NHL Power Rankings – Week 20

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Welcome to the next installment of HockeyClan’s weekly NHL power rankings. Each week throughout the season, HockeyClan ranks every team in the National Hockey League from top to bottom.

Who’s #1? Who’s rising? Who’s falling? It’s week 20 in the NHL season — that’s right — the fourth month of the season. Stay tuned each week for updates in our power rankings!

Ottawa Senators Defenceman Erik Karlsson (65) skates by the bench to celebrate a goal during first period National Hockey League action between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators on February 22, 2018, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

1-Tampa Bay Lightning (41-17-3) The rich get richer? Rumours swirling around Erik Karlsson to the Bolts. Could we see Victor Hedman lining up alongside his countryman? No. 1 offense (217 GF) and 2nd-best power play (24.4%), but is vulnerable on the penalty kill (77.9%-23rd). Last: 1

2-Vegas Golden Knights (40-16-4) With 40 wins and 84 points, you’re looking at the best expansion team — ever. Vegas will become the first expansion team in the last 50 years to make the playoffs. Plus-46 goal differential is best in the West. Last: 2

3-Nashville Predators (37-14-9) Smashville keeps on smashing opponents to the tune of 21-7-3 at Bridgestone Arena while going 16-7-6 on the road. Winners of each of their last three, Nashville is 6-2-2 in their last 10 games. Last: 3

4-Boston Bruins (37-13-8) Despite as many as five games in hand in the East, the B’s continue to prove their early-season struggles were an anomaly. 8-2 in their last 10, you’re looking at the top defensive team (140 GA) with The League’s best penalty kill (84.8%). Last: 5

5-Toronto Maple Leafs (38-20-5) Auston Matthews left their last game against the Isles, but the real story is the play of Frederik Andersen who has gone from laughing stock to Vezina consideration (2.66 GAA, .923 Save %). The Leafs are 8-2 over their last 10 as well. Last: 8

6-Winnipeg Jets (35-16-9) A little dip in production was expected, but the Jets are still +38 in goal differential, second only to Vegas. Steve Mason was brought in to be the No. 1 and has emerged from concussion protocol, but this is Connor Hellebuyck’s team now (2.37 GAA, .922 Save %). Last: 4

7-Pittsburgh Penguins (35-22-4) Arguably the hottest team in the NHL, the Pens are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games riding a five-game winning streak. Pegged as the favorite to turn in the three-peak, there was serious doubt after their slow start but that window has officially closed. Last: 11

8-Washington Capitals (34-20-7) The problem with the Caps is they tend to play down to the level of their competition. Their playoff woes are well documented, but Ovi and Co. need to be more accountable defensively. Goaltender Braden Holtby has taken responsibility, but he is not completely at fault here. Last: 6

Related: NHL Power Rankings — Week 17

Tier Two

Anaheim Ducks goalie Ryan Miller (30) in goal during a Dallas Stars 5 on 3 power play in the third period of a game against the Dallas Stars played on February 21, 2018 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

9-Anaheim Ducks (31-20-11) John Gibson is day-to-day, but Ducks’s GM Bob Murray proved savvy bringing in veteran Ryan Miller who turned in a vintage 41-save performance for his 42nd-career shutout of Dallas on Wednesday. That’s back-to-back shutouts for Anaheim. Last: 13

10-Dallas Stars (35-22-4) The Stars are 7-3 in their last 10, but a closer look shows Dallas has lost three of their last five. The Stars are 21-9-1 at American Airlines Arena, but a concerning 14-13-3 on the road. Free Agent Ben Bishop has held up his end of the bargain (2.53, .916) but he isn’t getting offensive support. Last: 9

11-Minnesota Wild (33-20-7) The State of Hockey has quietly crept up the standings and into the Wild Card race with a 6-2-2 run over their last 10. Much like the Stars, however, Minnesota is 20-5-6 at the friendly confines of Xcel Energy Center, but 13-15-1 on the road. Last: 15

12-St. Louis Blues (34-23-4) Yikes! A top tier team each of the last two months, St. Louis is signing the blues lately with a four-game slide. St. Louis is 4-5-1 in their last 10, but despite all of that remains in the playoff picture as the last Wild Card team in the West if the season ended today. Last: 7

13-Los Angeles Kings (33-23-5) The Kings seem to have emerged from January’s slump but are little more than an above average .500 team going 6-4 in their last 10 at this point. One point out of the Wild Card race, no one wants to face L.A. if it makes it in. Dion Phaneuf was a big addition to its playoff push. Last: 13

14-San Jose Sharks (33-20-8) Still maintain the second-best power play unit in The League connecting at a 83.8% clip, but defensively there leaves a lot to be desired. Fresh off a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Nashville, the Sharks need to shore up the back end. Brent Burns is minus-19. Last: 16

15-New Jersey Devils (31-22-8) Sensing a slide and a void up the middle since dealing Adam Henrique to Anaheim, Devils’ GM Ray Shero pulled off a coup adding Michael Grabner from the Rangers late Thursday night. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Now, it just needs a healthy Cory Schneider in between the pipes. Last: 10

