Well, folks, another week has gone by in the NHL which means another edition of power rankings. As always, a reminder that a loss or win doesn’t always mean that one team will be ranked higher than a team they beat or lost to. Without further ado, we have a lot of movement this week so let’s jump in.
Numbers in parentheses reference last week’s rankings and all stats are current as of 12/12
No.32: Arizona Coyotes: (+0)
What can be said about this team that hasn’t been said in a thousand ways? They are clearly tanking for Shane Wright at this point, and will always be in contention for this position. Not to mention a five-game losing streak. Moving on.
No.31: Montreal Canadiens (-3)
The one-two punch of Arizona and Montreal are back at the bottom this week. The three-game losing streak of the Canadiens drops them as many spots in the rankings. They’ve still got a lot of work to do, even with the hiring of Jeff Gorton to run things.
No.30: Ottawa Senators (+0)
The trifecta is complete. The Senators stay at no. 30 this week and the three teams that have been a bottom three so often in these power rankings are back together again. They are now the worst team in the goals against per game category averaging 3.72 goals. They need to get that under control quickly.
No.29: Buffalo Sabres (+0)
The Sabres stay at No.29, occupying the spot for the third consecutive week. Currently 1-7-2 in their last ten games, they are in the bottom ten in both goals for and goals against per game. They truly have come down to earth after a hot start to the season.
No.28: New York Islanders (+3)
Breaking news: The Islanders have won a game at UBS Arena. This is not a drill. They still need to figure out their offense in Long Island averaging 2.17 goals per game, third-worst in the NHL.
No.27: Chicago Blackhawks (-1)
The Blackhawks slip a spot this week to 27. Chicago is also in the bottom ten in both goals for and goals against which needs to change quickly. Seth Jones now leads the team in points with 23 in 27 games. Good to see, especially with that contract.
No.26: Seattle Kraken (-2)
The Kraken fall two spots this week. Despite being 5-3-2 in their last ten games, their defensive issues have only gotten worse. Their goals against per game have risen to third-worst in the league, now averaging 3.59 goals. If they can fix that, they could find their way up the rankings.
No.25: New Jersey Devils (-2)
The Devils are skidding and skidding fast. On a two-game losing streak, New Jersey has been outscored 7-4 in that stretch. One aspect of their game that the Devils desperately need to improve is their powerplay. They are currently second-worst in the NHL in that department sitting at 12.7 percent. If they want to get back up in the rankings, improving that percentage would be a great start.
No.24: Philadelphia Flyers (+1)
What has happened in Philly? But this time, it’s a good thing. The Flyers are currently riding a two-game winning streak in which they have outscored their opponents 9-6.
No.23: Vancouver Canucks (+4)
Bruce, there it is. Ever since the hiring of Bruce Boudreau, the Canucks have looked like a different team. Currently riding a three-game winning streak, Vancouver still has some work to do on the offensive side currently averaging 2.39 goals per game, fifth-worst in the NHL. But Boudreau should be able to help get both Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson going, and the team needs both of them to be a big part of the offense if they want to succeed.
No.22: Dallas Stars (-9)
Welcome back Dallas. After rocketing up the rankings last week, the Stars come falling back down to Earth again this week. A three-game losing streak will certainly do that to you. Especially when you get outscored 11-5 during that stretch, with one of those losses being a shutout loss to the Kings. The Stars simply need to score more, with 68 goals scored, tied for eighth-worst in the NHL. It also stinks that Ben Bishop‘s career is basically over. All the best to him in his post-hockey life.
No.21: Los Angeles Kings (+1)
The Kings take another step forward in this week’s rankings. In the midst of a two-game winning streak, one of those wins was the aforementioned shutout over the Dallas Stars. They still have some concerns offensively averaging 2.58 goals per game, which is eighth-worst in the league. They need to get some more contributors other than Anze Kopitar, too. That fountain of youth effect he’s having can’t carry the team forever.
No.20: Detroit Red Wings (-10)
Just as quickly as they entered, the Red Wings have just as quickly exited the top ten. A three-game losing streak will certainly do that. Not to mention getting outscored during that streak 18-7. But man, Lucas Raymond continues to impress during his rookie season.
No.19: Columbus Blue Jackets (+2)
Columbus moves their way back up this week to 19th in the rankings. Their offense has become one of the best right now, currently tied for eighth-best in the league in goals for per game averaging 3.23. Defensively, however, is another story. They are ninth-worst in the league in goals against per game averaging 3.27 goals.
No.18: Boston Bruins (-2)
The Bruins fall another two spots. Yes, they are currently on a two-game winning streak. But their offense could still use some work. They have scored 68 goals total this season which is tied with Dallas for eighth-worst in the league. Brad Marchand has been an offensive machine scoring 27 points in 21 games.
No.17: Winnipeg Jets (+0)
The Jets stay put here at 17. Statistically, the Jets are a middle-of-the-road team. But one thing that the Jets need to improve on is their penalty kill. They are currently second-worst in the NHL in that department with a 69.2 percent penalty kill unit. Kyle Connor is continuing to play out of his mind with 32 points in 27 games.
No.16: San Jose Sharks (+4)
The Sharks continue to come up the rankings again this week. Their offense made some baby steps to get better since last week, now sitting at tenth-worst in the league in goals for per game averaging 2.68 goals. Now, this may seem like a poor statistic but it is an improvement. Their penalty kill is still among the best in the league, sitting fourth-best with an 86.1 percent success rate.
