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NHL Power Rankings: Shake Up in the Top 10

The Colorado Avalanche are still the top-ranked team, but there was some significant movement in the top 10 as a whole. Jason Chen takes a look at all 32 teams.
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After getting flamed (a little) for ranking the Minnesota Wild eighth last week, it’s a good reminder that chaos reigns supreme in hockey. 

Teams always look better than they really are when they’re winning a lot of games and also a lot worse than they really are when they’re losing a lot of games. It capped off a strange week with multiple upsets, no thanks to improved play from the Habs and Sens.

The Avs retain the top spot for the fifth consecutive week, the longest streak this season, with the Canes (4 weeks) and Lightning (2 weeks) being the only other two teams to stay at No. 1 for more than a week this season. 

However, what was believed to be a cakewalk through the Western Conference by the Avs may be met by a stiff challenge from the Flames, who have tied their franchise record with 10 straight wins. Though the Avs still have a 10-point advantage in the standings, the Flames are charging up and made a splashy acquisition in Tyler Toffoli, which paid immediate dividends.

(All fancy stats are 5v5 and courtesy naturalstattrick.com)

1. Colorado Avalanche (36-10-4, +56. CF%: 5th, xGF%: 9th. Previous Rank: 1)

They’ve looked a little vulnerable with two losses in their past four games, but remain at the top of the league in both points and points percentage. Darcy Kuemper is finally delivering as their starter, going 16-1-2 (!) with a .929 Sv% over the past three months.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning (32-11-6, +30. CF%: 11th, xGF%: 5th. PR: 2)

The Lightning remain in the second spot seemingly based on reputation alone, having played just one game over the past week, a 6-3 win against the Devils. This is the third week in a row the Lightning have played the bridesmaid, but with five straight home games coming up, they have a chance to regain the top spot again.

3. New York Rangers (32-13-5, +24. CF%: 32nd, xGF%: 29th. PR: 3)

A little luck played into it with a shootout win against the B’s and then a shootout loss to the Wings, then only managing to beat the Sens by one goal. But the common thread continues to be Shesterkin, who has allowed three goals or less in every game in 2022, including two shutout wins and another two wins in which he allowed just one goal.

4. Calgary Flames (30-13-6, +55. CF%: 2nd, xGF%: 1st. PR: 6)

No team is, ahem, hotter than the Flames right now. They can be kind of streaky, but when they’re good, they’re really, really good with excellent goaltending and contributions from every line. Their goal differential is tied third-best in the league and their possession numbers have been elite all season. Perhaps they’re just catching up to their potential.

5. Florida Panthers (35-11-5, +61. CF%: 1st, xGF%: 3rd. PR: 4)

A loss to the Preds was a tiny blip, but somewhat concerning because it remains to be seen if they can run-and-gun like this in the playoffs. They don’t mind swapping scoring chances, but it would be more reassuring to see them be able to grind out wins, especially when their goaltending isn’t sharp.

6. Carolina Hurricanes (35-11-4, +55. CF%: 4th, xGF%: 8th. PR: 9)

I told you they wouldn’t be down for long. Following losses to the Wild and Panthers, the Canes got right back up with wins against the Preds in the condiment bowl (y’know, red vs. yellow and all) and squeaked through Pennsylvania with 4-3 wins against the Pens and Flyers.

7. St. Louis Blues (30-14-6, +41. CF%: 22nd, xGF%: 24th. PR: 10)

Ironically, Martin St. Louis has owned the Blues throughout his career, and other than a 3-2 overtime loss to the Habs, the Blues look pretty strong when Ville Husso is in net. They went 4-0-1 during their five-game road trip.

8. Minnesota Wild (31-14-3, +39. CF%: 15th, xGF%: 12th. PR: 8)

Yes, the Wild won a lot of games, but it seemed more impressive than it really was; three wins against Chicago, and one each against the Habs and Wings… these are games they should be winning, anyway. They went 1-3-0 last week with 16 goals allowed, no thanks to poor performances from Talbot.

