It’s Monday, which means it’s time for the NBC Sports EDGE NHL Power Rankings.
This week, I’m going with a more traditional Power Ranking format, as I’ll be listing teams based on their on-ice performances over the season and in the last few weeks.
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As always, if you agree or disagree with any of my rankings, please let me hear about it!
Here you go:
1 — Colorado Avalanche – 25-8-4:
The Avalanche haven’t dropped a game in regulation since Mar. 8 (14 games). They have a 12-0-2 record during that stretch and they’ve picked up at least one point in the standings in 17 of their last 18 outings. They’re also tied for the league lead in goals scored (132) and they have the best goal-differential (plus-49).
2 — Florida Panthers – 26-9-4:
The Panthers went through a three-game losing skid between Mar. 21 and Mar.25. Since then, they’ve rattled off six victories in a row and four of those have come by a margin of three goals. No team has picked up more points than the Panthers this year (56) and they have the second-best points percentage (.718).
3 — Washington Capitals – 25-9-4:
The Caps suffered an ugly 8-4 loss to the New York Islanders on Apr. 1, but they’ve managed to win 12 of their last 15 outings. They’re tied for fouth in the NHL in points percentage (.711) and they’re fourth in regulation wins, with 20. No team has found the back of the net more often than Washington so far in 2021.
4 — New York Islanders – 24-10-4:
The Isles are 2-2-0 in their last four games, but they’ve come away with victories in 14 of their last 18 contests. As you’d imagine, the Islanders don’t give up many goals. As of right now, they’re ranked fifth in goals against, with 90 goals allowed through 38 games.
5 — Tampa Bay Lightning – 26- 10-2:
The Bolts are going through a bit of a rough patch, as they’ve won just two of their last six contests. It’s still their first real difficult stretch of the season and they should be able to bounce back rather quickly. The Panthers (56 points) are the only team that has accumulated more points (54) than them this season.
6 — Toronto Maple Leafs – 25-10-3:
There was a stretch during the month of March where the Leafs dropped six of seven games. Now, they appear to be back on the right track. They’ve rattled off three wins in a row and they’ve dropped just one decision (in overtime) in their last seven outings. Toronto will play four of their next six games on home ice.
7 — Carolina Hurricanes – 25-9-3:
The Hurricanes have come back down to earth a little bit, but they’re still among the top teams in the NHL in 2021. They’re 2-2-0 in their last four games, but they’ve won five of their last seven. The Canes will head into the week with the third-highest points percentage in the NHL this season (.716).
8 — Vegas Golden Knights – 24-10-2:
The Golden Knights’ Power Rankings’ stock has taken a bit of a hit over the last week because they’ve dropped three consecutive games to the Kings and Wild (twice). The Vegas attack has dried up a bit too, as they’ve scored just five goals in their last three outings. The Golden Knights are now four points behind Colorado for first in the Honda West Division, but they have one game in hand. The two teams are heading in opposite directions right now.
9 — Minnesota Wild – 23-11-2:
The Wild have quietly put together a solid year. If this continues, head coach Dean Evason could be a candidate for the Jack Adams Trophy. Minnesota is third in the Honda West Division and they’re only trailing Vegas by two points. The Wild have given up just 89 goals through 36 games, which ranks them fourth in the NHL.
10 — Pittsburgh Penguins – 24-12-2:
Give head coach Mike Sullivan a lot of credit for getting the most out of this group. This core appeared to be finished after their performance in the bubble and they’ve also dealt with multiple key injuries this season. Pittsburgh’s five-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday afternoon when they dropped a 7-5 decision to the Boston Bruins.
11 — Edmonton Oilers – 23-14-1:
The Oilers get by on offense, that’s no secret. They have two of the elite scorers in the league in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and they’re starting to get just enough offense from their supporting cast. One of the keys to their success has been the play of Mike Smith in goal. If the 39-year-old can stay hot, they could do some damage in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Oilers have a 5-1-1 record in their last seven decisions.
