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NHL Power Rankings: Maple Leafs need to sort things out ASAP

Hey everyone, we here at Yahoo! Sports are doing real power rankings for teams Nos. 1-31. Here they are, based on only how I am feeling about these teams and their chances to win the Cup, meaning you can’t tell me I’m wrong because these are my feelings and feelings can’t be wrong. Please enjoy the Power Feelings.

31. Los Angeles Kings (Last week: 30)

They have a game in hand but the Kings are only two points up on the Senators thanks to Ottawa winning a couple games and LA continuing to be very bad. They’re minus-59 on the season in goals, which is an amazingly bad number.

It’s five worse than that Anaheim team that spent five months giving up 40 shots a night. Incredible effort from the Kings. Who made the playoffs last year. Remember that? People thought Dustin Brown figured it out! What a world.

30. Ottawa Senators (LW: 31)

29. New York Rangers (LW: 28)

28. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 29)

Very funny seeing Detroit go up 3-0 on Tampa Thursday night and just get absolutely brought back to reality in the second half of that game. Five straight Lightning goals and then a garbage-time score from Michael Rasmussen. You gotta figure that was just Tampa spotting them three just for the challenge of it.

Anyway they beat the Islanders on Saturday night and that was pretty funny too.

27. New Jersey Devils (LW: 27)

A thing that has gone unsaid in recent weeks is that ever since Cory Schneider came back from injury in early February, he’s back to being really good: .925 in 13 appearances. It’s a small sample and the team is so bad that they’re still below .500 in those games, but maybe he’s not totally washed?

I mean, I’m erring on the side of caution on that but it’s possible, is all I’m saying.

26. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 26)

25. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 24)

Carter Hart is back and he looked real good on Sunday against the Pens and that’s nice. Not that it matters at this point but, well, it’s something for next year I guess. He’s .918 on the year. You take that for sure.

24. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 25)

23. Chicago (LW: 23)

Now I kinda hope they do make the playoffs after all this up-and-down, will-they-won’t-they, sure-they-suck-but-what-if-they-don’t-suck nonsense the local media has playing up since the All-Star break. Because they’ll get absolutely smoked by whoever they draw and then maybe we’ll never have to hear about this core being THIS-CLOSE to figuring it out again.

22. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 22)

21. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 21)

20. Florida Panthers (LW: 20)

19. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 18)

Hey what ever happened to all that “This team is going to succeed because they care if they lose now” talk from when this team had a 10-plus shooting percentage and massive power play percentage in November?

This club was amazing. Incredible. What a team. Marc Bergevin won every trade he’s made, in retrospect. Except they’ve played at an 88-point pace since, let’s just see here… this says “since Nov. 19.”


18. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 19)

17. Minnesota Wild (LW: 16)

16. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 17)

If they get five points out of every four games the rest of the way, which is what they knocked down this week, that seems pretty good to me. It also seems possible. They played Tampa last night, but their next games are against Florida, New Jersey, the Islanders, Chicago, Colorado, Minnesota, and LA.

Lots of winnable games as long as Darcy Kuemper survived that Tampa game with his brain intact. But then they finish the year at Vegas and hosting Winnipeg. Which is not ideal.

You wonder when the magic goes away, but as long as they can keep plugging along, it’ll be tough for them to lose this playoff spot.

15. Dallas Stars (LW: 15)

14. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 14)

Starting to look like they’re gonna get in after all, mainly because Montreal refuses to be any good at all. But they ended last week a point back of Carolina with an extra game played, which is where it seems like they might stay.

And look, if you empty the tanks to move up a single spot, get two, maybe three games of playoff revenue, only to see Tampa crush your skull with terrifying ease, was it really worth it? I really hope so.

13. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 10)

12. St. Louis Blues (LW: 12)

11. New York Islanders (LW: 13)

Only three regulation wins in the last nine games, and it hasn’t even been that hard of a schedule. And in fact, they only have 14 regulation wins in their last 32 games, dating back to the end of that six-game winning streak around New Year’s.

And that’s despite a 33-game all-situations save percentage of .931. Concerning about that whole “quality over quantity” thing.

10. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 11)

9. Nashville Predators (LW: 8)

8. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 6)

Maple Leafs need to sort things out quick. (Photo by Steven Kingsman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

See tomorrow’s take for more on these guys, but to generally summarize it: They gotta get their acts together ASAP. Fortunately, apart from a few dates (tonight against Nashville, April 4 against Tampa) they have a wide open runway into the playoffs.

7. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 9)

6. Washington Capitals (LW: 7)

5. Boston Bruins (LW: 2)

Since the Bruins’ 19-game point streak ended, they’re 1-3 and their only win was against a so-so Blue Jackets club in overtime (though Boston dominated). Their next four are on the road culminating with a game in Tampa.

But worse: Half the team is on the shelf again. No Pastrnak (though he may come back soon). No Krug. No Johansson. No Grzelcyk. No Miller. That’s half of an NHL D corps, a solid depth forward, and one of the best right wings in the league.

Let’s note here Patrice Bergeron has already missed 16, Pastrnak 15 and counting, Chara 19, Krug 12, McAvoy 27. That’s a lot of high-end players missing a huge chunk of the season. And they have the second-best point total in the league. Man.

4. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 4)

Mark Stone in his nine games since coming to Vegas: 3-4-7 with a 60.7 CF%, 64.3 FF%, four penalties drawn, none taken, and plus-5.34 xG. Imagine you have to play these guys in the first round. No thanks!

3. San Jose Sharks (LW: 3)

2. Calgary Flames (LW: 5)

Rumor has it the Flames are going back to their retros as their primary jersey starting in 2020-21 (since they have to make jersey changes two years in advance). This alone should bump them to the No. 1 spot, but y’know.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 1)

I haven’t done an “insane Tampa stat” in a while so here’s one: If Nikita Kucherov, who ended last week with 10 games left, didn’t score another point this season, that would leave him with 117 in 82 games.

That total would make him the fourth-highest-scoring player in the cap era. Three behind Sid Crosby’s 120 in 79 from 2006-07. Both Joe Thornton and Jaromir Jagr’s 2005-06 seasons (123 in 82 and 125 in 81, respectively) are easily within reach.

Because again, Kucherov has 12 percent of his season left.

Ryan Lambert is a Yahoo! Sports columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

(All stats via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)

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