Late Additions: NHL Power Rankings Week 21
By Kevin Mejia
Biggest Jump: New York Rangers, 6
Biggest Drop: Winnipeg Jets, Arizona Coyotes, 7
- St. Louis Blues (37-17-10) (UP 4) – A 5-game win streak has put the Blues in front of the Stars for 1st in the Central by 4 points. In the win streak, the Blues smashed the Stars, 5-1 while also closing out games against New Jersey, Arizona, Minnesota, and Chicago. The Hawks took the Blues down to the wire, as the Blues scored 4 in the 3rd period, with Zach Sanford scoring the game winner. The Blues have a rematch against the Stars Saturday night.
- Tampa Bay Lightning (40-18-5) (DOWN 1) – You thought the Bolts were done after getting Blake Coleman and Zach Bogosian? GM Julien BriseBois added another forward in Barclay Goodrow at the deadline. These pieces, especially Coleman and Goodrow, will have to step up after Steven Stamkos went down in the Lightning’s 4-3 loss to the Leafs. Andrei Vasilevskiy looked human with a .826 save percent. With the loss, the Bolts have lost 3 games in a row. They’ll look to snap the skid tomorrow against the Blackhawks.
- Boston Bruins (39-13-12) (NO MOVEMENT) – In 2 separate deals with the Ducks, the B’s acquired forwards Ondřej Kaše and Nick Ritchie, bringing more depth to an already dangerous forward core. Before the moves, the Bruins were on their western Canada road trip winning against the Oilers in OT and Flames before being beat 9-3 by the Canucks. A loss to the Flames at home is such a burn. Dallas comes to town tomorrow night before the B’s head to Long Island.
- Washington Capitals (39-18-6) (UP 5) – Another Russian joins the Caps in Ilya Kovalchuk, along with new defenseman Brendan Dillon, who are both welcome in D.C. as key pieces for a cup run. Alex Ovechkin scored his 700th (and then 701st last night) goal of his career Saturday against the Devils. 1 of 8 all time to ever do it. Wild. The Caps have won back-to-back games, as they beat the Pens in a playoff like game and then the Jets last night. The Capitals just need to play a full 60 minutes for once.
- Pittsburgh Penguins (37-18-6) (DOWN 3) – Once you hit the top, there is only one way to go; down. 3 losses in a row for the Pens has placed them in 2nd place in the Metro. The Pens added bigtime at the deadline, acquiring former Penguin Conor Sheary and veteran Patrick Marleau. In what could’ve been the most important game of the season for both teams, the Pens lost to the Caps in D.C. The Pens get the California road trip this week.
- Philadelphia Flyers (36-20-7) (NO MOVEMENT) – Just Derek Grant at the deadline? Nothing else? Alright! No moves, no problems, as the Flyers have won 4 straight. In their second half of a home and home against the Blue Jackets, the Flyers won in OT on the road. Carter Hart stood on his head at home last night posting a .929 save percent against the Sharks. Hart is 16-2-2 at home with a .942 save percent. The Flyers welcome in the Rangers Friday night in a key matchup in the Metro.
- Colorado Avalanche (36-18-7) (NO MOVEMENT) – A quick week for the Avs started with a huge 3-1 victory over the Isles, as Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon had 2 assists each. For the first time in his career André Burakovsky hit 20 goals as well. A back-to-back against the Ducks and Kings was successful as the Avalanche won both games, winning 1-0 and 2-1, respectively. Pavel Francouz played both games, stopping 46 of 47 shots thrown his way. Suring up forward depth with Vlad Namestikov was a solid play.
- Vegas Golden Knights (33-22-8) (UP 4) – A homestand came to an end with a bang, as the Golden Knights completed it, going undefeated in the 5 games. Vegas took down both Florida teams, snapping the Bolts 11-game win streak and cruising past the Panthers. The Golden Knights added Alec Martinez, who has a goal and assist in 2 games. William Karlsson recorded a hat trick against the Ducks in an OT win for the Knights. Smart move grabbing goalie Robin Lehner. The Knights get Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid tonight.
- Dallas Stars (37-20-6) (DOWN 5) – The Stars stood pat at the deadline, and honestly, the roster is just fine as constructed. Roope Hintz put up a 3-point performance against the Canes last night, even dangling a nifty backhander. Over their last 4 games, the Stars have been playing great hockey, winning 3 of their 4 games. Their one loss came last Friday against the Blues, as the Stars showed no signs of life. The Stars have a chance for revenge Saturday, but they take on the Bruins beforehand.
- Vancouver Canucks (34-22-6) (UP 4) – With injuries to Jacob Markström and Brock Boeser, the Canucks addressed the areas with goalie Louis Domingue and forward Tyler Toffoli. Speaking of Toffoli, he won the game in OT last night against the Habs off a pass from Bo Horvat. Before the win last night Toffoli scored his first 2 goals with the Canucks against the Bruins in a 9-3 blowout. The Canucks will ride their momentum into Ottawa tomorrow before taking on the Leafs on Saturday.
