The Century Mark: NHL Power Rankings Week 22
By Kevin Mejia
Biggest Jump: Minnesota Wild, 9
Biggest Drop: Vancouver Canucks, 8
- Boston Bruins (42-13-12) (UP 2) – Classless. The B’s have won 3 in a row. Wins against Dallas, the Islanders, and Tampa Bay have sured up first place in the Atlantic for the Bruins. The Bruins won a close game against the Stars before blowing the doors off the Islanders. Last night, the Bruins took it to the Lightning, as the B’s outshot the Bolts 35-21. The 2-1 dub was secured by a power play marker scored by Jake DeBrusk. A rematch against the Lightning takes place Saturday.
- St. Louis Blues (40-17-10) (DOWN 1) – Hot mama the Blues are on fire like a St. Louis barbecue as they’ve rattled off 8 wins in a row. In their last week of play, the Blues got wins at home versus the Islanders and Stars before beating the Rangers at MSG. Vince Dunn tied the game late before Colton Parayko played hero against the Isles, scoring the GWG on a wraparound in OT. The Blues almost blew it against the Stars but prevailed in a shootout. The Blues get the Devils Friday.
- Colorado Avalanche (40-18-7) (UP 4) – Without a doubt, the Avalanche are one of the hottest teams in the league, as they have won 7 straight games. Colorado’s last 4 wins have all been 1-goal games, in fact, 6 of the 7 wins have been by 1 goal. Superstar and Hart Trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon has only recorded 4 points during the streak, as depth scoring has come alive. In their latest win versus Detroit, Logan O’Connor scored the game winner. The Avs host Anaheim tonight.
- Philadelphia Flyers (38-20-7) (UP 2) – “We’re rolling, we’re rolling hot and heavy” – a friend of mine who is a Flyers fan. To his point, he’s not wrong, as the Flyers have won 6 games in a row and have scored at least 4 goals in each game. The power play is clicking at 46.7% during the streak. Over the weekend the Flyers dominated a home and home with the Rangers, winning 5-2 and 5-3. Trade deadline pickup Derek Grant scored a beaut at MSG. The Flyers head to D.C. tonight.
- Tampa Bay Lightning (41-20-5) (DOWN 3) – Has Tampa Bay once again found a content-ness in their game? The Bolts have lost 2 of their last 3 and are showing signs of slowing down. Has the Steven Stamkos injury really affected the team this much? Losses to the Hawks and Bruins sandwiched a 4-3 win against the Flames. This is clearly not the same Tampa team as last season, as the Bolts need to step up and start pounding opponents again. A revenge game against Boston awaits Saturday night.
- Vegas Golden Knights (37-23-8) (UP 2) – Getting back on track is what it’s all about for the Knights. After a 4-1 loss to the Kings Sunday, they rebounded and beat the Devils 3-0 yesterday. Before the loss, Vegas had won 8 straight games, coming off wins against the Oilers and Sabres, both at home. In 2 games for Vegas, Robin Lehner has a .967 save percentage. YEESH. The Knights head north to face Winnipeg Friday before taking on the Flames and Oilers back-to-back.
- Edmonton Oilers (36-23-8) (UP 5) – With Leon Draisaitl recording a 4-goal game against the Preds, he becomes the first player to hit 100 points this season. Not to mention, the Oilers also have Connor McDavid, who recorded 5 points against the Preds as well. Oh, and the Oilers are on a 3-game win streak now as Alex Chiasson notched the OT winner against the Stars last night. The Oilers get the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets before facing Pacific rival Vegas Monday.
- Washington Capitals (40-19-6) (DOWN 4) – The backend of a home-and-home with the Jets did not go as planned, as the Jets closed off the Caps while Connor Hellebuyck stole the show. Hellebuyck shutout the Capitals, stopping all 34 shots thrown his way. In their next game, the Capitals took care of business against a solid Wild squad. After allowing the first goal, Alex Ovechkin scored twice. Ovi is up to 45 goals on the year. The Caps take on Philly in a critical division matchup tonight.
