In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings we take a look at where things stand in the league coming out of the 2022 NHL All-Star Break.
We look at the teams in three different tiers: The likely playoff teams, the bubble teams, and the dreaming of a lottery teams.
The usual suspects remain at the top, including the Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, and Florida Panthers. While some other bubble teams try to make a push to climb back into that top tier. We 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. Colorado Avalanche (Last Week: 1). Arizona put a stop to their 10-game winning streak in a shootout. But they are still on a 17-game point streak (15-0-2), have not lost a game in regulation in nearly two months (December 16) and have just two regulation losses since the start of December (21-2-3). The best team in hockey.
2. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 3). Not only are they great, but they are set up for long-term success. Only one of their top-10 scorers is over the age of 28, and none are older than 30.
3. Florida Panthers (LW: 2). They are capable of embarrassing any opponent on any given night.
4. Minnesota Wild (LW: 4). The problem the Minnesota Wild have is timing. Their best seasons always happen to come in a season where they just happen to play in the same division as one of the small handful of teams that are better than them. It used to be Chicago. Now it is Colorado.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 6). Good news: They should avoid Boston in the first round this year. Bad news: They will almost certainly get Tampa Bay or Florida instead.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 5). Everybody is so used to their success now that we kind of just forget how good they still are. Same thing happens to Steven Stamkos.
7. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 7). Just when they get everybody back healthy more injuries happen, and then Evgeni Malkin enters the COVID protocol coming out of the All-Star break.
8. Nashville Predators (LW: 9). Truly a remarkable bounce back season. For the team as a whole and all of their big-money players that had been disappointing.
9. New York Rangers (LW: 8). As long as Igor Shesterkin keeps playing the way he has this team will have a chance. They will go as far as he can take them.
10. St. Louis Blues (LW: 10). The Blues have become somewhat of an offensive juggernaut this season, both at even-strength and especially on the power play.
11. Calgary Flames (LW: 13). They are rapidly gaining ground on Vegas in the Pacific Division and are now right there with them in the fight for the top spot in the Pacific Division.
12. Washington Capitals (LW: 12). Goalie may not be their only need, but it is the easiest need to fix that can make the biggest impact.
13. Boston Bruins (LW: 11). They may not be what they have been in recent years, but they are not going to be an easy out. Still need more depth, but that is not a new development.
14. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 14). Just be healthy for the playoffs. Just be healthy for the playoffs. Just be healthy for the playoffs. Just be healthy for the playoffs.
On The Bubble
15. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 17). Phillip Danault has been everything they could have hoped for as a free agent addition. Great center depth is making them a potential playoff team ahead of schedule.
17. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 19). Still need to see more from them and their depth before I buy into them as a playoff team. But they have at least managed to reverse the earlier trend and get back into playoff contention.
Barely hanging on to the bubble
19. New York Islanders (LW: 18). They are barely on the bubble simply because of the number of games they have remaining, but if we are being honest here they should be looking ahead to next season.
20. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 23). The way they played immediately after the coaching change is admirable but it is most likely a case of way too little, way too late.
21. San Jose Sharks (LW: 21). This recent stretch that has seen them lose seven of their past nine games is very damaging to whatever slim playoff chances they still had remaining.
22. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 20). An underrated pick for most disappointing team in the league.
Draft Lottery Dreaming
23. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 22). Strong progress this season and a strong core in place but they are just not on the same level as the Eastern Conference playoff teams. Not yet anyway.
24. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 25). Just not enough impact players here, and Patrik Laine just has not worked out yet as hoped yet.
25. Ottawa Senators (LW: 24). Good young core but man are they in the wrong division right now.
26. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 26). Hiring Peter Chiarelli would be tying an anchor to an already sinking ship.
27. Seattle Kraken (LW: 27). Still wonder what this season could have looked like if they goaltending had played the way they expected it to play.
28. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 30). They think they can turn this around quickly this offseason. That seems like a blindly optimistic position.
29. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 29). Another lost season on top of a mountain of lost seasons.
30. New Jersey Devils (LW: 29). The lack of progress here given the big moves they have attempted and top draft picks they have had is staggering.
31. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 31). Phil Kessel being traded is inevitable but who else goes over the next month-and-a-half?
32. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 32). We knew this season would be a struggle. Nobody knew it would look like this.