- New York Islanders (35-20-7) (NO MOVEMENT) – Almost trading for Zach Parise would have been a desperate move by GM Lou Lamoriello but the acquisition of Jean-Gabriel Pageau seems to have been worth, as the Isles immediately paid Pageau with a hefty extension. Pageau scored in his first game, however the Isles lost in overtime to the Rangers. The Isles will need to improve off their last 4, as they’ve gone 2-1-1 in the span. The Islanders get a good test against the Blues tomorrow before hosting Boston.
- Edmonton Oilers (33-22-7) (DOWN 4) – Which team made the best moves in the west? The Oilers made a splash, getting speedy forwards in Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Ennis, while adding veteran leadership and depth defensemen in Mike Green. The 2 forwards both picked up key goals in their first game against the Ducks, forming a scary line with Connor McDavid. The Oilers should have won the game, as Connor McDavid was called for a ghost penalty in OT. The Oilers get Pacific opponent Vegas tonight.
- Carolina Hurricanes (35-23-4) (DOWN 3) – Drumroll for the team in the east that won the deadline… It’s the Hurricanes, adding defensemen Brady Skjei and Sami Vatanen, while stealing forward Vincent Trochek from the Panthers. The Canes took a hard loss to the Stars last night, even with emergency back up goalie star David Ayres in town. Ayres stopped 8 of 10 shots against the Leafs Saturday night to help the Canes win 6-3 over the Leafs. The Canes get a challenge against the Avs Friday night.
- New York Rangers (34-24-4) (UP 6) – 11 am. Monday. What’s the news? The Rags have given forward Chris Kreider an extension. The Rangers weren’t done after that, moving Brady Skjei to the Canes around the 3 pm deadline. The Rangers could potentially have been buyers, as their 4-game win streak has put them just outside a playoff spot. Last night Mika Zibanejad blasted home the game winner against the Isles. The Rangers look to stay hot, taking on the Habs and Flyers, tomorrow and Friday, respectively.
- Toronto Maple Leafs (33-23-8) (UP 2) – An emergency back up goalie stops 8 of 10 shots and the thought process is to make no adjustments? A Zamboni driver beat the Leafs and the only thing announced is a Jake Muzzin extension? Asinine. At least the Leafs recovered well, beating Tampa by an uncomfortable 4-3 score. Also, stop hating on William Nylander, the man knows how to score. A huge game in Sunrise awaits the Leafs before coming home to the Canucks Saturday night.
- Calgary Flames (33-25-6) (UP 2) – Suring up the blueline with defenseman Erik Gustafsson from the Blackhawks, Flames GM Brad Treliving made the “quiet” yet effective move with the blueliner. The Flames split their 2 games with the Bruins over the week, losing 4-3 at home while winning in TD Garden. Matthew Tkachuk potted 3 points in the win. In between, the Flames slapped the Red Wings, 4-2. The Flames take their 2-game win streak into Nashville tomorrow night before heading to Tampa Saturday.
- Columbus Blue Jackets (31-20-14) (DOWN 1) – With little to no assets, forward Devin Shore was the best GM Jarmo Kekäläinen could do. Speaking of a lack of things, the Blue Jackets can’t seem to win as of late. They have 1 win in their last 10. The 1 win came against the Senators in OT off a Emil Bemström shot. In the past week they’ve lost to Philly, Nashville, and last night, Minnesota. Elvis was hurt in their win against Ottawa. A revenge game against Minnesota is set for Friday.
- Nashville Predators (31-23-8) (UP 3) – What a joke. Korbinian Holzer? No way this addition does jack for the Preds. Nashville could barely squeak out 2 wins in their last 3 games, beating the Blue Jackets in a shootout and scraping out a 1-goal win against the Senators last night. The Predators have looked like a shell of themselves this season. The month of February will be wrapped up with games against the Flames and Avalanche.
- Florida Panthers (32-24-6) (NO MOVEMENT) – Selling Vinny Trocheck at the deadline while you’re 2 points out of the playoffs? No one understands this move. Getting Erik Haula, Lucas Wallmark and prospects is great, but keeping Trocheck is the right choice, even if he is underperforming this year. And of course, last night against the Yotes, Sergei Bobrovsky plays out of his mind, handing out a .974 save percent. The Panthers can pull to within 2 points of the 3rd Atlantic spot with a win against the Leafs tomorrow.
- Winnipeg Jets (32-27-6) (DOWN 7) – Not exactly at the deadline, but the Jets acquired defenseman Dylan DeMelo from the Sens and forward Cody Eakin from the Knights. Both solid acquisitions by GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. However, the on-ice product hasn’t been getting the results it needs as of late, losing 3 in a row. Before losing to the Flyers, Sabres, and Capitals, the Jets took the Sens to town, 5-1. The Jets get the backend of a home-and-home with the Caps tomorrow before the Oilers Saturday.
- Minnesota Wild (30-25-7) (UP 2) – Getting out from under the Zach Parise contract would’ve been miracle work, but GM Bill Guerin couldn’t pull off the feat. The Wild are catching heat just at the right time, but it might be too little too late. Minnesota has won 3 of their last 4, beating out Vancouver, Edmonton, and Columbus. The Wild will get crazy with a back-to-back of Detroit and Columbus tomorrow and Friday, respectively.