- Dallas Stars (37-21-8) (NO MOVEMENT) – Just a bump in the road, right? Dallas has lost 3 straight games and needs to keep pace with the Blues and Avs in the Central division. Dallas has taken some serious L’s over the last week, getting crunched by the B’s, almost pulling one out in St. Louis, and getting their hearts broken at home by the Oilers. Tyler Seguin leads the way with 50 points. The Stars look to get back on track with a home-and-home against Nashville.
- Pittsburgh Penguins (38-21-5) (DOWN 5) – As all good things must come to an end, so must all bad things. The Penguins 6-game losing streak was snapped last night against the Senators at home. Previously, the Penguins were swept on the California trip. The worst of it came against the Sharks, who chomped down the Pens 5-0. Fast forward to last night as the stars came out to play. Sid and Zucker: 1 goal, 2 assists each. Geno? 4 apples. Bryan Rust? A hatty. On to Buffalo tomorrow.
- Toronto Maple Leafs (35-28-8) (UP 4) – Did Mitch Marner score a ridiculous goal? Yes. Did Auston Matthews score his 46th goal of the year? Yes. Did the Leafs win? No. The California road trip is not off to a great start. Before the loss, the Leafs had won 3 in a row. Their previous 2 games were solid all-around performances against the Panthers and Canucks. Piece it together. The 3rd spot in the Atlantic is yours to lose. Also: Auston, how did this go in?
- Minnesota Wild (33-26-7) (UP 9) – Kevin Fiala. That’s it. That’s the Wild. His last 3 games? 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 total points. The young stud is carrying dragging the Wild to the playoffs if it is the last thing he can do. Fiala scored a beauty last night against the Preds to help the Wild win 3 of their last 4 games. The Wild dominated the Red Wings and Blue Jackets on a back-to-back, winning by a combined score of 12-1. The Wild head to California this week.
- Calgary Flames (34-26-7) (UP 3) – After a quick dry spell, the Flames reignited as they shutout the Panthers 3-0 Sunday afternoon. In their previous 2 games, the Flames lost to the Preds in OT and the Lightning in regulation. The Flames allowed a goal as time expired against the Preds before the same player scored the game winner. Cam Talbot recorded 38 saves to shutout the Panthers Sunday. Johnny Gaudreau had 2 points to lead the charge. The Flames start a 3-game homestand against the Blue Jackets tonight.
- Winnipeg Jets (34-28-6) (UP 6) – A fight goes into 12 rounds. Who do you want? The vet who has been there before or the young gun? The vet. In their playoff push, the Jets are the vet. The Jets have won 2 of their last 3 games. A shutout against the Caps at home was followed by a close yet respectable 3-2 loss to Edmonton on the road. The Jets took care of business at home against the Sabres, as Kyle Connor scored his 35th goal. Next round? Vegas. Friday night lights.
- Carolina Hurricanes (35-24-4) (DOWN 2) – Since the appearance of David Ayres in Toronto, the Canes just haven’t been able to piece it all together. Carolina lost their last 2 games, losing against the Avalanche and Canadiens, both by 1 goal. The Canes were lucky enough to take the Habs to overtime and scrap out a point. Justin Williams tied the game late for the Canes with a slick redirect. Carolina gets a 3 game Metro road trip this week: Philly tomorrow, NYI Saturday, and Pittsburgh Sunday.
- New York Islanders (35-22-8) (DOWN 5) – To say the least, the Islanders are in a bit of a slump. Their last 3 games haven’t been pretty. The Blues tied things up late against the Isles before winning in OT last Thursday. The Bruins beat the Islanders to a pulp winning 4-0, as the Isles went 0-6 on the power play. And last night, the Islanders just couldn’t do anything right against the Habs. Thomas Greiss got yanked after 1 period, allowing 3 goals. Attention turns to Ottawa tomorrow.
