Welcome back to another edition of NHL Power Rankings here at Full Press Hockey for this season.
The NHL’s regular season is passed the quarter mark of the season and everyone was looking at the standings to see where teams stand. American Thanksgiving is the benchmark for teams making the playoffs. But this year has been so wacky that it is hard to figure out who is truly in the playoffs outside of a couple of teams.
The usual suspects are at the top of the standings along with some surprises. However, those surprise teams are showing they are for real. On the other side of the ledger, we already know what teams are already out of the playoffs and looking toward next year. You never want to be in that category.
Time to dive into the NHL Power Rankings and find out where these teams stand after a week off.
NHL Power Rankings
1. New Jersey Devils (Previous Ranking 1)
The Devils are the hottest team in the NHL right now and hold the top spot in this week’s NHL Power Rankings. This team is for real. After losing to Toronto, the Devils have rattled off three straight wins as they have now won 16 of their past 17 games. Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes are driving the offence and this team isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
2. Boston Bruins (Previous Ranking 2)
Now you can argue the Boston Bruins deserve to be at the top spot in the NHL Power Rankings. They have been one of the most consistent teams this year. The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Bruins are in first place in the Atlantic Division and playing like champions. Such a well-balanced oil machine as they have improved their home record to 13-0 to begin the season. An NHL record to boot.
3. Vegas Golden Knights (Previous Ranking 3)
Though the Golden Knights have struggled recently, they are still the third-best team in the NHL right now. You can make arguments for other teams. But Vegas has separated itself from the pack in the West. Mark Stone and Jack Eichel are healthy as their goaltending has been better than expected.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs (Previous Ranking 10)
After a very sluggish start to the season where panic set in, the Maple Leafs have righted the ship like they do in November. Mitch Marner is on an 18-game point streak while Auston Matthews is starting to find the back of the net 5v5. The biggest surprise has been the play of Matt Murray. He is back to his old self, which is good for Toronto.
5. Tampa Bay Lightning (Previous Ranking 7)
How about the Tampa Bay Lightning winners of six of their last eight games? Their only two losses over that stretch are at the hands of the Bruins. The big boys are stepping up as Steven Stamkos is inching closer to 1000 points. Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov both look healthy as Mikhail Sergachev has adjusted to his new role nicely.
6. Seattle Kraken (Previous Ranking 12)
Well, it is time to admit the Seattle Kraken are for real. Winners are six straight games, the Kraken are playing well. Goaltending could be better but offensively they are much improved thanks to the addition of Andre Burakovsky and the speed of Matt Beniers.
7. New York Islanders (Previous Ranking 4)
There was a belief in the Islanders locker room that they were a better team than what they put out on the ice last year. So far this season the Islanders are playing much better thanks in large part to Ilya Sorokin and Mathew Barzal.
8. Winnipeg Jets (Previous Ranking 8)
Connor Hellebuyck is looking strong between the pipes for the Winning Jets. He is playing at a Vezina Trophy level again. In addition, the best players for the Jets are their best players. From Kyle Connor to Mark Scheifele to Blake Wheeler. Not to mention Josh Morrissey on the back end, the Jets are playing a well-rounded game.
9. Carolina Hurricanes (Previous Ranking 5)
The Hurricanes are still a top-three team in the Metro Division, however, they need more scoring from their center-ice position. Andrei Svechnikov, Martin Necas, and Sebastian Aho can’t score all the goals. Or maybe they can.
10. Dallas Stars (Previous Ranking 11)
The top team in the Central Division is back in the Top 10. Dallas has outperformed expectations this season for sure. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are back to their former selves. The top line of Joe Pavelski, Roope Hintz, and Jason Robertson is on fire. Especially Robertson who has a 16-game point streak.
11. Colorado Avalanche (Previous Ranking 10)
The Avalanche are struggling a little bit. They just haven’t looked like themselves at all this year. Injuries definitely are playing a role for sure. They just had a recent stretch where they went 7-3 over their last 10 games. So maybe that loss to Winnipeg was an outlier. But something is definitely missing.
12. Los Angeles Kings (Previous Ranking 11)
The Kings have hit a bit of a rough patch. Los Angeles is still trying to find their way in the Pacific Division. Gabriel Vilardi along with Arthur Kaliyev have been excellent. Kevin Fiala has really turned his play around as well, but the Kings need to stop the puck in order to win some games.
13. Edmonton Oilers (Previous Ranking 13)
Edmonton offensively is fine with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, as the dynamic duo continues to power the Oilers. The Oilers have won two straight because of them as the team is looking for another top-six forward with Evander Kane sidelined due to an injury.
14. Pittsburgh Penguins (Previous Ranking 17)
The Penguins are playing much better. 6-2-2 over their last 10 games has them in a wild card spot in the East. Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, and Evgeni Malkin lead the way for the Penguins. All the best to Kris Letang, that will be a loss on their blueline. But hockey takes a back seat when it comes to health.