No.15: Edmonton Oilers (-8)
Wow. Talk about a fall from grace. The Oilers are on a five-game losing streak and have been outscored 19-8 in that streak. Their offense is still great, of course, sitting at sixth-best in the NHL in goals for per game averaging 3.38 goals. If they want to get out of this skid, it has to be more than the Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl show. They have combined for 90 points in 52 games.
No.14: Vegas Golden Knights (+1)
The Golden Knights come up a spot this week. Slowly but surely, Vegas is starting to put it all together. They are fourth-best in the NHL in goals for per game averaging 3.48 goals. Their special teams could still use some work with both their power play and their penalty kill being in the bottom ten of the league. But they just might be back in the top ten next week.
No.13: Pittsburgh Penguins (+1)
The Penguins are starting to roll again. While moving them up only one spot may be a bit harsh for the streak they’re on, considering they have won four in a row, their offense is still middle of the pack statistically. Their defense has been great so far, currently third-best in the league in goals against per game averaging 2.44 goals. Jake Guentzel has had a bit of a breakout year with 27 points in 24 games.
No.12: Colorado Avalanche (+6)
The Avalanche is starting to get hot. Also, winners of four in a row, they are the best in the league in goals for per game averaging 4.32 goals. Their defense could still use a little bit of work, currently sitting at seventh-worst in goals against per game averaging 3.36 goals. Nazem Kadri is having a very productive year with 34 points in 22 games.
No.11: St. Louis Blues (+1)
The Blues just miss out on getting back into the top ten. They have a great offense currently sitting seventh-best in the league in goals for per game averaging 3.36 goals. They also have the tenth best penalty kill in the NHL sitting at an 82.7 percent penalty kill. Their five-on-five defense could still use a little work, but they could very well find themselves in the top ten next week.
No.10: Calgary Flames (-2)
The Flames begin this week’s top ten. Their offense has taken a little bit of a hit, but their defense is still top-notch averaging 2.21 goals against per game, which is second-best in the league. Johnny Gaudreau is still leading the team in points with 30 points in 28 games.
No.9: Nashville Predators (+10)
Well, look who’s made their way back into the top ten. Welcome back, Nashville. It’s been a while. The Predators are on a five-game winning streak outscoring their opponents during that streak 17-10, and they shut out the New York Rangers, ending their winning streak. Statistically, at least on offense, they still have a little bit of work to do, but this winning streak has catapulted them into this spot.
No.8: Anaheim Ducks (+3)
The Ducks finally make their way into the top ten this week. Their defense is one of the best in the league currently averaging 2.63 goals against per game, which is ninth-best in the league. Offensively, at least statistically, they still could get better, and that could help them maybe crack the top five. But did you see that Trevor Zegras assist on the Sonny Milano goal? John Tortorella was wrong, it was great for the game, and the play was fantastic.
No.7: Tampa Bay Lightning (+2)
The Lightning moves up two spots after staying at nine last week. They are averaging 3.22 goals for per game which is ninth-best in the league, and they are averaging 2.67 goals against per game which is tenth-best in the league.
No.6: Carolina Hurricanes (+0)
A team stays put for the first time in a long time with the Hurricanes staying put here at six. They’ve been struggling to find form as of late going 5-5 in their last ten games, but they are still one of the best, if not the best defensive teams in the league. They lead the league in goals against per game averaging 2.15 goals. Sebastian Aho has been great this season with 32 points in 26 games.
No.5: New York Rangers (-3)
The Rangers’ winning streak ended Sunday with a loss to the Predators, and that drops them to fifth in the rankings this week. The Rangers are one of the best defensive teams in the league still averaging 2.52 goals against per game, fifth-best in the league. Artemi Panarin is the points leader on the team with 32 points in 26 games.
No.4: Minnesota Wild (+0)
While the Wild may be on a two-game losing streak, they still have one of the best offenses in the league, which helps them stay put here at four this week. They are third-best in the league in goals for per game, averaging 3.68 goals. They need more even contributions on offense however as Kirill Kaprizov holds a massive lead in the points department with 32 points in 27 games.
No.3: Florida Panthers (-2)
Florida falls out of the top spot to third. While their offense is still among the best averaging 3.70 goals per game which is second-best in the league, their defense isn’t quite as good yet. They sit closer to the middle of the pack in goals against per game currently in twelfth in that category.
No.2: Toronto Maple Leafs (+3)
The Maple Leafs make their leap into the top three finishing second. They are currently tenth-best in the league in goals for per game averaging 3.21 goals. They are also seventh-best in the league in goals against per game averaging 2.55 goals. Auston Matthews and John Tavares both have 31 points, Matthews in 26 games and Tavares in 28 games. William Nylander is only one point behind them with 30 points in 29 games.
No.1: Washington Capitals (+2)
Welcome back, Washington. Good to see you again. The Capitals are back at the top spot this week. They are currently fifth-best in the league in goals for per game averaging 3.39 goals, and they are fourth-best in goals against per game averaging 2.50 goals. They also have the eighth-best penalty kill in the league sitting at 83.3 percent. Alex Ovechkin, not surprisingly, hasn’t slowed down scoring 44 points in 28 games. Also for those following Ovi Watch, he is now 16 goals away from tying Jaromir Jagr for third place all-time in goal scoring.
Follow Carson Babbini on Twitter @cbabs1120
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images