Hey everyone, we here at Puck Daddy are doing real power rankings for teams Nos. 1-31. Here they are, based on only how I am feeling about these teams, 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. Ottawa Senators (Last week: 29)
30. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 30)
Tough to knock the Senators and Sabres this week, given that they combined for a 4-2-1 record and were easily the best of the worst league-wide on the ice.
But Buffalo lost Jack Eichel indefinitely with a high ankle sprain and one suspects that, going forward, they’re going to be spending a lot of time in the 30-31 range depending on how other teams do. I’m just trying to mentally prepare everyone.
Meanwhile, the Senators had a bizarre week, going 2-1 and only getting outshot by 19 across three games, but also extending this management group, which took a somewhat competitive team and drove it into the ditch, then re-signing Ben Harpur for reasons we cannot hope to understand. Also another executive left the front office, and led a former executive to basically say the place might as well be full of asbestos for how healthy the work environment is. What a mess of an organization. Easily the worst in the league.
29. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 28)
28. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 31)
27. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 27)
26. Florida Panthers (LW: 26)
The Panthers won four straight dating back to Jan. 30, and it had some people literally wondering if they could put together a playoff push of some kind. They, of course, cannot.
Especially because, ah look, that four-game winning streak that came to a screeching halt against the Kings was against the Islanders (who are mostly fine I guess, but it’s one game), Sabres, Red Wings, and Canucks.
So yeah, they’re probably the best of the worst teams in the league but they’re still in a dogfight for the bottom five in the league. Let’s not go nuts.
25. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 21)
Losers of five straight, including three in this review period, all of which were against teams competing with them for one of those low-end Western Conference playoff spots (Calgary, Dallas, Minnesota).
But the good news is: They’re not gonna buy at the deadline. Now you might say, hey wait a minute, shouldn’t they be trying to sell? But much like peace, who’s buying? There isn’t and shouldn’t be a buyer at the deadline who’s like, “Yeah what I need right now is any of the castoffs Stan Bowman is willing to send my way.” Not everyone is as ready to help improve Chicago’s future chances as John Chayka, and shouldn’t be.
This team’s done. Have a good one.
24. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 25)
It rules that the Oilers raised a banner for whatever old Oilers team won the NHL fan vote for “Best Team Ever” or whatever that thing was. Everyone who showed up for the ceremony got a front office job.
Awesome, awesome organization.
23. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 22)
22. New York Rangers (LW: 24)
Hey, they went .500 this week which, no big deal one way or the other, but deciding to sell off everyone — and that should include Henrik Lundqvist this summer if anyone will take him — is the only smart move they could have made. Good thinking!
21. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 23)
I’m looking at the standings page right now and I gotta tell ya, folks, Carolina is in a playoff spot. They’re a point ahead of Columbus and the Islanders, and as I’ve been saying all year, I’d love to believe they’re gonna get close (or even make it) before the end of the season.
But they’re not there yet. As much as they’ve made a push, winning five of their last eight games (5-2-1) you have to also say they’ve had a fairly easy schedule in that run, much like Florida. Their losses? To Detoit (weird!), San Jose (expected), and Philly (push). Their wins? Montreal, Ottawa, Montreal again, Vancouver, and Colorado.
So I’m not ready to go all in for these guys yet, but if you tell me you think they’re better than New Jersey, I’ll give you that one.
20. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 20)
19. New Jersey Devils (LW: 17)
They’ve lost four in a row and have just five wins in their last 19 games. On the balance, that puts them at 27-20-8, barely clinging to a playoff spot, and that all sounds exactly right to me.
18. New York Islanders (LW: 19)
17. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 18)
16. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 14)
15. Calgary Flames (LW: 15)
I don’t know how to feel about this team any more. They seem to bump in and out of playoff spots all the time these days, having now gone 3-1 in the last four games and looked alright doing so.
But you always feel like a three-game losing streak is right around the corner for these guys, too. So who knows, right? I’ve said for a while that on paper they’re probably the second- or third-best team in their division, but the results just don’t reflect that on a consistent basis and here we are. They feel more or less middle-of-the-road at this point — not that they don’t have room to add at the deadline — which is maybe a little worse than where most people would have pegged them coming into the year.
14. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 16)
13. Minnesota Wild (LW: 13)
Dating back to the first game after Christmas, the Wild are 12-4-3. Pretty good!
One wonders if Zach Parise coming back for 16 of those 19 games — his first game of the year was Jan. 2 in a win over Florida — helps at all. One imagines it does, in theory, but his numbers have been awful, both underlying (41 percent CF%???) and in the boxcar stats (2-4-6 in 16 games), though he’s only shooting 4.3 percent, so that shouldn’t be as bad as it is.
But hey, they’re winning. Devan Dubnyk (.925 in 15 appearances since Christmas) is the big reason why. And given that he didn’t start off that well, maybe this is just the team playing catch-up. I think we all figured they’d be better than their record indicates.
12. St. Louis Blues (LW: 12)
11. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 9)
I still can’t get over the team’s horrible PK giving the bulk of its minutes to Jack Johnson on a consistent basis all season. Truly amazing.
10. Dallas Stars (LW: 11)
Here’s what I love about hockey. The Stars go 3-1 this week with close wins at home against the Rangers, in Chicago, and at home against Pittsburgh. Then they lose 6-0 to Vancouver. As a result, despite going 3-1, their goal difference is minus-3.
Anyway, that loss to the Canucks was their first in six games and it looks like this is gonna be about where the Stars are all year.
9. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 10)
Leafs undefeated on the week, and they’ve won seven of the last eight. I can’t in good conscience put them ahead of any teams currently ahead of them in the power rankings but they’re pretty close.
8. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 5)
In the last month, Vegas is 7-5-2 and needed a few miracles to get that far. They’ve also won just one of their last four home games.
If you’re wondering about anyone having developed a cure for the Vegas Flu, that seems fair and reasonable.
7. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 8)
6. Washington Capitals (LW: 7)
5. San Jose Sharks (LW: 6)
4. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 3)
3. Nashville Predators (LW: 2)
2. Boston Bruins (LW: 4)
Do you know how good you have to be to lose to Buffalo and still be considered one of the two or three best teams in the league?
The Bruins and Predators both had good weeks, but that Sabres loss was the Bruins’ second in regulation since…… DECEMBER 16TH??????????
They’ve lost in regulation twice in the last two months? That’s an average of one a month! What? What????
Okay here are some bonkers stats I have pulled from this amazing 25-game run:
It’s all well and good to say “The Bruins have 42 of the last 50 points available to them.” It’s a crazy number. But when you look at it the other way, their opponents have had 50 points available in those games as well, and only got 13. THIRTEEN, FOLKS! Over a full 82 games, that’s a pace for 21 points hahahaha.
Their power play is running at 23.2 percent and has only allowed one shortie, so that’s plus-16 goals for them on 73 chances. Their penalty kill is running at 86.9 percent, but they’ve also scored five shorties, so they’re only minus-7 when they’re shorthanded. This is, again, across 25 games.
But they’ve also scored 60 goals at 5-on-5 in these 25 games, and allowed just 29.
Given the roster coming into the season, none of this makes any sense, but even before this run, they’d been great pretty much all year. Can’t knock the hustle.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 1)
The king stay the king (unless the Bruins keep this up for two more weeks, which they probably will.)
(All stats via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)
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