19-year-old rookie in Seth Jarvis, who is on a 50-point pace per 82 games this season. Insanely deep roster.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 4). It kind of feels like the reigning back-to-back Cup champions are kinda sneaking under the radar this season. As if that were possible.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 7). As the Golden Knights and Jets found out, this offense can score a lot of goals in a very short period of time.

6. New York Rangers (LW: 5). Chris Krieder has 29 goals in 42 games. That is a 56-goal pace over 82 games. At some point you have to think he will slow down this season but he just keeps scoring goals.

[Related: Stats favor Shesterkin in Vezina race, but will GMs?]

7. Boston Bruins (LW: 8). Tuukka Rask’s return has been a mixed bag so far, but give him time. He should still be a top-tier goalie.

8. Minnesota Wild (LW: 10). Let’s give some attention to Ryan Hartman for a breakout season that currently has him leading the team with 18 goals.

9. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 6). Holding leads has been a problem recently, which is going to create another round of discussion about their defense and, well, pretty much everything else about them.

10. St. Louis Blues (LW: 11). Keep playing Ville Husso until he gives you a reason to stop playing him.

11. Nashville Predators (LW: 9). Over the previous two seasons Filip Forsberg scored 33 goals in 102 games. This season he already has 20 goals in 32 games.

12. Washington Capitals (LW: 13). It is starting to look like their starting playoff goalie is not on the roster at the current time.

13. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 12). This is a team whose regular season record will not do their overall strength as a team justice.

14. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 14). Quinton Byfield gets to experience a playoff chase right off the bat. Probably not what anybody expected this season, but great progress for them as a team.

15. New York Islanders (LW: 19). They are getting on track a bit, but there is still such a massive gap between them and the playoff teams in the East.

16. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 15). Connor Hellebuyck and Kyle Connor are keeping them in it as best they can.

17. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 16). They really needed that win against Tampa Bay — and it was impressive — to stop their recent tough stretch. Now they start a tough Eastern Conference road trip. They need to stack some wins again.

18. Calgary Flames (LW: 17). They still hold the second best points percentage in the Pacific Division, which is good. But because of schedule postponements and a lot of losses they have won just three games since Dec. 5, a stretch that has seen them go 3-7-2 over 12 games.

[Related: Assessing each NHL team at the mid-point of the season]

19. Dallas Stars (LW: 21). Overall they have been very inconsistent this season. Individually, Joe Pavelski, Jason Robertson, and Roope Hintz have been great.

20. San Jose Sharks (LW: 20). Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl deserve a lot of credit for helping to keep them in it. But will Hertl re-sign, and if not, will he be traded before the March 21 deadline?

21. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 21). They really needed that win against Calgary. Is it a turning point or just a brief distraction from the overall mess that is the team? Based on recent Oilers franchise history we probably already know the answer to that question.

22. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 24). Progress is the important thing to watch for this season. Progress is being made.

23. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 18). Even with their improved play under Bruce Boudreau they are still only on an 80-point pace for this season. That is not going to be anywhere near good enough.

24. Ottawa Senators (LW: 25). At least they are competitive right now. That is more than we could say about them earlier in the season.

25. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 23). Here is the list of players who should be untouchable in trade talks right now: Nobody.

26. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 27). They play hard, but goalie depth has been an issue. They are 4-10-0 when Elvis Merzlikins is not the goalie of record. They are very respectable 14-10-1 when he is.

27. New Jersey Devils (LW: 28). Given the fact they have two recent No. 1 overall picks and have made some big offseason additions in recent years it feels like they should be further along than this.

28. Seattle Kraken (LW: 30). They are not going to make the playoffs but they have won three out of four and Philipp Gruabuer is playing a little better. So that is something.

29. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 29). Jeff Skinner is very quietly having a nice bounce back season.

30. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 26). They have had two different 10-game losing streaks in the first half of the same season. That is incredible.

31. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 31). Karel Vejmelka has been a nice bright spot at times this season in goal.

32. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 32). Lot of work here for the new general manager.

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