12 — Nashville Predators – 20-18-1:
The Predators got off to an awful start and it looked like they were going to be sellers before the trade deadline. But things have changed in a hurry. They’ve won nine of their last 11 games and they have allowed just 10 goals in their last seven contests. Even though they’re sitting in a playoff spot, they’ll continue to battle for that final position in the Central Division down the stretch. Believe it or not, only four teams have scored more goals than Nashville this season.
13 — Winnipeg Jets – 22-13-3:
The Jets have looked great at times this year and they’ve underperformed a lot too. Right now, they’re in the middle of one of their mediocre stretches. They’ve dropped three of their last four games, but two of those losses have come at the hands of the Leafs. The Jets were scheduled to play two games against Vancouver on Sunday and Tuesday, but that won’t be possible because of the Canucks’ Covid-19 outbreak. They’ll host the Senators on Monday instead.
14 — Boston Bruins – 19-10-5:
The Bruins have alternated wins and losses over their last seven games, which isn’t good enough for a team that seemed to be a legit cup contender early in the season. Scoring goals has been an issue for this team, as they’ve found the back of the net just 96 times in 34 games. Only Detroit, New Jersey, Anaheim and Buffalo have scored fewer goals in 2021. In fairness to the Bruins, they’ve also played fewer games than a lot of the teams immediately ahead of them on the list. They need to find some secondary scoring in a hurry though. On the flip side, they’ve only allowed 86 goals (third in the league).
15 — San Jose Sharks – 17-16-4:
Alright, so it looked like the Sharks were heading for a rebuild, but things have changed for the better. They currently own the second-longest winning streak in the league (four games) and they have just two regulation losses in their last eight. The Sharks are somehow just one point behind the Arizona Coyotes for the final playoff spot in the Honda West Division. Can they keep this up?
16 — Montreal Canadiens – 16-9-9:
The Habs have won two of their three games since returning from their Covid-19 pause, but their effort in Saturday’s loss to Ottawa left a lot to be desired. The good news is that Carey Price has been better over the last few weeks and the team has played better hockey under interim head coach Dominique Ducharme. The big issue is that their schedule will be grueling over the next few weeks.
17 — New York Rangers – 17-15-5
The Rangers are young. We knew that coming into the season, so a lot of their ups and downs were predictable. Even though they’re coming off a shootout loss to Buffalo on Saturday, they’ve still come away with two wins in their last three and they’ve collected points in seven of their last 10 contests. This team is building something special, but they’re still not ready to be serious contenders.
18 — Arizona Coyotes – 18-15-5:
The Yotes dropped an ugly 9-3 decision to the Colorado Avalanche last Wednesday, but they bounced back with back-to-back wins over Anaheim on Friday and Sunday. That loss to the Avs was their only defeat in their last six games, which is encouraging. They’re currently sitting in the final playoff spot in their division. Whether or not they can hang on to it remains to be seen. They have the 11th worst goal-differential in the NHL this year, but something appears to be working for them.
19 — Chicago Blackhawks – 17-17-5:
The Blackhawks have dropped four of their last five games including three crucial ones to the Predators. They’ve scored just eight goals during this stretch and they now find themselves two points behind Nashville for the final playoff spot in the Discover Central Division. The good news for Chicago is that their next six games are against teams below them in the division (Dallas, Columbus and Detroit).
20 — Dallas Stars – 13-13-10:
Expectations were high for the Stars coming into this season because they just came off a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Although they haven’t won as many games as I had imagined this year, it’s tough to put all the blame on them. They had a bout with Covid-19 and they went on another break because of the freezing temperatures in Texas. They’re five points behind Nashville for a playoff spot and they have three games in hand. They’ve also lost four of their last six.
21 — Philadelphia Flyers – 17-14-5:
Things are getting ugly in Philadelphia. Yes, the goaltending hasn’t been great, but their defensive zone coverage is also suspect. They have two wins in their last eight games and their upcoming schedule is no joke (Boston, Boston, Islanders, Boston, Buffalo, Washington, Pittsburgh, Washington, Islanders). Their playoff chances are quickly fading, as they’re four points behind the Bruins in the East, but Boston has a pair of games in hand.