9. Toronto Maple Leafs (32-14-4, +38. CF%: 7th, xGF%: 4th. PR: 7)

Goaltending woes, weak defensive corps and lackluster efforts – all symptoms the Leafs have experienced over the past few seasons, though at least Kyle Dubas is addressing that by acquiring Carter Hutton and the underrated Ilya Lyubushkin. The 5-2 loss to the Habs stung the most.

10. Pittsburgh Penguins (31-13-8, +33. CF%: 9th, xGF%: 6th. PR: 5)

The Pens’ biggest fear should be entering the playoffs when Jarry isn’t playing well. He had a .864 Sv% and 4.13 GAA in losses against the Leafs and Canes over the past week. The lack of offense didn’t help either, with only three Pens scoring more than one point.

11. Edmonton Oilers (28-19-3, +7. CF%: 8th, xGF%: 10th. PR: 13)

A 7-3 loss to the Wild aside – even though the goaltending was really ugly with Mike Smith getting pulled again – the Oilers have looked much improved under Jay Woodcroft. There’s just nothing coaches can do about bad goaltending.

12. Boston Bruins (29-17-4, +6. CF%: 6th, xGF%: 2nd. PR: 15)

They went 3-2-1 without Marchand, which is about as good a result as you can hope for. The big eye-opener, however, was a 5-1 win against the Avs, and Swayman seems to have taken with four starts in their past five games and allowed just three goals on 60 shots (.950 Sv%) this past week.

13. Los Angeles Kings (26-17-7, +6. CF%: 3rd, xGF%: 7th. PR: 19)

They’ve won four of their past five as they continue to rotate between Petersen and Quick, and it’s their offense that’s been bailing them out. Kempe and Kopitar have combined for 10 points in their past two games.

14. Nashville Predators (29-18-4, +12. CF%: 17th, xGF%: 15th. PR: 11)

A 6-4 win against the Panthers was a nice reprieve, but that was with David Rittich in net. If Saros doesn’t turn the ship around, the Preds have no chance. A five-spot drop feels generous for a team that has lost four of its past five, including three games to teams ranked lower than them.

15. Vegas Golden Knights (29-18-4, +19. CF%: 10th, xGF%: 11th. PR: 12)

It was nice to see Eichel score goals, but it does not hide the fact that they were shut out by the Flames and Avs and lost to the Kings in overtime. The Knights have been so underwhelming this season they definitely don’t look like a Western Conference heavyweight anymore.

16. Dallas Stars (27-20-2, -2. CF%: 19th, xGF%: 16th. PR: 14)

It’s a love-hate relationship with the Stars because I’ve never seen a team that has been simultaneously so good yet so bad in the same season. A 3-1 loss to the Coyotes on Sunday was a real black eye as they vie for a playoff berth.

17. Washington Capitals (28-15-9, +26. CF%: 12th, xGF%: 14th. PR: 18)

The Caps’ record is surprisingly good considering how inconsistent they’ve been, especially in net, but winning three of their past four games – all on the road – is a nice way to get back on track. Samsonov is 4-2-0 with a .917 Sv% in February.

18. Anaheim Ducks (25-19-9, -1. CF%: 20th, xGF%: 21st. PR: 16)

Like any flawed roster with good goaltending, the Ducks live and die with their performances in net. The wins against the Canucks and Sharks were nice, but they weren’t entirely convincing. Gibson has a .815 Sv% and 6.09 GAA in three games over the past week.

19. Columbus Blue Jackets (26-23-1, -16. CF%: 21st, xGF%: 27th. PR: 23)

The Jackets have won eight of their past 10 games even though their goaltending has been a little suspect. Patrik Laine’s 14 points in February trails only Elias Lindholm, and they’re re-inventing themselves as a high-scoring team after years of grind-it-out hockey. Tuesday’s overtime win against the Leafs was impressive, but with the Panthers, Canes and Pens coming up, let’s see how good they really are before bumping them way up.

20. Vancouver Canucks (24-22-6, -8. CF%: 16th, xGF%: 19th. PR: 18)

They’ve been up-and-down but still mostly good, beating the Kraken 5-2 after an embarrassing 7-4 loss to the Ducks. When Demko isn’t sharp, the Canucks have no chance.

