In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings the Los Angeles Kings make another big climb as they inch closer to the top-10 of the league. They are one of the hottest teams right now with a 9-1-2 mark over their past 12 games that has pushed them to second place in the Pacific Division. Some smart offseason additions, a strong young core, and some of their star veterans (specifically Anze Kopitar) have helped this team become a playoff contender much sooner than expected.
They have good center depth, they defend well, and some bounce-back seasons from Drew Doughty and Jonathan Quick have been just what they needed. If some of their young players can take a step forward during the stretch run (Quinton Byfield, Arthur Kaliyev) they could be a tough team to knock out in the playoffs.
Also this week the Colorado Avalanche maintain their top spot, while the Calgary Flames move into the top-five for the first time this season. The St. Louis Blues also sit in the top-10 for this week.
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). This offense is incredible, but the defense is what really separates them from everybody else in the league. It probably deserves more attention than it gets (and thanks to Cale Makar it gets a lot of attention around the league).
2. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 3). They do everything well at forward and defense and are also getting a Vezina-worthy goalie performance from Frederik Andersen. That is a winning combination.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 5). They have very quietly moved ahead of Florida in the Atlantic Division based on points percentage. Do not rule out the three-peat for this team. If anybody can win three Stanley Cups in a row, this team can.
4. Calgary Flames (LW: 6). Ugly game against Vancouver this week, but they are 14-3-0 in their past 17 games and have beaten a lot of really good teams during that stretch. Seems highly possible that they are going to end up in the Western Conference Final while everybody quietly ponders how it happened.
5. Florida Panthers (LW: 2). Little bit of a slump here, but they get three straight games against Ottawa, Detroit, and Buffalo to maybe snap out of it.
6. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 7). Would be very concerned about the goaltending right now, but wow that offense can score goals.
7. St. Louis Blues (LW: 10). What an absolute steal Pavel Buchnevich has been.
8. Minnesota Wild (LW: 3). Even good teams hit a tough stretch at some point during an 82-game season.
9. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 8). Very impressive weekend with wins over the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets. Evgeni Malkin is starting to get rolling for them right now and play at a high level.
10. New York Rangers (LW: 9). Every time you watch them it becomes more and more clear that not only is Igor Shesterkin the Vezina Trophy winner, he should be the league MVP as well.
11. Boston Bruins (LW: 14). They beat a bunch of teams they are supposed to beat this week, but that 5-1 win over Colorado really stands out.
12. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 16). As noted above, this is a really good hockey team right now. Start paying attention to them.
13. Dallas Stars (LW: 17). Tyler Seguin is starting to produce and they have an outstanding top line. Still a very confusing team with the inconsistency this season.
14. Washington Capitals (LW: 12). They have been struggling for a while now and their schedule the rest of the way is a challenge.
15. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 13). They do look a lot better since the coaching change but they have to do something to address the goaltending position.
16. Nashville Predators (LW: 15). They would really have to struggle here over the next couple of weeks to make a Filip Forsberg trade seem like a realistic possibility. As long as they look like a playoff team, they should keep him.
17. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 11). They do need to get healthy and get some better shooting luck, but this is not where anybody expected this team to be at any point this season.
[Related: Golden Knights on playoff bubble; How concerned should they be?]
18. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 22). Just when you think they are out of it, they manage to win enough games to stay in the race.
19. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 18). Patrik Laine and the Blue Jackets seem like a perfect fit. Hopefully they can work something out long term.
20. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 19). Kyle Connor is great, but this team is a disappointment overall.
21. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 20). It is kind of staggering how good Moritz Seider is already.
22. New York Islanders (LW: 22). Good news: Ilya Sorokin has been great this season. Bad news: Ilya Sorokin has been great this season and the Islanders are still having a season this bad.
23. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 21). They have lost a lot of games recently, and a lot of games they absolutely could not afford to lose (Seattle, Islanders).
24. Ottawa Senators (LW: 24). Even with some good young talent and improved goaltending this team still feels like it is miles away from contending, especially in that division.
25. San Jose Sharks (LW: 25). All eyes on Tomas Hertl right now.
[NHL Trade Deadline Primer: Tomas Hertl could be game-changer if moved]
26. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 32). It is still very early but Martin St. Louis has made an enormous difference here for both the team and individual players like Cole Caufield. This is going to be fascinating to watch the rest of the season.
27. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 26). Something that does not get talked about enough is that this team did not fall apart simply because of the salary cap or an aging core. It was because of terrible management. In more ways than one it turns out.
28. New Jersey Devils (LW: 28). They are a different team with Dougie Hamilton back in the lineup. Jesper Bratt is also having an outstanding season.
29. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 29). After starting 8-4-2 this season they have gone just 8-22-8 since then. They are 3-14-4 since the start of the new calendar year.
[Related: Will Flyers clean up start at trade deadline?]
30. Seattle Kraken (LW: 27). Mark Giordano seems like a given to be traded, but what about veterans like Jared McCann, Yanni Gourde, and Jordan Eberle? Are any of them part of the long-term core here?
31. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 30). There are some good individual performances here, including a breakout season for Tage Thompson, but they are still losing a lot of games.
32. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 31). They beat Colorado, Dallas, and Vegas in February which is probably not what anybody expected.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.