Another week has passed us by, which means another edition of NHL Power Rankings! This week will be a little more interesting, with many teams in the league being shut down due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. However, as always a loss or win doesn’t always mean that one team will be ranked higher than a team they beat or lost to. Without any delay, let’s get into it.
Numbers in parentheses reference last week’s rankings and all stats are current as of 12/12
No.32: Arizona Coyotes (+0)
There truly is nothing left to say about this team. What’s left? Moving on.
No.31: Montreal Canadiens (+0)
For Montreal, they’re in the same boat as Arizona. Not much left to say, really. Their offense is anemic. Their defense isn’t worse, but it still needs work.
No.30: New Jersey Devils (-5)
The Devils continue to slide. Currently on a six-game losing streak, New Jersey has been outscored 26-12. Their defense could use a lot of work averaging 3.37 goals against per game, tied with the Colorado Avalanche for sixth-worst in the league.
No.29: Buffalo Sabres (+0)
For the fourth week in a row, the Sabres are at No.29 in the rankings. Their offense is getting better, relatively, as they are still averaging 2.67 goals per game, tenth-worst in the league. Their defense still needs more work than the offense with 3.43 goals against per game on average, fifth-worst in the league.
No.28: Seattle Kraken (-2)
It’s nice to have a normal expansion team again, isn’t it? Their offense is in the middle of the pack, but the Kraken need to get their defense on track currently averaging 3.57 goals against per game, third-worst in the league.
No.27: Chicago Blackhawks (+0)
The Blackhawks still have a lot of work to do, but they’re lucky a lot of teams have done worse than them. They still are in the bottom ten in both goals for and goals against per game, but the goals against could come out of that shortly as they sit at tenth-worst averaging 3.23 goals.
No.26: New York Islanders (+2)
And the movement continues. The Islanders are having a decent last ten games, posting a 3-3-4 record in that time. Getting points in seven games is good for the Islanders. Their offense needs a lot of work though averaging 2.19 goals per game, third-worst in the league.
No.25: Ottawa Senators (+5)
The Senators have been on a little bit of a surge as of late, winning five of their last nine games. Their offense has gotten steadily better, but their defense still needs a lot of work, averaging 3.61 goals against per game, second-worst in the league.
No.24: Columbus Blue Jackets (-5)
The Blue Jackets have had a rough go of things as of late. Their goals against per game hasn’t gotten any better now eight-worst in the league averaging 3.36 goals, and their offense is now only tenth-best in goals per game averaging 3.18 goals.
No.23: Philadelphia Flyers (+1)
The Flyers are the benefactors of some teams underneath them being not very good this week. They are bottom ten in both goals for and against per game currently, but that could easily turn around next week. Or it could backfire. Who knows?
No.22: Boston Bruins (-4)
Despite wanting to keep them at No.18 due to the team being on pause, their current losing streak can’t be ignored. They’ve been outscored 7-2 in that stretch which doesn’t help things. Hopefully, everyone will be good to go after the holiday break.
No.21: Dallas Stars (+1)
The Stars take a small step in the right direction this week. Their defense is middle of the pack, but their offense still needs some work sitting at eighth-worst in the league in goals per game, averaging 2.64 goals.
No.20: San Jose Sharks (-4)
Welcome back, San Jose. The Sharks are on a two-game losing streak which drops them back to No.20 this week. They have the same problem as the Stars. Their defense is in the middle of the pack, but the offense is letting them down averaging 2.60 goals per game which ranks sixth-worst in the league.
No.19: Vancouver Canucks (+4)
It is incredible how different these Canucks look under Bruce Boudreau. They are on a six-game winning streak where they have outscored their opposition 21-10. They still have some work to do as far as scoring consistently, still fifth-worst in goals per game, but if they keep scoring at a clip like they have during this streak, they won’t be bottom ten for long.
No.18: Winnipeg Jets (-1)
The Jets fall down one spot this week. They still are a middle-of-the-pack team statistically, but this drop is more a case of them not finding a form recently, and other teams surging at the right times.
No.17: Los Angeles Kings (+4)
The case can certainly be made that the Kings shouldn’t be up this high. But this is a very interesting team on two accounts. They are one of the bottom ten teams in goals per game, yet one of the top ten in goals against per game.
