Power Rankings: Week 20

Power Rankings: Week 20

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for our weekly Power Rankings. Using multiple variables we score teams out of 100 and rank them accordingly so you know who the contenders are, who the pretenders are and which way teams are trending. Forget polling a bunch of people, our scientific approach will have you impressing your friends when you tell them who’s moving up and who’s destined to fall.

#1 Tampa Bay Lightning

Eight straight wins. 17-point lead on second place. 8-point lead in the Art Ross race. At this point, they’ve all but clinched the President’s trophy. So basically just another week at the office for Tampa Bay.

#2 Calgary Flames

The Flames were on a skid recently, but they’ve righted the ship with three straight wins this week to reclaim their familiar best of the rest spot behind the Lightning. The biggest question in Calgary remains in net, as David Rittich seems to have cooled down from his hot start. Hopefully for them, either Rittich or Mike Smith can return to form in the playoffs, because the rest of the roster seems ready for a deep playoff run.

#3 San Jose Sharks

The Super Computer is starting to get comfortable with its top three. Apart from last week when Calgary went down to 4th, the top three hasn’t changed in the last six weeks, but with wins in eight of their last 10, the Sharks are ready to pounce if the Flames struggle any more going forward.

#4 Boston Bruins

Boston was long rumored to be looking at forward help before the trade deadline and they’ve pounced early, acquiring forward Charlie Coyle for the Minnesota Wild. Coyle can play center or wing and will provide the offensive depth the Bruins have been looking for. Oh, and a seven-game win streak isn’t too shabby either.

#5 Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto was riding high after last week, but they fell back down to earth pretty hard with a winless week. Still, the Super Computer believes they will bounce back and slots them in the top five, a couple of spots above their place in the NHL standings, although it doesn’t believe they will catch Boston and secure home-ice advantage in their likely first-round matchup.

#6 Nashville Predators

We said last week that their top 5 spot was in jeopardy and, despite a strong week, they were leapfrogged by the surging Bruins and now stand just outside the top 5, which puts them right in line with their place in the standings.

#7 St. Louis Blues

Another week, another leap up for the Blues, who are simply unstoppable since the New Year. They’ve raked in 35 points in 2019, most of any team in the NHL. Yes, even more than Tampa Bay. They’ve lost just one game all of February. Makes us want to go Back to the Future on them and place a bet back in December.

#8 New York Islanders

Rough week for the Islanders, who lost two of three. That’s not enough to knock them out of the top 10 though. They’re still the best defensive team in the league and are more likely to win the division than to miss the playoffs. Just like the Blues, going Back to the Future on them would be pretty lucrative.

#9 Vegas Golden Knights

The Knights have only one win in their last six, but the Super Computer is still holding firm in its belief that they belong in the top ten. The Jets dropping further also helps them stay still. Speaking of the Jets, they’re next on Vegas’ schedule, a tough matchup to get back in the win column.

#10 Pittsburgh Penguins

Four games this week, split down the middle for Crosby and co. They lost to teams ahead of them and beat the teams below, which, coupled with a few teams ahead of them falling, gets them back in the top 10. Up next is their Stadium Series matchup against their in-state rivals, the Flyers. Regardless of the result, it should be an interesting game.

#11 Winnipeg Jets

Well, so much for getting revenge on the Sens. The Jets now lost twice in seven days to the worst team in the NHL and have also lost twice to the Avs in the last week by a combined score of 11-2. The Super Computer has no choice but to drop them once again.

#12 Washington Capitals

They had a rough start to the week, losing to the Ducks, but rebounded with two straight wins on the road, including against the Maple Leafs. They have a soft schedule ahead with three straight games against non-playoff teams before a showdown against the Islanders next Friday that could have big repercussion on the race for the top spot in the Metro. They’ve also added some depth help in winger Carl Hagelin from the Kings.

#13 Montreal Canadiens

Montreal chose the wrong time to post an average week, as teams around them heated up and leapfrogged them. A big rivalry game is up next for the Habs, as they go to Toronto to face the Leafs on Saturday. After that though, their schedule softens up, with six of their next eight coming against non-playoff teams. If there’s ever a time to pad their win total, it’s now.

#14 Columbus Blue Jackets

As we were writing, the Jackets pulled off a move to acquire Matt Duchene from the Senators for picks and prospects, clearly signaling the team is going all in this year after weeks of uncertainty about their future. You have to admire the boldness of their GM, Jarmo Kekalainen. Time will tell if this pays off, but it’s a big move that should help them at least secure their place in the playoffs.

#15 Carolina Hurricanes

The Canes have won seven of their last ten and sneaked into the last wildcard spot ahead of Columbus, but the Super Computer still likes the Jackets’ chances better, especially after the Duchene trade. Still, you can be sure that this “Bunch of Jerks” will keep fighting until the end.

#16 Colorado Avalanche

Finally, a sign of life coming from Colorado? They’ve crushed the Jets twice and shut out the Golden Knights over their last four games, only dropping a game to the unstoppable Blues. Their early season run was impressive enough to keep them in the hunt despite poor play, so if they’re really back to somewhere close to their early season form, they will make a strong run at the playoffs, especially with the Wild turning into sellers.

