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. NASHVILLE PREDATORS
The Preds had a perfect week, going 3-0-0 and remain 1st place in the NHL. We thought another team would jump them for top spot but the Predators have been flawless and are currently on pace to finish top 3 all-time in wins!
#2. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
This is the team we expected to take over top spot in the NHL a week ago when we ranked them 1st in our Power Rankings. However, the Leafs lost Wednesday night to the Hurricanes and failed to make up any ground on the aforementioned Preds who had a perfect week. Toronto gave up 29 shots in the 1st period to Carolina before holding them to 2 shots in the 2nd period. Way too up-and-down and so they’re down one spot in our rankings as a result.
#3. MINNESOTA WILD
The Wild lost 2 of 3 games this past week but still moved up a spot into 3rd in our Power Rankings. Remember, this is where we anticipate teams being a week from now and the process has been great for the Wild this season. No team has allowed fewer high-danger shots per game than the Wild and we see them moving up the standings in the near future.
#4. CALGARY FLAMES
The Flames moved up 6 spots in the standings and jumped into the top 5 in our Power Rankings. Calgary is steamrolling teams right now and with David Rittich providing strong goaltending, this team is a force to be reckoned with.
#5. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
The Lightning drop a couple spots in our rankings despite hanging onto the 2nd overall spot in the NHL standings and finishing the past week with 2 wins in 3 games. They pumped the Panthers on Wednesday but lost to the Preds and needed overtime to hold off the dismal Flyers. The loss of Andrei Vasilevskiy has us worried that the Lightning can’t hold onto a top-3 spot in the standings, which is why they are 5th in our Power Rankings.
#6. SAN JOSE SHARKS
The Sharks hold onto 6th spot in our rankings despite sliding a few spots in the standings. San Jose only played twice in the past week, going 1-0-1 and with a couple of games coming up against Vancouver and Vegas, we feel they will be climbing the standings by the time our next Power Rankings roll around.
#7. COLORADO AVALANCHE
The Avs went 2-0-1 in the last week and remain in 7th spot in our Power Rankings. The top line continues to dummy every team it plays with Mikko Rantanen leading the league in assists and points, Nathan MacKinnon ranking 2nd in points and Gabe Landeskog sitting in a tie for 8th in goals.
#8. WINNIPEG JETS
The Jets dropped a little closer in the standings to where we have them in our Power Rankings. It was a pretty average week for Winnipeg, going 1-1-1 but one positive is that Patrik Laine has found some great chemistry playing with Kyle Connor and Brian Little. Laine is finally starting to produce at even-strength with 5 goals in his last 2 games and only 1 of them coming on the powerplay.
#9. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
The Blue Jackets slid a couple spots in the standings but, like the Sharks, only played a couple of games, going 1-1-0. They are the only team in the Metro in the top 12 in the NHL standings and will get a shot at redemption against the Leafs tonight after losing 4-2 in Toronto on Monday.
#10. BUFFALO SABRES
The Buffalo Sabres are on an absolute heater. 7 straight wins and they are now 4th in the overall standings. Sabres fans are as passionate as they come and we love them, but – and there is a big but – this is not a team that is going to be hanging with the NHL’s elite for long. Now, any team on a 7-game win streak is going to outperform expectations but the level that the Sabres are doing it at, in terms of the chances they create and allow, is shocking. Read more here about why we think this is still an average team. For now, Buffalo is top 10 in our rankings and that’s a win for a team that has been at the bottom of the standings for several years.
#11. MONTREAL CANADIENS
Carey Price has pretty bad numbers this year but if you’ve watched this team play lately, you know there isn’t a goalie in the world that’s capable of fixing their problems. Montreal ranked top 10 in limiting quality shots in October, they are 25th in November. Shea Weber is due back soon and that should help the Habs defensively but until they start making life easier on their goaltenders, they are going to continue to slide in our Power Rankings.
#12. BOSTON BRUINS
The Bruins picked up points in all 3 of their games in the past week, going 1-0-2 and remain in 12th spot in our Power Rankings. Shout out to Jaroslav Halak who has been brilliant in net this season and was among our three Vezina finalists for our quarter mark NHL Awards. Did he win? Find out here.
#13. NEW YORK RANGERS
The Rangers with a huge jump in the rankings, moving up 11 spots after a perfect 3-0-0 week. Check our Awards link we just posted in the Bruins section of the Power Rankings because David Quinn’s name shows up among out coach of the year finalists. As we said, the Metro has been pretty weak this season and if the Rangers can hang around long enough, they might have a realistic shot at the playoffs.
#14. WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Like the Rangers, the Capitals spot in our rankings reflects their position in the standings. The Caps did move up 7 spots thanks to a perfect 3-0-0 week and are picking up points without stud center, Evgeny Kuznetsov.