No.16: Detroit Red Wings (+4)
The Red Wings move up four spots this week mostly because of their 6-4 record over their last ten games. Offensively, they are a middle-of-the-pack team statistically but their defense could use some adjustments sitting at ninth-worst in goals against per game averaging 3.35 goals. They are another team that has been shut down. All the best to the players and staff of the Red Wings.
No.15: Edmonton Oilers (+0)
Sorry Oilers fans. You’re going to have to wait a little longer to get back to the top ten. Still reeling off of that six-game losing streak, the Oilers could use a little help on the defensive side but they will be back, don’t worry Oilers fans.
No.14: Colorado Avalanche (-2)
The Avalanche are also the unfortunate recipients of other teams on various hot streaks. Colorado is the best team in the league in goals per game, but they are still in the bottom ten in goals against per game.
No.13: Florida Panthers (-10)
It’s been a while since the rankings have seen a double-digit mover, but the Panthers have dropped to No.13. A three-game losing streak with other teams getting hot will do that. It won’t be long until they are back up however, that’s for sure.
No.12: St. Louis Blues (-1)
The Blues are yet another victim of the hot streak dip. They are still one of the better offenses in the league, currently seventh-best in the league in goals per game, averaging 3.35 goals. Their defense is good as well, but again they are a victim of the hot streak dip.
No.11: Minnesota Wild (-7)
Despite being 7-2-1 in their last ten games, the Wild have encountered a slump currently on a three-game losing streak. Their defensive problems have come to light during this streak, even though their offense remains one of the best in the league. They are one of the teams affected by the shutdown, so it will be interesting to see how they look in their next game.
No.10: Calgary Flames (+0)
Due to the fact that the Flames did not play this week due to their shutdown, out of respect, they will stay put here at No.10. As with every team going through these outbreaks, hopefully, the Flames will be able to come back fully healthy after the break.
No.9: Anaheim Ducks (-1)
Another victim of the hot streak dip, the Ducks land at No.9. Statistically, they are middle of the pack, but they have the talent to be a top ten team. We’ll have to see what next week brings for the Ducks.
No.8: Vegas Golden Knights (+5)
The Golden Knights go up as many spots as their winning streak currently sits at. They have outscored their opposition 22-13 in that time and currently sit fourth-best in the league in goals per game averaging 3.48. Their defense is struggling slightly, but Vegas is finally where they have probably belonged the whole time.
No.7: Nashville Predators (+2)
The Predators have continued their recent dominance during their winning streak, which now sits at seven games. In that time, they have outscored their opponents 25-14. They currently sit tenth-best in goals against per game averaging 2.63 goals. Well done, Nashville.
No.6: Pittsburgh Penguins (+7)
The Penguins are also on a seven-game winning streak which lands them at No.6 this week. Their defense has continued to be impressive still sitting at third-best in goals against per game averaging 2.40 goals. As proof of how good their defense has been, they have outscored their opponents 23-8 during this streak. Impressive.
No.5: New York Rangers (+0)
The Rangers stay put at No.5 this week. They are still at fifth-best in goals against per game averaging 2.53 goals. They are 6-3-1 in their last ten but have stumbled a little bit as of late. But they stay in the top five this week, for now.
No.4: Tampa Bay Lightning (+3)
The defending champions, off a two-game winning streak, make their way up to fourth in the rankings. Their defense is getting their act together as the season moves along, now seventh in goals against per game averaging 2.59 goals. Their offense has fallen out of the top ten in goals per game but they could easily be back in that conversation.
No.3: Toronto Maple Leafs (-1)
Yes, the Maple Leafs are also on a two-game winning streak. Yes, they are also 7-2-1 in their last ten. But they are simply a benefactor of there being two teams that right now just look better. Statistically, they are still one of the very best in the league. And they will certainly be in the discussion for the top team for some time.
No.2: Washington Capitals (-1)
Just like that, the Capitals have been ousted from the number one spot. While they still statistically are also one of the very best in the NHL, they are struggling to find form as of late with their record in their last ten being 5-3-2. Also, in our weekly Ovi Watch update, Alex Ovechkin is now 14 goals behind Jaromir Jagr.
No.1: Carolina Hurricanes (+5)
They’re back. The Hurricanes take back the No.1 spot for the first time in a little while. They are currently the best in the NHL in goals against per game averaging 2.14 goals. They are also eighth in goals per game averaging 3.28 and have one of the best special teams overall, on both power play and penalty kill sitting tenth and second in those categories respectively.
Follow Carson Babbini on Twitter @cbabs1120
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images