15. Calgary Flames (Previous Ranking 16)
Flames are starting to turn things around. Though there is still room for improvement, especially between the pipes. Jonathan Huberdeau looks healthier after being sidelined by an injury. He is starting to put up points. You have to believe the Flames figure out a way to turn it around.
16. Florida Panthers (Previous Ranking 15)
The Panthers have definitely taken a major step back from last year. Like the Flames, their goaltending can be much better. Matthew Tkachuk has fit in nicely, but the Panthers need help scoring. Having Aleksander Barkov out of the lineup definitely hurts them. It will be an uphill climb.
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17. New York Rangers ( Previous Ranking 14)
The Rangers continue to have their struggles especially offensively. In addition, this team is struggling defensively as well. Two games blowing multi-goal leads. The top guys are delivering especially their free-agent acquisition, but there needs to be more structure in their game. Igor Shesterkin can play much better but did anyone expect him to play at the level he did last year? Those numbers were hard to replicate.
18. St. Louis Blues (Previous Ranking 17)
The Blues are a funny team. Went from a franchise-worst eight-game losing streak to a seven-game winning streak. Jordan Binnington has looked great at times, but awful at other times. Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou have definitely stepped their games up. They will need to do more for the Blues to get back into the mix.
19. Nashville Predators (Previous Ranking 19)
Roman Josi is playing much better with 10 points in his last eight games. He will need to do more if he wants to get back to the level he was playing at last year. It is still the old reliables in Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene along with Josi that are powering the Predators.
20. Minnesota Wild (Previous Ranking 20)
Something feels off in Minnesota this year. They have been a disappointment this season. Many people expected more, but maybe we shouldn’t have. The salary cap is hampering their ability to bring in talent. Kirill Kaprizov can only do so much. He needs more help.
21. Detroit Red Wings (Previous Ranking 23)
Detroit is right in the thick of things when it comes to the playoffs again this season. The question for them is can they hold on? Last year, Detroit faded down the stretch, general manager Steve Yzerman hopes that is not the case this season.
22. Montreal Canadiens (Previous Ranking 21)
The Canadiens are a fun team to watch. Head coach Martin St. Louis is allowing the kids of Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki, and Kirby Dach to have fun playing hockey again. Especially Dach, who is developing into the player everyone thought he would be when he was selected third overall. Montreal is rolling with that top line until they don’t produce.
23. San Jose Sharks (Previous Ranking 25)
The Sharks are playing much better after their slow start. Erik Karlsson remains red hot and is looking like the Norris Trophy winner that he is and the guy that brought the Senators to the Eastern Conference Final in 2017. The rest of the team has stepped up well as David Quinn has got them playing as a unit.
24. Washington Capitals (Previous Ranking 24)
Alex Ovechkin already brought one of Wayne Gretzky‘s scoring records as he surpassed him for most road goals in NHL history. Outside of Ovechkin, this team has been plagued by injuries and while it is only November the mountain is harder and harder to climb to get back into the playoff picture.
25. Vancouver Canucks (Previous Ranking 31)
Speaking of getting back into the playoff picture, the Canucks have done so for now. After their poor start, Vancouver is only a couple of points of in the West. They still have work to do, but man if they could have held onto leads at the beginning of the season it would be a different story.
26. Arizona Coyotes (Previous Ranking 28)
The Coyotes are playing respectable hockey on the road. They are hanging in there and playing better than expected. All eyes will be on Jakob Chychrun and whether or not he gets moved.
27. Buffalo Sabres (Previous Ranking 29)
It is the same old same old with the Sabres. They have to get out of this cycle of losing. Especially for the young kids there, it could really do damage to the psyche if hasn’t been done already.
28. Chicago Blackhawks (Previous Ranking 22)
A tough stretch for Chicago right now. You have to feel bad for Luke Richardson. He is doing his best, but the tank is on in Chicago. The best thing the Blackhawks can do is put Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews on the same line and let them have fun and rack up some points.
29. Ottawa Senators (Previous Ranking 27)
The Senators should be better than what their record is especially with the offseason acquisition Pierre Dorin made in the offseason. Ottawa has won two straight and getting goals from their young core. That is who will have to carry them out of the cellar.
30. Philadelphia Flyers (Previous Ranking 26)
The honeymoon period is over in Philadelphia for John Tortorella and the Flyers. They ended their 10-game losing streak, but this isn’t a good hockey team. One bright spot is Kevin Hayes has factored in around 45 percent of the Flyers goals.
31. Columbus Blue Jackets (Previous Ranking 32)
Columbus is in a tailspin. The Blue Jackets are not a good team at all. Yes, they have Johnny Gaudreau, who is living up to his contract. However, he is the only one producing right now for the Blue Jackets.
32. Anaheim Ducks (Previous Ranking 30)
The Ducks are a bad team. In fact, they are the worst team in the NHL right now. Yes, they have young pieces in Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry, Mason McTavish, and Jamie Drysdale, but that is about it. The loss of Hampus Lindholm on defence was huge. This team will be a seller again at the deadline.
That does it for this edition of NHL Power Rankings… Stay Tuned more another edition of NHL Power Rankings next week.
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