#15. NEW JERSEY DEVILS
The Devils are coming off a pretty average week, going 1-1-1 however, they moved up 5 spots in our rankings. The supercomputer continues to believe in this team, ranking them 10 spots ahead of where they sit in the standings. The supercomputer has been pretty dialled in this season so keep an eye on the Devils as a team poised to move up in the standings.
#16. FLORIDA PANTHERS
The Panthers lost 2 of 3 in the last week but, again, the supercomputer likes this team. The powerplay is clicking at over 25 percent and despite losing Vincent Trocheck to a nasty leg injury, we believe this team will be closer to the middle of the pack than the bottom of the standings before long.
#17. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
The Penguins got back in the win column, thanks in large part to the return of SIDNEY CROSBY. A lot has been made about the Penguins perceived lack of speed but we think this team is on its way out of the bottom 5 in the league and will be back in the playoff mix in short order. Don’t bet against #87. People should know this by now and our supercomputer definitely does.
#18. EDMONTON OILERS
The Oilers picked up an overtime win in Ken Hitchcock’s first game behind the bench. Hitchcock said he wants Connor McDavid to have the puck more than he already does and sent him over the boards 30 times in his first game as head coach, tying McDavid’s season-high for shifts in a game. More McDavid is a terrifying notion for the other 30 teams in the league.
#19. CAROLINA HURRICANES
The ‘Canes are coming off a weird win Wednesday night against Toronto. 29 shots in the 1st, 2 in the 2nd. But hey, a win’s a win. Carolina moved up 4 spots in the standings but just 1 in our Power Rankings. Shot differentials continue to heavily favour the ‘Canes but they won’t crack the top half of our rankings until we see stability in the net and more efficient shooting.
#20. DALLAS STARS
It was a busy week for the Stars who went 2-2-0 and dropped 4 spots in our rankings. Granted the team is without stud defenseman John Klingberg, but Dallas has been up and down all season. Consistency remains its biggest issue and until that’s corrected, they sit well outside the top half of our Power Rankings.
#21. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
A big drop in the standings and the Power Rankings for the Islanders who went 0-2-0 and were outscored 11-2. Goaltending has inflated this team’s overall ability for much of the season, and if the past week is any indication, we might be starting to see a market correction.
#22. ARIZONA COYOTES
The supercomputer seems to be giving up on the ‘Yotes, for now. A 7-spot drop in our Power Rankings has Arizona out of the top 20. Again, Antti Raanta has been out of action recently, but an 0-1-1 week has cost this team in the standings and in our rankings. If / when they get fully healthy, we think the Coyotes have a real shot at the playoffs.
#23. VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Vegas finished the week with a 2-2-0 record and dropped one spot in our rankings. The Golden Knights are moving up in the standings and our supercomputer still isn’t counting them out in the Pacific, but they need to start stringing a few wins together before they dig themselves too big of a hole.
#24. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
We still love Gritty but this team has been a massive disappointment. The Flyers have lost 4 in a row and more troubling than the losses is the way this team is playing. You have to wonder how much rope head coach Dave Hakstol has, though Flyers fans have been wondering that for a while. Maybe Gritty will win Time magazine’s Person of the Year – that’s something, right?
#25. ST. LOUIS BLUES
Fact – you have to score at least one goal to win a hockey game. The Blues are having trouble doing this. They are way-too-skilled of a hockey team to be having so much trouble at this point in the season as St. Louis lost 3 of 4 this past week and only scored one goal in its last 3 games. With games against Nashville and Winnipeg coming up, they better find a way to find the back of the net or two months into the season, the Blues might be toast in the Central.
#26. DETROIT RED WINGS
We like the Wings, who moved up 3 spots in our rankings and have won 8 of their last 10 games. Jimmy Howard is having a nice season for Detroit, who we’ll keep an eye on but we’re still not sold that this is even an average team.
#27. OTTAWA SENATORS
The Senators are a fun team to watch. High-event hockey. Lots of goals for, lots and lots of goals against. No team gives up more scoring chances or goals than the Sens and for that reason, they rank 27th in our Power Rankings.
#28. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
The Hawks have been okay under new head coach, Jeremy Colliton, tightening up defensively but struggling to produce offensively. They are still thin in too many key areas and for that reason, they remain 28th in our rankings.
#29. VANCOUVER CANUCKS
Two weeks ago, the Vancouver Canucks were 1st in the Pacific division and 3rd overall in the NHL. We had them 19th in the Power Rankings, the highest we’ve ever had them because the supercomputer knew from the beginning that this was a well below average team. Well, they’ve lost 7 in a row and are currently 20th in the standings. We see them as a bottom 3 team in the league and don’t think it will be long before they are.
#30. ANAHEIM DUCKS
The Ducks went 1-0-2 in the last week and are still hanging around in the middle of the league standings. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, John Gibson’s brilliant goaltending is covering up a lot of warts. If / when it dips, the Ducks are in big trouble.
#31. LOS ANGELES KINGS
31’s across the board. What you see is what you get.