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Puck Daddy Power Rankings: Bruins settle in at No. 1

Boston BruinsPatrice Bergeron (37), Brad Marchand (63) and Torey Krug (47) celebrate a goal by Marchand against the Minnesota Wild during the overtime period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 25, 2018, in St. Paul, Minn. The Bruins won 2-1 in overtime. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)

Hey everyone, we here at Puck Daddy are doing real power rankings for teams Nos. 1-31. Here they are, based solely on 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. Buffalo Sabres (Last week: 28)

At this time of year, it truly pays to be the only person in the national media who deeply cares about and follows college hockey, because you get a lot of neurotic fans of beaten-down teams coming to you asking for you to buoy their hopes that this year, the college guy they just signed is gonna make a difference.

And look, folks, I like Casey Mittelstadt’s game a lot, but you just got outscored 18-5 in your last five games, so he’s not fixing the problem.

30. Detroit Red Wings (LW: 31)

29. Vancouver Canucks (LW: 30)

Adam Gaudette is gonna get a lot of hype and understandably so, because he’s gotta be the prohibitive favorite to win the Hobey Baker next Friday. However, he, too, is no cure-all for Vancouver’s big ol’ problems.

28. Arizona Coyotes (LW: 29)

27. Ottawa Senators (LW: 27)

26. Chicago (LW: 26)

I’m less enthused about Dylan Sikura as a going concern in the NHL but this team has much bigger problems, like if they’re going to fire Joel Quenneville this summer.

It’s an interesting question. On the one hand, he’s not wringing any more wins out of this group than he already has, but on the other, no one else is either.

Chicago has a lot of problems to deal with, roster-wise, and maybe you’re doing Quenneville a favor by not forcing him to stick around for three more years of Toews and Kane declining, Seabrook bottoming out, and praying Corey Crawford can stay healthy.

Can Stan Bowman fix this? I’d be shocked. Can he fix it by firing one of the best coaches alive? I’d be really shocked.

25. Montreal Canadiens (LW: 25)

24. New York Islanders (LW: 24)

I dare anyone in the hockey world to try watching this team’s remaining games without wanting to walk in front of a bus. They are 10,000 percent mailing it in at this point, and it’s too bad John Tavares has to end his career with the club this way.

23. New York Rangers (LW: 21)

They put Cody McLeod on a line with Vlad Namestnikov and Pavel Buchnevich and I gotta feel like this is Alain Vigneault expressing his contempt for the very unfair Russia investigation against our great president.

22. Carolina Hurricanes (LW: 23)

21. Edmonton Oilers (LW: 22)

If I had a vote, I wouldn’t give McDavid the Hart trophy even though I think he is the best player alive and has clearly delivered a lot of Capital-V Value for the Oilers. The problem, I think, is that a lot of that value isn’t on the ice. It is, however, in jersey sales and a new rink and being on national TV a lot more than they used to and being able to charge more for tickets.

And frankly that’s probably the only value their owner actually cares about.

20. Calgary Flames (LW: 19)

Remember that stat about the Sabres where they were minus-14 in goal difference in four games this week? The Flames were minus-11 in three!

19. Dallas Stars (LW: 14)

I’m gonna write about this more later this week, but the extent to which this team has collapsed in the past few weeks is seriously scary. I don’t even have a real understanding of why, but every time you look at the night’s results, it’s like, “Ah well, the Stars got their asses handed to them again.”

18. Florida Panthers (LW: 20)

17. New Jersey Devils (LW: 17)

The thing you can say in favor of both Florida and New Jersey as they jockey for the last playoff spot in the East is that they’re trying pretty hard and getting solid enough results.

However, Cory Schneider seems like…. maybe he isn’t? Since coming back from injury at the start of March, Schneider has played just four games and has an .862 save percentage. And how’s about this for a stat: He’s .868 in is last ELEVEN appearances, and hasn’t won a game since two days after Christmas.

C’mon Cory!

16. Anaheim Ducks (LW: 18)

15. Los Angeles Kings (LW: 13)

14. Colorado Avalanche (LW: 16)

Not sure what to make of the Avs. They were never going to stay as hot as they were a few weeks ago — I mean who are they, Boston? ha ha ha ha — but all of a sudden things are interesting. At the end of the Power Feelings survey period (Tuesday to Monday every week), they sat a point up on St. Louis and LA, with a game in hand on the Kings.

The Kings’ problem, really, is that they have three regulation losses in their last 10 games, while both Colorado and St. Louis have just two. However, this logjam is complicated by the fact that Anaheim is only two points up on the Kings and are similarly not playing really great. The Kings can weasel their way into that last Pacific spot, but the Avs and Blues obviously can’t, so they have some ground to cover here.

13. St. Louis Blues (LW: 15)

I think it’s nice the Blues are keeping themselves in the playoff race but I don’t think literally any first-round series would go well for them. Very worrisome.

12. Vegas Golden Knights (LW: 9)

I might be kinda starting to feel the same way about any first-round series for the Knights as well. They haven’t beaten a current Western Conference playoff team in any of their last seven tries, dating back to a 5-3 win over San Jose on Feb. 8.

11. Minnesota Wild (LW: 12)

They have points in eight of their last 10 games and are now looking like a much tougher out for whoever finishes second in the Central than I would have thought a week or two ago.

10. Philadelphia Flyers (LW: 11)

9. Columbus Blue Jackets (LW: 10)

People are starting to wonder if this is a legit Cup contender, and the answer is basically “if Bobrovsky gets hot.” I’ve been pumping them up as being better than their record suggests basically all year, but man, it would be tough for them to get out of the East.

They’re basically guaranteed to play two of Pittsburgh, Washington, or Philly, then they have to beat whoever comes out of the dogfight in the Atlantic. Not easy!

8. Toronto Maple Leafs (LW: 7)

Oh, my opinion here? Yeah having Auston Matthews back is gonna help.

7. Washington Capitals (LW: 8)

This team deserves a lot of credit for what it’s done this season. Well above expectations, and that’s with TJ Oshie taking a huge step back.

6. Pittsburgh Penguins (LW: 5)

5. San Jose Sharks (LW: 6)

4. Winnipeg Jets (LW: 4)

Did you see that game on Sunday? Damn!

Look, I don’t want to get hyperbolic here but if we don’t get a Nashville/Winnipeg seven-game series, I will literally murder someone.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning (LW: 3)

2. Nashville Predators (LW: 2)

1. Boston Bruins (LW: 1)

The Bruins lost two games and won one in overtime this week. I say it every week, but if they weren’t missing a borderline All-Star starting lineup due to injury right now, I’d be very worried about them.

Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

(All stats via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)

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