NHL Power Rankings: Avalanche in a tier all by themselves

NHL Power Rankings
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In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings we have the Colorado Avalanche still in the top spot as they continue to distance themselves from the rest of the pack in the league.

How good are the Avalanche right now? Well, their current points percentage for the season of .783 is .049 points better than the second best team in the league. Their goal differential of plus-59 is No. 1, and makes them one of only three teams to be better than plus-45 for the season, and they are 30-3-3 over their past 36 games after a 4-5-1 start. They have also not lost a game in regulation in, quite literally, two months, last losing a game in regulation on Dec. 16. Their points percentage of .875 dating back to Nov. 11 (the start of that 36 game run) is .133 points better than the second best team in the league during that stretch. That gap between them and the No. 2 team is the same as the gap between the No. 2 team and the No. 14 team in the league during that same stretch.

In other words, the Avalanche is in a tier by themselves right now.

Also this week, the Minnesota Wild crack the top-three while the Calgary Flames keep climbing into the top-10.

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. Colorado Avalanche (Last Week: 1). Perhaps the wildest part of their record this season is they have not really been fully healthy at any point this season, always playing without at least one (or more) key players. Expectations are going to be insanely high.

2. Florida Panthers (LW: 3). Anton Lundell wants to be mentioned in your Calder Trophy discussions. He also should be.

3. Minnesota Wild (LW: 4). Really impressive win this weekend against a top team in Carolina. The Wild are contenders and deserve to be treated as such.

4. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 3). Little bit of a slump this week, but still an elite team set up for success this season and well into the future.

5. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 6). They still have one of the league’s best records, are still back-to-back defending Stanley Cup champions, and it still feels like they have another level they can reach this season.

6. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 7). The thing that stands out about them is they can beat you in a variety of different ways. Very balanced team without many weaknesses.

7. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 5). Maybe it is just a slump. But maybe it is something to be thinking about. Jack Campbell has been struggling over the past couple of weeks.

8. Calgary Flames (LW: 11). They needed some improved depth beyond their top line. Tyler Toffoli should help address that. Great trade.

[Related: Flames get Tyler Toffoli from Canadiens]

9. New York Rangers (LW: 9). Their top tier players are as good as any other team’s top-tier players. Legitimate Stanley Cup core. But the secondary players are still badly lacking. That will hold them back against better teams in the playoffs.

10. St. Louis Blues (LW: 10). Goaltending will make or break their chances. Will Jordan Binnington be better in the second half? Will Ville Husso keep outperforming him and taking playing time?

11. Nashville Predators (LW: 8). Still not quite sure what to make of this team. Juuse Saros is a game changer though.

12. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 14). There is always a way to make the salary cap work. They are setting themselves up to be fully healthy (and loaded) for the playoffs. That is really all that matters.

13. Boston Bruins (LW: 13). They do not have enough depth for Brad Marchand to be taking himself out of the lineup for six games (and still not getting the message).

14. Washington Capitals (LW: 12). Starting to think their concerns run deeper than just goaltending.

15. Dallas Stars (LW: 16). Such an intriguing team. Jason Robertson is becoming a star. They are playing better. But they might have to trade one of their top players (John Klingberg) before the trade deadline. Should be a playoff team, but they are on the bubble.

16. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 15). They do not have a lot of difference makers right now after Anze Kopitar, but they still have some surprisingly strong depth.

17. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 17). The players, coaches (and general managers) keep changing. The results stay the same. The problems always start at the top and run downhill.

[Related: Can coaching change get Oilers on right path for playoffs?]

18. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 18). Even if they do not make the playoffs this season is still shaping up to be a positive step in the right direction. Nobody expected them to make the playoffs this season anyway.

19. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 24). Probably too late to make the playoffs in the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference but you have to love the way Patrik Laine is playing right now.

[Related: Laine is back on track and that is good news for everybody]

20. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 22). Kyle Connor is fantastic and just keeps getting better.

21. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 23). Moritz Seider is going to quickly join the Cale Makar, Adam Fox, Quinn Hughes, Miro Heiskanen group of superstar defensemen.

22. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 20). After the initial boost from the coaching change they have settled back into a .500 team.

23. New York Islanders (LW: 19). Sometimes for one reason or another it is just not your season.

24. San Jose Sharks (LW: 21). They are saying all of the right things about wanting to re-sign Tomas Hertl, but a trade still seems likely here, right?

25. Ottawa Senators (LW: 25). They play really hard and Matt Murray has really turned his season around. Very important developments there.

26. Seattle Kraken (LW: 27). They have played better recently, just as the goaltending has started to get a little better. Not a coincidence.

27. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 26). The new general manager, whoever it is, is going to have a major mess to clean up. Not a lot to like here.

28. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 28). This is going to be the first time since the early 1990s that the Philadelphia Flyers have missed the Stanley Cup playoffs in consecutive seasons.

29. New Jersey Devils (LW: 30). There is some good, promising young talent here but they just seem so far behind the other top teams in the Metropolitan Division.

30. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 29). Jeff Skinner‘s resurgence and the early promising returns on the Jack Eichel trade are at least some positives here.

31. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 31). Their shootout win against Colorado is definitely one of the more stunning individual game results of the season.

32. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 32). They have absolutely nothing to lose by giving Martin St. Louis a chance to prove himself the rest of this season. At least they tried something different.

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