21. Winnipeg Jets (22-20-8, -5. CF%: 14th, xGF%: 18th. PR: 20)

The Jets are 5-4-1 following their six-game losing streak and their offense has come alive with Blake Wheeler scoring seven points in our games, but they’re still so far off from where they need to be. The Jets had a 6-2-1 edge against the Flames going into the season and had dispatched the Oilers in the previous playoffs, but lost by a combined 7-3 score last week.

22. Ottawa Senators (19-26-5, -25. CF%: 26th, xGF%: 25th. PR: 22)

The Sens are playing the spoiler right now thanks to strong goaltending from Forsberg, Gustavsson and Murray, who is expected to re-join the team following the birth of his child. Over the past week, Sens goalies are a combined 2-1-1 with a .932 Sv% and 2.24 GAA.

23. Detroit Red Wings (23-22-6, -29. CF%: 29th, xGF%: 23rd. PR: 24)

They’ve won five of their past eight games but the big news was Dylan Larkin leaving practice with an undisclosed injury. He’s their heart and soul and leaves a huge void in the middle of their lineup.

24. New York Islanders (19-20-7, -12. CF%: 27th, xGF%: 17th. PR: 27)

Lose to the Sabres but beat the Bruins. Lose to the Habs but beat the Kraken. Sorokin has taken over the No. 1 job but their offense remains anemic and their performances inconsistent. Either way, they’re somewhere between mediocre to really bad, and obviously neither are good for a team many believed to be a dark horse contender.

25. Buffalo Sabres (16-27-8, -44. CF%: 25th, xGF%: 31st. PR: 25)

Tage Thompson has more goals (4) than the rest of the team combined (3) since last week. Tokarski and Anderson were a combined 0-3-0 with a .880 Sv% and 4.06 GAA.

26. San Jose Sharks (22-22-6, -24. CF%: 30th, xGF%: 20th. PR: 22)

A six-game losing streak definitely deserves a drop, though they did face really tough opponents and four of the losses were only by one goal. The Sharks have only two defensemen who are averaging over 20 minutes per game – Burns and Ferraro – and they’re a combined minus-8 over the past week.

27. Seattle Kraken (16-33-4, -53. CF%: 18th, xGF%: 22nd. PR: 26)

We’re a month away from the trade deadline and still not a peep from the Kraken. Like the dead octopus you find washed up on the beach, you want to give them a hard prod just to see if it’s still alive, though in reality the Kraken were probably DOA following a botched expansion draft.

28. New Jersey Devils (17-28-5, -36. CF%: 13th, xGF%: 13th. PR: 29)

A 7-1 win against the Habs gives the Devils the edge, but it was also just their third win in over a month. They’re getting good performances from their young players and Dougie Hamilton is expected to return Thursday, but you can only win so many games when your starter is Jon Gillies.

29. Chicago Blackhawks (18-26-8, -50. CF%: 28th, xGF%: 28th. PR: 28)

Fleury’s record this season: 16-18-4, .912 Sv%, 2.80 GAA. All other Blackhawks goalies: 2-8-4, .881 Sv%, 3.77 GAA. If and when they move Fleury, the Hawks are going to plummet even further.

30. Montréal Canadiens (11-33-7, -80. CF%: 24th, xGF%: 30th. PR: 32)

The Habs are the only team to be ranked in the bottom three every single week, but things really are perking up under Martin St. Louis. Cole Caufield is scoring, Jeff Petry is playing like he cares and are we getting the Hamburgler 2.0 after Andrew Hammond won his season debut against the Isles?

31. Arizona Coyotes (13-33-4, -72. CF%: 31st, xGF%: 32nd. PR: 31)

The great desert exodus seems to be just beginning after the Coyotes shipped off Carter Hutton and Ilya Lyubushkin, arguably one of their most reliable defenders, to the Leafs. More pieces will surely follow, but credit to the Coyotes; there hasn’t really been any talk of frustration boiling over or teammates throwing each other under the bus despite another horrendous campaign.

32. Philadelphia Flyers (15-26-10, -51. CF%: 23rd, xGF%: 26th. PR: 30)

With their sixth straight loss Tuesday against the Blues, the Flyers drop to the bottom spot for the second time this season. Carter Hart at least gave them a chance, but Martin Jones has been a disastrous signing since day one. 

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