The playoff hunt has truly begun now, and the NHL power rankings certainly reflect that. The criteria for being near the top continues to get more specific as the weeks go by. As a reminder, a loss or win doesn’t necessarily mean that one team will be ranked higher than a team they beat or lost to. Without further ado, let’s get it started.
Numbers in parentheses reference last week’s rankings and all stats are current as of 3/28.
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No.32: Arizona Coyotes (-2)
At least the Coyotes got a point on Sunday. They have only one point in their last five games. The rebuild is definitely on in Arizona as it has been for basically the entire season.
No.31: New Jersey Devils (-2)
The Devils are back down at the bottom of the rankings after just two weeks out of the bottom three. 4-6 in their last 10 games, the Devils are on a two-game losing streak and things are still looking bleak on the defensive end. The offensive side of things are slowly getting better for the Devils, but there is still quite a way to go from a production standpoint.
No.30: Seattle Kraken (+2)
The Kraken move up two spots this week, mostly due to the play of the teams underneath them. They did well at the trade deadline though to acquire some good assets for Mark Giordano, which will help them in the long run. Man, their offense is rough. There isn’t a player currently with over 40 points on the team.
No.29: Philadelphia Flyers (-1)
The Flyers are also on a two-game losing streak of their own and are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games. With Claude Giroux now gone, there are two players who have above 40 points. Joel Farabee is the third-highest points scorer with 31 points, which is not a recipe for success.
No.28: Ottawa Senators (+3)
The Senators move up three spots this week. Their defense has made slight improvements, but their offense still needs a lot of help. Drake Batherson‘s return seems like it could happen any day now which will help tremendously.
No.27: Detroit Red Wings (+0)
The Red Wings have been quite inconsistent as of late going 2-6-2 in their last 10. They at least have points in four of those 10 games, which is a good sign. But Sunday night against the Penguins? Woof.
No.26: Anaheim Ducks (-4)
What has happened to the Ducks? On a four game losing streak, they have gone 1-7-2 in their last ten games. However, after selling off some huge assets in Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell, this was to be expected.
No.25: Chicago Blackhawks (+1)
The Blackhawks make a small step up in the rankings this week. With Marc-Andre Fleury now gone, it is clear that even though he had a rough year he was a large part of why Chicago isn’t behind Arizona in the Central. They have allowed 10 goals since the trade deadline, and are still in the bottom 10 in the league in goals against per game.
No.24: Montreal Canadiens (-1)
The Canadiens take a step back this week. They have the Red Wings to thank for not owning the worst goals against per game average in the league, but their offense is still going through some growing pains. Not to mention they are officially the first team eliminated from playoff contention. Congratulations?
No.23: Buffalo Sabres (+1)
The Sabres swap places with Montreal this week. Both teams are in similar positions currently, but the Sabres have the better run as of late going 5-3-2 in their last 10. What great additions Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs have been to this team since the Jack Eichel trade.
No.22: New York Islanders (-2)
The Islanders slide down as many spots as their losing streak this week. They still have some offensive issues, but it’s nice to see Zach Parise settling into his new role there, and scoring to boot.
No.21: Columbus Blue Jackets (+0)
The Blue Jackets stay at 21 this week. It’s starting to feel like 21 for Columbus will be similar to what 18 was for the Stars a little while ago in the rankings: a place they could stay for some time. They have some great offensive weapons, but their goaltending is a major issue.
No.20: Vancouver Canucks (-1)
The Canucks fall another spot this week. Their defense has had a nice rebound since last week, getting back into the top 10 in goals against per game. Their offense still has some work to do, but aside from that, Bruce Boudreau is another coach who should get some Jack Adams Trophy consideration.
No.19: San Jose Sharks (+6)
Well, that’s a jump that came out of nowhere. The Sharks still have their defensive struggles, but they have improved them as of late. Even though his debut didn’t go great from a goals perspective, Kaapo Kahkonen is a great piece that could provide some much needed stability in goal.
No.18: Dallas Stars (+0)
Look at that, the Stars are back at 18 once again. Their goals against per game has taken quite the hit lately, but that’s bound to happen when you have as many injuries as they’ve had. Enter Scott Wedgewood, who looked stellar in his Stars debut.
No.17: Winnipeg Jets (+0)
What a weird month March has been for the Jets. They are currently on a two-game winning streak, but they haven’t been able to establish any consistency. Not to mention the trade deadline only made what they’re doing that much more confusing.
