NHL Power Rankings – Week 17

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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? After last week’s All-Star Game break, it’s week 17 in the NHL season. Stay tuned each week for updates in our power rankings!

John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders and Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning take part in the 2018 GEICO NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Amalie Arena on January 27, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

1-Tampa Bay Lightning (35-13-3) The top-ranked team in the HockeyClan Power Rankings for the past 16 weeks. No. 1 in offense, (181 GF) and NHL-best +51 goal differential. ICYMI – check out this pic of 12-year old Nikita Kucherov with Alexander Ovechkin. Last: 1

2-Vegas Golden Knights (34-12-4) Stop the Press — the Golden Knights lost at home! Falling to 19-3-2 at T-Mobile Arena, Sin City is still proving a tough place to play. With nine players with +20 points, is it too early to anoint George McPhee GM of the Year? Last: 2

3-Nashville Predators (30-12-7) As if Smashville needed any more teeth, Nashville welcomed back captain Mike Fisher out of retirement. “I believe this team is built to win, and has a very good chance. So that’s part of the reason I want to come back,” Fisher said. Last: 3

4-Winnipeg Jets (30-13-9) Tied with Vegas for the fewest home losses in The League at 18-3-2, though the Jets fell in overtime, 3-2, at Bell MTS Place on Thursday night. Still, the Jets are 6-2-2 in their last 10 and the offense continues to flow (167 GF, 4th; 24.3% PP, 3rd). Last: 4

5-Boston Bruins (30-11-8) ICYMI – the B’s have been on an absolute tear. Boston had taken at least one point in 18 straight games (14-0-4) dating to December before suffering its first regulation loss of 2018 to Anaheim on Jan. 30. The B’s are getting it done defensively with the best unit in the NHL, surrendering just 118 goals in 49 games (2.4 GPG). Last: 8

6-Washington Capitals (30-15-5) The Caps turned a corner last month and continue that trend going 6-2-2 over its last 10 games. Getting pivot Nicklas Backstrom (10-28-38) back with Alexander Ovechkin (30-23-53) has been key and T.J. Oshie is off the schnide with his first goal in 14 games.. Last: 5

7-St. Louis Blues (31-19-3) Few pegged Carter Hutton as the team’s No. 1 goaltender heading into February, but that is exactly what the Thunder Bay, Ontario netminder has been going 13-4-1 with a miniscule 1.70 goals-against and .945 save percentage with a pair of shutouts. While future star Jake Allen (18-15-2, 2.72, .911) figures it out, it’s Hutton’s show. Last: 6

8-Toronto Maple Leafs (30-18-5) What to make of these Leafs? With youth, comes up and downs and that’s exactly how it’s been at Air Canada Centre. For now, Toronto is flying high riding a four-game winning streak. But with Frederik Andersen capable of blowing up at anytime, the Leafs have done well staying out of the box (403 PIMs, 6th), while shutting down opponents 83.6% of the time (4th). Last: 9

Related: NHL Power Rankings – Week 15

Tier Two

Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin (91) and Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) skate during warm ups before the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on January 27, 2018 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

9-Dallas Stars (29-19-4) 6-3-1 over their last 10 with a +21 goal differential and two capable netminders in between the pipes in Kari Lehtonen and Ben Bishop has Dallas on the rise. Finally over their goaltending woes, the Stars can feel comfortable running and gunning with three players with 20+ goals (Seguin, Radulov, Benn). John Klingberg for the Norris Trophy? Last: 10

10-New Jersey Devils (26-16-8) It’s been a tough go in Newark lately as Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid have gone down while dropping eight of 11 in January. The Devils appear to have righted the ship winning each of its last two but a date with the Pens on Saturday will be telling. Last: 7

11-Pittsburgh Penguins (28-21-3) The Pens, conversely, flipped the switch going 9-3 in January and appear to be back as a team many pegged to make it a three-peat. Lethal on the power play connecting at an NHL-best 26.7% clip, Sid and the kids have settled in which does not bode well for the rest in the East. Last: 14

12-Columbus Blue Jackets (27-19-4) The Jackets have really crashed back to earth and are now on the south side of a disappointing -11 goal differential. On a team that models itself defensively behind Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus has been only slightly better than average over its last 10 (5-4-1). Last: 11

13-Anaheim Ducks (25-17-10) The Ducks are starting to figure it out going 6-3-1 and their last 10 and no one — absolutely no one — wants to face this team in the playoffs if it gets in. This team is built for playoff success and Anaheim is on the upswing. No. 1 John Gibson is day-to-day, but the Ducks have a more than capable backup in Ryan Miller until he returns. Last: 16

14-Los Angeles Kings (27-19-5) Another club that is sliding, the Kings have fallen out of the top tier for the third week in a row thanks to a 4-7 month of January. Defensively, LA is still pretty stingy (126 GA, 3rd; 85.3% PK, 1st), but this team needs to figure out how to put the puck in the net (140 GF, 21st) with zero players with 20+ goals. Last: 13

15-Minnesota Wild (27-18-5) Much like Anaheim, the Wild is a team no one wants to meet in the playoffs. 6-2-2 over their last 10 games, Minnesota is turning it around at the right time. The Wild are an impressive 17-4-4 at XCel Energy Center but need to figure things out on the road with a head-scratching 10-14-1 record outside The State of Hockey. Last: 17

16-San Jose Sharks (26-16-8) Losers of four straight and now without jumbo Joe Thornton for the forseeable future, San Jose has to figure things out and quickly. Brent Burns (8-34-42, minus-23 YIKES!) is their leading scorer. Couture, Pavelski continue to disappoint. Two-thirds of the players on this team are minus. Last: 12