22 — St. Louis Blues – 16-15-6:
The Blues are currently slumping pretty badly, as they’re winless in their last six games. They’ve lost three consecutive one-goal games, but they’re clearly not playing well enough right now. They’ve managed to score just seven times during this winless skid. They have a game in hand on Arizona, but they now trail them by three points in the race for the final playoff spot in the West Division. This is an alarming situation for a team that won the Stanley Cup two years ago.
23 — Ottawa Senators – 13-21-4:
Many expected the Sens to be the worst team in the NHL this year and although they’re near the bottom of the standings, they’ve hardly been pushovers. Yes, they’re young, but it appears as though they enjoy playing for head coach D.J. Smith. Youngsters like Thomas Chabot, Tim Stutzle and Brady Tkachuk will be the cornerstones of this franchise for many years. They’re headed in the right direction.
24 — Columbus Blue Jackets – 14-18-8:
The Blue Jackets have made some huge moves over the last few months, but none of them have worked out. Getting Max Domi for Josh Anderson has been a colossal flop and Patrik Laine hasn’t fit in at all. Even local product Jack Roslovic was a healthy scratch over the weekend. The Jackets have one win in their last eight games and they’re five points out of a playoff spot. A good stretch could get the back in the race, but do they have enough talent to pull that off?
25 — Los Angeles Kings – 14-16-6:
The Kings were flirting with a playoff spot not too long ago, but their season has gone off their rails again. They’ve lost five of their last six games and they don’t get enough offense to win regularly. Their 98 goals are the seventh fewest in the NHL right now. Their veteran players have played well, but this is still a team in a rebuild. They’re seven points back of Arizona for the final playoff spot in the division and they have two games in hand.
26 — Calgary Flames – 16-20-3:
The Flames fired Geoff Ward and brought back Darryl Sutter, but the change hasn’t worked at all. The players haven’t responded to Sutter and that’s obvious because they’ve won just one of their last eight games and two of their last 10. It looks like Johnny Gaudreau’s days with the Flames are numbered. Big changes are coming.
27 — New Jersey Devils – 13-17-6:
The Devils will go into a pair of matchups against the Sabres having lost three games in a row and five of their last six. New Jersey has the fifth worst points percentage in the NHL (.444) and their 88 goals scored is the fourth lowest mark. Don’t be surprised if they trade away a few veterans before the Apr. 12 trade deadline.
28 — Detroit Red Wings – 13-22-5:
The Wings shockingly took down the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-1, on Sunday night but their season hasn’t been impressive. Detroit has dropped three of their last four and they have three wins in their last nine. These poor results are far from shocking though. GM Steve Yzerman has his work cut out for him over the next few seasons.
29 — Anaheim Ducks – 11-21-7:
Only the Buffalo Sabres have fewer wins than the Ducks so far this season. It’s tough to justify the way Anaheim is playing, but this is a team that was competitive for a number of years. It’s normal that they were going to have to go through a rebuild at some point. Anaheim’s minus-42 goal-differential is only four goals better than Buffalo’s number. Thankfully, Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale have arrived.
30 — Buffalo Sabres – 8-23-8:
The Sabres fan base deserves better. The fact that they had to suffer through an 18-game winless streak is just painful. This team has actually won two of their last three outings and they’ve collected points in four consecutive games. But something is seriously wrong with this organization. They have to show franchise center Jack Eichel that they can get this rebuild off the ground quickly.
N/R: Vancouver Canucks -16-18-3:
It’s tough to rank the Canucks right now. They won’t be playing games for the foreseeable future because of a Covid-19 outbreak within the team. I’m hoping that everyone affected by the virus will make a full recovery. Vancouver is six points out of a playoff spot in the Scotia North Division, but they’ve played three more games than the team they’re chasing, Montreal.