- Arizona Coyotes (31-26-8) (DOWN 7) – Only a small move for the Yotes, acquiring forward Markus Hännikäinen from the Blue Jackets. Darcy Kuemper returned for the Yotes last night, posting a .923 save percent. However, the Yotes lost last night and have lost 3 of their last 4 matches. All 3 losses came by 1 goal. Their 1 win came against the Lightning, as the offense came alive, potting 7 goals. Clayton Keller had 2 goals and 1 assist. The Yotes get Buffalo Saturday.
- Buffalo Sabres (29-25-8) (DOWN 1) – It only took 2 games in 2 days, but the Sabres have a 2-game win streak. Jack Eichel provided 2 power play snipes in the win against Pittsburgh, helping the Sabres win the special teams battle. Sunday afternoon, Kyle Okposo put on a show scoring the only 2 goals for the Sabres in a win over the Jets. Adding Wayne Simmonds at the deadline is quite the move for an underperforming team. The desert swing starts tonight, as the Sabres take on the Avs.
- New Jersey Devils (25-27-10) (UP 2) – Sellers will sell, as the Devils move Sami Vatanen and Wayne Simmonds. The Devils are playing like it’s the early 2000s right now, as they’ve won 3 straight games, only allowing 4 goals in the process. Beating the Sharks, Capitals, and Red Wings might not be that impressive, but 3 wins in a row are still 3 wins in a row. The Devils will head to California this week, heading out to San Jose tomorrow.
- Montreal Canadiens (29-27-9) (DOWN 1) – Moving Ilya Kovalchuk sounds smart… but only getting a 3rd is ridiculous! Otherwise, the Canadiens have been doing just fine. The Habs 2-game win streak came to an end last night as they lost to the Canucks in OT. The Canucks now have a 3-game point streak as they had beaten Washington (in OT) and Ottawa in their previous 2 games. The Habs take on original 6 opponent New York tomorrow. Glad to hear Shea Weber is okay.
- Anaheim Ducks (24-30-8) (UP 2) – A rebuild is imminent and GM Bob Murray moving Ondřej Kaše was the right thing to do. Adding Sonny Milano looks great as he scored twice in his first game, including the OT winner. The overtime win gave Anaheim their first win in their last 4 games. The pickup of Christian Djoos is well played, too. The Ducks only have 1 game left this month, as they host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.
- Chicago Blackhawks (27-28-8) (DOWN 2) – It’s official, the Blackhawks have seen themselves as sellers as they moved goalie Robin Lehner and d man Erik Gustafsson. This realization likely came over the last week, as they went 1-2-0 before Monday’s trade deadline. To boot, the Hawks lost last night to the Blues in a back and forth affair. Their only win came in overtime against the Preds, off an Alex DeBrincat breakaway. The Blackhawks head to Tampa Bay tomorrow.
- Ottawa Senators (21-31-12) (UP 1) – GM Pierre Dorian moved Tyler Ennis and Jean-Gabriel Pageau at the deadline… the Sens organization may have the 1st, 2nd, and 4th overall pick this year if things fall into place. The Senators have lost 4 in a row and are continuing to bolster their chances at the first overall pick. The Sens played back-to-back the past 2 nights, losing to Columbus in OT and Nashville in regulation. The Sens get Vancouver before a tank bowl against Detroit Saturday.
- Los Angeles Kings (22-35-6) (UP 1) – L.A. might be the home of showtime, but the Kings certainly don’t have the showtime mentality. Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, and stars alike have been dominating the Kings recently. Shockingly, the Kings beat the Panthers at home before losing to both the Avalanche (shootout) and Oilers. Moving Alec Martinez for 2nd round picks is great for the rebuilding Kings. More stars come out to Hollywood tonight, as the Pens are in town. Here is Snoop Dog commentating Kings vs Avs Saturday night.
- San Jose Sharks (26-33-4) (DOWN 3) – Moving Patrick Marleau was the right play but what about Jumbo Joe? The Bruins would’ve paid for him. No one is happy if they’re still in San Jose right now. The team has lost 5 games in a row and have only scored 6 goals in their last 4 games. That’s simply not enough offense. Without Erik Karlsson, the Sharks d-core is getting split apart. San Jose has a chance to break the streak tomorrow against the Devils, but they have the Pens Saturday.
- Detroit Red Wings (15-46-4) (NO MOVEMENT) – Detroit and GM Steve Yzerman have started the rebuild big time, moving Mike Green and Andreas Athanasiou. The Red Wings managed to get Sam Gagner in the process. The tear down has begun, and the team has lost 3 in a row. The Islanders, Flames, and most recently, the Devils have taken care of business against the Red Wings. The Red Wings face off against the Sens Saturday in a tank bowl for the ages.
Header Photo Credit: (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)
Capitals Photo Credit: (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Penguins Photo Credit: Kevin Sousa/Getty Images
Canucks Photo Credit: (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Rangers Photo Credit: (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Wild Photo Credit: (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
Devils Photo Credit: (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)