- New York Rangers (35-27-4) (DOWN 3) – A paper tiger perhaps? Not even a tiger, more or less a turtle. The Rangers had a convincing 5-2 win over the Canadiens last Thursday, but since then the Rags have gone winless in 3 games. The Rags played host to the Flyers, getting kicked 5-2 before heading to Philly only to lose 5-3. The Blues shutdown the Rangers last night to extend the losing streak. The Rangers face Metro division rival Washington tomorrow before getting New Jersey Saturday.
- Vancouver Canucks (34-25-6) (DOWN 8) – Vancouver’s east coast swing has treated them less than fair. 3 losses in a row has almost pushed Vancouver out of the playoff picture. Ottawa took a bite out of the Canucks, beating them 5-2. Vancouver played a competitive 1st period against the Leafs but floundered in the 3rd giving up 2 goals late. The Canucks blew a 3-1 lead Sunday to the Blue Jackets with 7 and a half minutes to play. A key matchup against the Yotes takes place tonight.
- Columbus Blue Jackets (32-21-14) (DOWN 2) – Two sides of a coin for the Blue Jackets this week. The Wild absolutely slammed the doors off the Jackets, compounding them by a score of 5-0. Against the Canucks, the Blue Jackets wrote a new story. Down 3-1 entering the 3rd period, all hope seemed lost. With 7 and change to go, Riley Nash scored. Zach Werenski tied the game before Emil Bemström broke the tie with 1 minute and 37 seconds to go. The Jackets head to western Canada tonight.
- Nashville Predators (32-26-8) (DOWN 2) – Heal up soon, Smashville. The Preds are clawing for the last wild card but have slipped out of position. Before their current 3-game losing streak, the Preds made a miraculous comeback against the Flames, as Mikael Granlund scored the game tying and game winning goals. After that, things have gone a bit sideways for the Predators as they’ve lost 3 straight, losing to Colorado, Edmonton, and Minnesota. The Preds get a home-and-home against Dallas Thursday and Saturday.
- Chicago Blackhawks (30-28-8) (UP 6) – Win streak, who this?? The Blackhawks have rolled up 3 wins in a row. The Hawks took things in stride down in Florida, as they beat the Bolts by a nasty 5-2, with rookie Dominik Kubalík scoring a hat trick, and the Panthers 4-3, via a shootout. And last night, things got sweeter as they beat Anaheim decisively, 6-2. Corey Crawford has a .949 save percent over the 3 games. The Hawks get Edmonton tomorrow night.
- Florida Panthers (33-26-7) (DOWN 3) – Things haven’t gone well when the Cats have played in Sunrise as of late. The Panthers have not won a home game since January 16th. In their 3 most recent games, the Panthers took losses to Toronto, Chicago, and Calgary all at home. The Panthers can’t catch a break. A 3-3 first period against the Leafs turned into a 5-3 loss. The Panthers lost to the Hawks in a shootout. The Panthers couldn’t beat Cam Talbot. The Panthers host the Bruins tomorrow.
- Montreal Canadiens (31-28-9) (UP 2) – 2 dominating wins in their last 3 games has showcased some of the best talent on the Habs. In their 6-2 slashing of the Isles last night, young center Charles Hudon absolutely ripped a shot to put the Canadiens up 3-0. Carey Price was average against the Islanders, saving 20 of 22 shots. The Habs also beat the Canes in OT on a Jeff Petry shot. Previously, the Canadiens lost to the Rangers. The Habs head to Tampa tomorrow.
- Arizona Coyotes (32-27-8) (DOWN 2) – Just a singular game to recap for the Yotes this week, as they took on the Buffalo Sabres. The Yotes went down 2-0 after the 1st period and played great hockey the rest of the way. 2 goals in 53 seconds tied it for the Yotes in the 2nd before Clayton Keller scored on a rebound off the post. Keller would pot another goal and assist in the game. The Yotes head on a western Canadian swing, starting tonight with the Canucks.
