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. Vancouver Canucks (Last week: 31)
Yeah they haven’t won a game since the deadline week, but the real issue here is all the Elliotte Friedman “this is a toxic town” stuff. Media and fans do indeed complain about how bad the team is a lot.
I seem to recall that when the Canucks were good like six or seven years ago, and even before that, the local media was all too happy to carry water for them, and their fans were huge pains in the ass to deal with if you didn’t think Alex Edler was an elite defenseman or whatever.
Things were going great. So how did it get so toxic?
Let’s take the toxicity analogy as far as it will go, but pretend the Canucks aren’t a hockey team, but rather a local nuclear power concern. In this scenario, the “good local actor” company that was producing all those good returns some time ago had an industrial accident brought on by the aging core and having no real plan for dealing with, and an owner whose lack of expertise in the industry but demand to continue pushing more profit led to unsafe conditions. Eventually there’s a meltdown, and the company is now kind of shuffling around with no real plan to fix the issue.
Now then, it is absolutely not the fault of the media for merely reporting, “Hey it’s kind of messed up that all our fish have three eyes,” nor the local residents for complaining that those three-eyed fish don’t taste very good and don’t want to buy them. Should we feel bad for the poor, set-upon stewards of this company? Should we ask for more capital-C Civility in complaining about those issues?
It’s a silly idea, right? The thought that Benning and Linden and Aquilini (who’s really the brains behind all this) should be able to walk down the street without being pelted with trash is fair enough, but if you think a little name-calling on local radio and Twitter is a bigger problem than that the Canucks are a directionless franchise that can’t figure out what the hell it’s supposed to be doing, that’s outlandish.
Last I checked, it’s a fan’s right to complain when their favorite team sucks, and few would disagree that Vancouver sucks. (Those people are afflicted freaks.) So it’s in poor taste to say that? Am I getting that argument right?
30. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 28)
29. Ottawa Senators (LW: 30)
But hey, at least the Canucks fans aren’t Senators fans. Eugene Melnyk sent out a letter late last week saying basically, “You know I’ve done all I can to make this team competitive, right?”
Can you even imagine having that kind of audacity?
28. Buffalo Sabres (LW: 29)
27. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 27)
26. Chicago Blackhawks (LW: 23)
I saw something last week where management hasn’t really begun looking too much at ways they can improve and be competitive again this summer. Pretty funny.
Unless they can Coagula Procedure the brains of some of their core guys into younger, better players’ bodies, the fact that they’re paying a combined $54 million (give or take) to Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad, Artem Anisimov, Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Connor Murphy, and Corey Crawford or each of the next three seasons kinda puts a damper on those plans.
They have seven players on their ELCs this year and need to re-sign three of them. This is a mess!
25. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 24)
24. New York Rangers (LW: 25)
Funny week. The Rangers sold most of their good players and then went 3-0-0 on the week, outscoring opponents 12-8. Sure, they gave up 50-plus shots in back-to-back games, but this is the opposite of what they’re supposed to be trying to do.
23. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 21)
The Oilers signed Colin Larkin, Dylan’s older brother, out of Div. 3 UMass Boston. He had 46 points in 27 games for the Beacons, putting him fifth in the nation in points per game at what is admittedly a pretty low-level quality of hockey.
It’s not unheard of for Div. 3 players to make the NHL, but it’s quite rare. The quality of these players is mostly pretty low, and it’s not uncommon for guys who couldn’t hack it in Div. 1 to transfer and become Div. 3 superstars.
So if you want to say this is a thing where the Oilers are just angling to offer-sheet Dylan Larkin this summer so he can play — and actually keep up — with Connor McDavid next year, that’s a conspiracy theory I would like to subscribe to.
22. Florida Panthers (LW: 26)
Six straight for the Panthers, and winners of 13 in their last 16. Plus they have a lengthy homestand coming up after tonight’s one-off road game at Tampa.
But here’s a real question: Does anyone think this team is any good at all? Like, anyone?
21. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 21)
20. New York Islanders (LW: 18)
I’m calling it with these guys. They wasted their last year with Tavares. That’s my prediction.
19. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 17)
18. Calgary Flames (LW: 15)
People are gonna act like they’re falling apart because Mike Smith got hurt, but if you didn’t think: a) a 52-year-old goalie with as many hard miles on him as Smith was gonna be injury-prone, and b) Smith’s outlandishly good play this season wasn’t masking a lot of this team’s depth issues, I don’t know what to tell you.
17. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 16)
If Colorado misses the playoffs by a single point or something like that, and Nathan MacKinnon loses the Hart voting, I’m gonna riot.
16. New Jersey Devils (LW: 17)
At this point it would be very difficult for the Devils to miss the playoffs, but it really seems like they’re trying pretty hard to do it anyway.
15. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 15)
The Kings are starting to put it together again, it seems to me. A little of that is luck, at least lately, but if you think this is maybe one of the two or three worst playoff teams in the league, I have plenty of time for the argument.
14. St. Louis Blues (LW: 11)
A fun statistical quirk is the Blues got outshot by more than five shots per game and were outscored 7-12 in three games this week, but went 1-1-1. This team’s cooked. Expect the slide down the standings to continue.
13. Minnesota Wild (LW: 13)
The Wild have been hanging in this “they’re on the higher end of decent” area for a while. They keep winning with it, for the most part, but every time I’m like “Ah, I should move them up” they lose in humiliating fashion.
This week it was 7-1 at Colorado, but they’re still winners in six of their last eight, so what can I really say?
12. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 12)
11. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 13)
It’s hard for me to square the Flyers being this high with their not-good week, but it was mostly on the road and all that, so I’m not too mad at ’em.
I mean, I think they have some stuff to figure out and they’re still the third-best team in their division, but I have a lot more time for them now than I did even when I was telling people not to freak out about the 10-game losing streak because this was clearly a good team.
But man, you gotta get Andy MacDonald off the ice.
10. Dallas Stars (LW: 10)
9. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 9)
The all-white uniforms were good. Hate to tell ya.
8. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 6)
Losing to the Senators at home is a pretty good argument for folding the franchise.
7. Washington Capitals (LW: 9)
Let’s just say it’s a good thing the Caps had a bunch of games against the Atlantic in the past week-plus.
6. San Jose Sharks (LW: 6)
The idea that Evander Kane of all the players in the league was what the Sharks were missing is pretty weird, but here we are.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 5)
They’re gonna have to white-knuckle this until Matt Murray comes back, for sure. But the way things have gone in his absence already, I dont know if they can pull it off without falling into a wild card spot. Imagine you’re the Caps or Flyers, you win your division, and they’re like, “Here’s the Penguins. Have a good one.” Not for me.
4. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 3)
3. Nashville Predators (LW: 4)
2. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 2)
1. Boston Bruins (LW: 1)
Now the Bruins just seem to be doing stuff as a joke. “Ha ha ha this is so easy for us. We’re gonna let Patrice Bergeron get hurt.” Then they keep winning. “Okay, what if Charlie McAvoy gets hurt too?”
Pretty wild to try it but I admire the gumption.
(All stats via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)