#17 Minnesota Wild

Ever since captain Mikko Koivu was announced out for the season, the Wild have been in a free fall, winning just two of their eight games since. With the recent Charlie Coyle trade, it looks like the Wild have punted on this season and established themselves as sellers for the trade deadline, with a number of interesting targets, Eric Staal chief among them. Expect them to continue to fall down as the season progresses.

#18 Florida Panthers

Once again, the Panthers refuse to play dead. They convincingly beat the Canadiens, with Aleksander Barkov earning Weekend Warrior recognition in the process, and beat the Sabres before losing a close game to the Hurricanes. It looks like they’re committing to playing spoiler for the remainder of the year

#19 Dallas Stars

Another underwhelming week for the Stars and the Super Computer drops them down another spot. They currently hold down the first wildcard spot in the West but need to keep picking up wins if they intend on keeping it. There are lots of rumors that say the Stars might be active at the Trade Deadline, trying to address their depth issues.

#20 Buffalo Sabres

A winless week and some tough competition coming up this week don’t give the Super Computer much hope, but they still only drop one spot in our rankings. The Sabres are slowly starting to fade off of the last wildcard spot in the East and after the Trade Deadline could continue to fall right out of the race. The common consensus is that they’ll hold onto Jeff Skinner and attempt to sign him before he becomes a free agent July 1st.

#21 Philadelphia Flyers

A .500 week with two wins against Detroit and losses to top-ten teams pretty much show exactly what the Flyers are – a below average team. It should be an interesting weekend for the Flyers who look like they’re going to be sellers. They’ve already traded Anthony Stolarz for Cam Talbot and will break the record for the most goalies played in a season once Talbot gets his first start. Wayne Simmonds is a big name out there as trade bait and could be dealt this weekend. A win over the Penguins in the stadium series could hurt the Penguins in their playoff push which should warm and Flyers fans heart.

#22 Arizona Coyotes

What a week for the ‘Yotes! Who would’ve predicted this team would have so much fight in them. They’re one point out of a playoff spot even with all the injuries they’ve suffered through this season. The Super Computer had them moving up the standings last week but didn’t expect them to get so far. Another big week and these dogs could be in a playoff spot.

#23 New Jersey Devils

The Devils went against conventional wisdom and decided to catch fire this week going 3-1 and the Super Computer took notice – moving them up four spots in our rankings. Everything is still quiet on the Taylor Hall injury but with him going into the last year of his deal next year, the Devils may want to show they’re serious about being a contender soon by making some smart moves this weekend.

#24 Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers made some interesting moves this week, first getting out from under Cam Talbot’s contract by trading him for Anthony Stolarz and then trading for ex-Oiler Sam Gagner. Neither trade makes them immediately better but it does mean they’re all in on Mikko Koskinen now. The organization keeps saying their expectation is to make playoffs but that seems more and more like a pipe dream.

#25 Vancouver Canucks

As we said last week, the Canucks had a tenuous hold on the last wildcard spot and would need two wins to have any chance at holding on to it. They picked up one of four possible points and now sit two points back with three teams ahead of them before the last wildcard spot. This race is too tight to call right now but the Canucks need to string together a few wins if they want to have a chance.

#26 New York Rangers

The Super Computer was spot on with the Rangers this week. The expectation was they would stick at 24th and that’s exactly what they did. With the Trade Deadline this Monday, the Super Computer has the Rangers dropping two spots in our rankings because of the likelihood of a few players being traded away.

#27 Chicago Blackhawks

Patrick Kane is doing everything he can to drag this team to the playoffs. After competing for last place with the Kings and Senators, the Blackhawks have turned their season around and now only sit one point out of the last wildcard spot. They could be active at the Trade Deadline but adding Dylan Strome has already been a great addition for them.

#28 Detroit Red Wings

No wins this week for the Wings but the Super Computer is pretty adamant about them being in 28th. With quite a few players out there as Trade Bait, the Red Wings could look like a very different team after Monday. Only time will tell but the Wings would definitely like to try and clear some cap space since they’re right up against it.

#29 Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks have actually done pretty well since Bob Murray took over behind the bench. The Super Computer isn’t fooled though. A couple losses would drop this team down the standings really quickly and the Super Computer is expecting just that. Signing Jakob Slifverberg to a new five-year contract is a good move but it can’t be finalized due to cap restrictions so there could be more moves in the near future for this team.

#30 Los Angeles Kings

A winless week for the Kings and they move down one spot in our rankings. Considered to be sellers at the Trade Deadline, this team could look quite a bit different after Monday. At this point, the best they can hope for is a high draft pick and potentially ruin a few teams hopes at making the playoffs.

#31 Ottawa Senators

Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, and Ryan Dzingel were all held out of last nights game and then Duchene was traded today for a pretty good haul. They’ve since recalled Logan Brown and Drake Batherson who’ve been having good years since returning to junior. There’s a good chance they aren’t done making moves yet but the Duchene trade gives hope that they’ll be able to recuperate some good assets.