- Los Angeles Kings (25-35-6) (UP 4) – California crown. The Kings are riding a 3-game win streak as they have beaten the Penguins, Devils, and Golden Knights. Calvin Petersen has been stopping an absurd number of pucks lately, providing a .975 combined save percent against the Penguins and Golden Knights on 77 of 79 shots. Adrian Kempe came up clutch against the Devils scoring the OT winner. Trevor Lewis ripped a spin-o-rama shot to snap the Knights win streak. The Kings host the red hot Leafs tomorrow.
- San Jose Sharks (28-33-4) (UP 4) – BA DUM….. BA DUM… BA DUM.. BA DUM!!! The Shark Tank is back folks, as the Sharks have won 3 straight at home. 2 of their 3 wins have come against playoff teams, as they beat the Pens 5-0 Saturday night and the Leafs 5-2 yesterday. Martin Jones stopped 25 of 27 shots for the Sharks against the Leafs. Logan Couture won the game for the Sharks against the Devils. The homestand continues with games against Minnesota, Ottawa, and Colorado.
- New Jersey Devils (26-28-12) (DOWN 3) – For punishment for the course of their last 4 games, the Devils have been sent to the depths of the underworld. You know things are bad when you lose 2 straight games in overtime. Follow those losses up with a 3-0 shutout against the Ducks and you’re one step closer to getting out of the underworld. However, the Devils then got shutout 3-0 by the Golden Knights last night. Back to square one. Things don’t get easier against St. Louis Friday.
- Buffalo Sabres (29-29-8) (DOWN 5) – Nothing doing for the Sabres as of late. The crew has lost 4 games in a row, all on a western roadie. The Avs took down the Sabres before the Sabres lost both games of a back-to-back against the Golden Knights and Yotes. Last night was more of the same, as the Jets beat the Sabres 3-1. The offense has offered 7 total goals over the 4-game losing streak, while allowing opponents to score 15. Buffalo hosts Pittsburgh tomorrow night. Think positive.
- Anaheim Ducks (26-32-8) (DOWN 3) – Just a semi-regular week for the Anaheim Ducks. Nothing phenomenal. 1 win in 3 games. And of course, the win came against the most difficult opponent, the Pittsburgh Penguins, who they beat 3-2. The Ducks could not beat either the lowly Devils or Blackhawks. The offense scored at max 3 goals in their last 3 games. 3 against the Pens, none against the Devils, and 2 against the Hawks. It’s a problem. The Ducks get back in the pond tonight against the Avs.
- Ottawa Senators (23-32-12) (DOWN 2) – All things considered the Senators had an alright week winning 2 of their 3 games. The Sens cut down the Canucks by a score of 5-2. A win against the Red Wings won them the Tank Bowl. However, when challenged by an elite team, say, the Pittsburgh Penguins, things did not go the Senators’ way. The Sens gave up 7 goals in Pittsburgh as there was no defense found. The Sens host Jean-Gabriel Pageau and the Isles tomorrow night.
- Detroit Red Wings (15-48-7) (NO MOVEMENT) – The dumpster fire of a season continues as the Wings have lost their last 3 and bumped their losing streak to 6. The Wild pounded the Red Wings by a score of 7-1. The Wings kept things close against Ottawa but eventually lost in a shootout. Monday night, the Wings lost in regulation versus the Avs by a score of 2-1. Things won’t get easier for Detroit, as they take on Tampa Bay Sunday afternoon.
Header Photo Credit: (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Avalanche Photo Credit: (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
Penguins Photo Credit: Joe Sargent/Getty Images
Wild Photo Credit: (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
Jets Photo Credit: (Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images)
Blackhawks Photo Credit: Chase Agnello-Dean/Chicago Blackhawks
Kings Photo Credit: (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)