17-Calgary Flames (25-18-8) Six straight losses! Calgary needs an enema and fast before it’s too late. The Flames have already fallen out of the Western Wild Card race, but there is reason for optimism as long as Johnny Hockey gets consistent help from his supporting cast in Monahan, Tkachuk, Ferland and Backlund. Last: 18

Related: NHL Power Rankings – Week 13

Tier Three

(L-R) Rickard Rakell #67 of the Anaheim Ducks, John Klingberg #3 of the Dallas Stars, Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers, Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators and Oliver Ekman-Larsson #23 of the Arizona Coyotes pose after the 2018 GEICO NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Amalie Arena on January 27, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

18-Chicago Blackhawks (24-20-7) Mediocre at best, Chicago have been a big disappointment as many predicted. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad and Co. = 29th-best power play in The League? That’s worrisome. Corey Crawford can’t return fast enough from his reported bout with vertigo. Last: 19

19-Colorado Avalanche (28-18-4) One of the best stories of the year, the Avs continue to roll going 7-2-1 in their last 10. Colorado took a hit, however, when it was revealed Nathan MacKinnon will miss 2-to-4 weeks with an upper-body injury. “It’s not a great feeling when you lose a guy like that because of what he means to our team. But I’m excited for the opportunity it presents other guys,” coach Jared Bednar said. Last: 20

20-Philadelphia Flyers (24-19-8) After turning it around to begin 2018, the Flyers have now lost three straight. The wild mood swings have to be a concern on Broad Street. Special teams continue to be at the heart of the matter with an 8th-best power play (21.4%) but third-worst penalty kill (73.9%). With dates with OTT, CAR, MON, AZ on tap, Philadelphia could turn it around rather quickly. Last: 22

21-Carolina Hurricanes (24-19-8) Winners of three straight, Carolina continues to be one of the most underrated teams in the NHL. A minus-14 goal differential isn’t helping, but the future is bright in Raleigh. 22nd in goals-for (138) and 22nd in goals-against (152) isn’t anything to write home about. Last: 23

22-New York Rangers (25-21-5) The devastating loss of big free agent signee Kevin Shattenkirk brings whispers the Blueshirts will be sellers instead of buyers at the trading deadline. Hank’s window is closing fast and New York is 3-7 in their last 10 games. Something has to give. Last: 15

23-New York Islanders (25-22-5) Last – LAST – in the league with 188 goals allowed. The Isles aren’t just losing, their getting blown out when they’re not putting the puck in the net. Offensively, John Tavares, Josh Bailey, Anders Lee and Matthew Barzal have been a revelation (2nd-best 170 goals-for) but that is all for naught if you can’t keep the puck out of your own cage. Last: 21

24-Edmonton Oilers (22-24-4) The Oil are the biggest disappointment in the NHL but Edmonton is slowly, slowly, starting to turn it around. A modest, 5-4-1, over their last 10, still it may be too late for McDavid and Co., however. With all the fan support, how does this team have a losing record at Rogers Place. How is this team last in The League on the power play at a 71.7% clip? More questions than answers. Last: 26

25-Florida Panthers (21-22-6) The goaltending carousel continues. Roberto Luongo, James Reimer, Harri Sateri? The top line of Huberdeau, Barkov and Trochek have combined for 50 goals and 90 assists, but there is n’t a lot of support after that. Last: 24

26-Detroit Red Wings (20-21-8) Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek give the Wings a chance to win on most nights, but the bottom line is there just has been no offensive support with 124 goals in 49 games (2.6 GPG). Detroit has one player – ONE – with more than 15 goals this season. Last: 25

Related: NHL Power Rankings Week 12

Tier Four

Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins and John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders talk the GEICO NHL Save Streak during the 2018 GEICO NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Amalie Arena on January 27, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

27-Vancouver Canucks (21-24-6) Despite a minus-29 goal differential, the Canucks bring it on most nights and have won a modest two in a row. There is not quit on this team and that is a testament to coach Travis Green who is doing his best despite being dealt a rough hand in the Pacific Northwest. Vancouver has the sixth-best power play in the league (21.9%) and All-Star MVP Brock Boeser is a star on the rise. Last: 27

​28-Montreal Canadiens (20-25-6) Losers of three straight, les bleu, blanc et rouge have to be chomping at the bit. 3-5-2 in their last 10 and a minus-31 goal differential leaves a lot to be desired. It will be interesting to see if the Habs become sellers at the trading deadline. They could get a king’s ransom for Shea Weber. Last 28

29-Ottawa Senators (16-24-9) It seems it’s only a matter of when – not if – the Sens deal Erik Karlsson, who apparently moonlights as a pirate when he isn’t patrolling blue lines in the capitol city. Incredibly, Ottawa is 28th in the league in goals-for, goals-against, power play and penalty kill. Last: 29

30-Buffalo Sabres (14-28-9) Buffalo has these cool Rick Jeanneret bobbleheads for sale. These cute little buggers say five different phrases like, “May Day! May Day” and “Holy Mackeral, Roll the Highlight Film!” It’s unfortunate, it might be the highlight of the 2017-18 season in #Buffalove. Last: 30

31-Arizona Coyotes (12-30-9) No where to go but up. The minus-57 goal differential is atrocious but plans are underway to bring NCAA hockey to a new level in the desert. There’s bound to be more Auston Matthews out there. Last: 31

* records and rankings through 2/1

 

Main Image: {L-R} Alexander Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals, Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens, Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs look on in the Enterprise NHL Fastest Skater during the 2018 GEICO NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Amalie Arena on January 27, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

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