16-Philadelphia Flyers (32-19-10) The hottest team in the NHL, the Flyers are an undefeated 8-0-2 in their last 10 games. And when Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth both went down with injuries, credit GM Ron Hextall for moving swiftly in bringing in Petr Mrazek from Detroit. Last: 20

17-Calgary Flames (31-21-9) Johnny Gaudreau took a stick to the face from teammate Sam Bennett, lost a chiclet, then responded with a goal and two assists in a 5-2 win over Arizona. He’s tough. He’s a hockey player. He’s Johnny Hockey. Last: 17

Related: NHL Power Rankings – Week 15

Tier Three

Columbus Blue Jackets Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) dives for a save in the second period during game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers on February 22, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

18-Columbus Blue Jackets (30-26-5) The slide continues for the BJax, which are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games. Minus-12 in the goal differential department, Sergei Bobrovsky has been good (2.45 GAA, .919 Save %) but he can’t score. With just 154 goals scored, Columbus is fourth-worst in offense. Last: 12

19-Colorado Avalanche (32-23-5) No one predicted the Avalanche would be four games over .500, especially after going 22-56-4 last season, but the Colorado youth movement continues. While a shot at the post-season slips away by the day, GM Joe Sakic has to be pleased with the turnaround. Last: 19

20-New York Islanders (29-26-7) The only team in the NHL without a shutout this season, New York scored back-to-back 3-0 shutouts of the Rangers and Hurricanes but then lost Thomas Greiss to I.R. The Isles boast the third-best offense with 203 goals-for, but rank dead last in goals-against (221). Jaroslav Halak is a sieve. Last: 23

21-Florida Panthers (27-25-6) Roberto Luongo led an emotional plea after the shootings at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, then Vincent Trochek provided the game-winning goal with 19.1 seconds left in a big 3-2 victory over Washington Thursday night. On the ice, Florida is 7-3 in their last 10. Last: 25

22-Carolina Hurricanes (27-23-10) After a nice run January into February, the Canes have lost three straight and are a mediocre 4-4-2 in their last 10 games. Minus-18 in goal differential and on the wrong side of the win column lately, but the fact remains Carolina is just one point back from Columbus in the Wild Card race. Last: 21

23-Chicago Blackhawks (26-27-8) The Hawks are a different team with Corey Crawford in net, but coach Joel Quenneville recently admitted he may be a lost cause. That’s probably a safe assumption as Chicago’s 2017-18 campaign is becoming a lost season by the day (2-7-1 last 10). Patrick Kane remains elite and Alex DeBrincat has been most impressive but it may be time to become sellers at the deadline. Last: 18

24-New York Rangers (27-29-5) Speaking of lost seasons, enter the Blueshirts which have been in chaos since big free agent signee Kevin Shattenkirk went down. For the first time in team history, New York did a deal with the Devils sending Grabner across the Hudson River and he may be the first of many dominoes to fall after him. Last: 22

25-Edmonton Oilers (25-31-5) There’s no doubting the Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl chemistry, but weighing down the the top line has left a void on the rest of the team. Milan Lucic is in the midst of his worst scoring drought of his career, leaving The Oil as arguably the biggest disappointment this season. Last: 24

Related: NHL Power Rankings – Week 13

Tier Four

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) blocks a shot during the third period of a regular season NHL hockey game between the Nashville Predators and the Detroit Red Wings on February 20, 2018, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

26-Detroit Red Wings (24-26-10) The Wings scored with 1:25 remaining in regulation to tie the game and send it to overtime before Buffalo scored with two-tenths of a second to pull out the upset. Such is Motor City’s season in a nutshell. Black Bear Jimmy Howard continues to defy the odds, but he may be of better use to Detroit somewhere else before Monday’s deadline. Last: 26

27-Vancouver Canucks (23-30-7) It will be interesting to see what this team looks like come the NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 26. Thomas Vanek, Alexander Edler, Loui Eriksson, Sam Gagner, Brandon Sutter and Michael Del Zotto could be had for a song. NHL.com Trade Tracker. Last: 27

28-Ottawa Senators (21-29-10) Unless Erik Karlsson wants to remain in Canada’s capitol city long-term, Ottawa would be best-served getting as much as they can right now. Defensemen are highly-coveted come the deadline, but is their asking price too high? Last: 29

​29-Montreal Canadiens (20-25-6) Carey Price is in concussion protocol and Shea Weber is done for the season. The Habs should write off 2017-18 completely. Les bleu, blanc et rouge, which live and die with the Canadiens, will remind them. Last 28

30-Buffalo Sabres (18-32-11) Evander Kane expects to be traded by the deadline, but did General Manager Jason Botterill overplay his hand? The rookie G.M. has some tough decisions to make on who is part of the future and who is out the door. Sam Reinhart is a name to watch. Last: 30

31-Arizona Coyotes (17-33-10) The Yotes are 5-4-1 in their last 10! Hey, it’s something in what has otherwise been another long season in the desert. Just about everybody outside of Clayton Keller could be had by Monday’s deadline. Last: 31

records and rankings through 2/22


Main Image: Vegas Golden Knights right wing Alex Tuch (89) and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) celebrate after defeating the Calgary Flames 7-3 during a regular season NHL game at T-Mobile Arena Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by: Marc Sanchez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


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