No.16: St. Louis Blues (-5)
A big slide down for the Blues this week, who are currently on a two-game losing streak. Not to mention they are also on a 3-4-3 run in their last 10 games. St. Louis has at least two rising stars in Ville Husso and Jordan Kyrou who should both be huge keys to the Blues maintaining a playoff spot.
No.15: Vegas Golden Knights (+0)
Inconsistency, thy name is the Vegas Golden Knights. They end this week the same way they ended last week: on a two-game winning streak. But they also had a two-game losing streak in the middle of the week. The Knights right now are in danger of not making the playoffs, which would be a disaster.
No.14: Nashville Predators (+2)
The Predators move up two spots this week and move back inside the top 15. Filip Forsberg has lit the world on fire this season not only having a career year, but he now sits atop the list as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. Not to mention Roman Josi leads the team in points and Juuse Saros is a contender for the Vezina Trophy.
No.13: Edmonton Oilers (+1)
The Oilers move up one spot this week to 13. The Oilers are in a very similar spot to the Blue Jackets, but when your offensive weapons include Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, you can contend. That goaltending needs to improve, however, if they’re going to be taken seriously.
No.12: Los Angeles Kings (+1)
The Kings move up one spot this week to 12. The offense has slowed down a significant margin and that is something to be concerned about, but if Anze Kopitar can get a little bit of help, they could make another miracle run.
No.11: Toronto Maple Leafs (-1)
As mentioned in the beginning, figuring out which teams are at the top is becoming much harder as the weeks go on. The Maple Leafs are the latest victim to that ideology. They have one of the strongest offensive players in the NHL in Auston Matthews, but their goaltending has had some question marks raised as of late that could make the team not as formidable of a playoff opponent.
No.10: Washington Capitals (-2)
The latest victim to the top heaviness, the Capitals fall to No. 10. They’ve have a slight decline in both their goals for and against per game, but most likely that will just be a small decrease. In case anyone is interested, Alex Ovechkin is 29 goals away from tying Gordie Howe for second all-time, which is astonishing.
No.9: Tampa Bay Lightning (+0)
Even on a two-game winning streak, the Lightning stay at nine this week. They are still on a 4-6 run in their last 10, which almost nullifies that winning streak. Hopefully, they will be able to go back to a higher position next week.
No.8: Carolina Hurricanes (-3)
The Hurricanes fall three more spots this week. At one time, the Hurricanes were very much in the running for the top spot in the rankings on a regular basis, but right now they could use some work on the offensive side, but that’s not to say that they aren’t one of the best teams in the NHL.
No.7: Pittsburgh Penguins (-6)
Yes, the Penguins destroyed the Red Wings Sunday night and improved their statistics tenfold. But there are six other teams right now that are rolling and the Pens right now aren’t quite there yet. It’s very hard to hold onto those top three spots.
No.6: Minnesota Wild (+6)
Wow. Where has this Wild team been? Ever since the Wild traded for Fleury, Cam Talbot has played lights out in the crease, going back to his All-Star form. Yes, Talbot was an All-Star. Not to mention Kirill Kaprizov looks to be on the cusp of the single season franchise points record, surpassing Marian Gaborik. A gritty overtime win against the Avalanche to extend their winning streak to six games certainly makes an appealing case for an even further push in next week’s rankings.
No.5: New York Rangers (+1)
The Rangers move back into the top five this week. Of course they are led in net by Igor Shesterkin, and have the offensive firepower of Artemi Panarin, to boot. Their depth was only further strengthened with the additions of Andrew Copp and Tyler Motte at the deadline, too.
No.4: Colorado Avalanche (-1)
The Avalanche move down one spot this week, and out of the top three. Once Artturi Lehkonen gets into the lineup, he’ll be a huge boost especially with Gabriel Landeskog out until the playoffs. Even then, this team is certainly a Stanley Cup threat.
No.3: Boston Bruins (+4)
The Bruins are in the top three for the first time. David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand continue to lead the way offensively, while Hampus Lindholm should be a great presence on the back end of a deep left side for Boston. Add in a solid goaltending tandem and the Bruins could be up here for a while.
No.2: Calgary Flames (+2)
The Flames move back into the top three this week. They continue to have one of the best contributing depth cores in the league. Not to mention Johnny Gaudreau is at 90 points this season and is on fire, pun intended.
No.1: Florida Panthers (+0)
The reigning and defending No. 1 team stays atop the rankings for another week. Claude Giroux has four points in three games in a Panthers uniform; he’s enjoying his new surroundings already. Add him to a talented forward corps, along with their depth on defense, and the fact that both of their goalies could be starters. This is a Stanley Cup contender, and favorite.
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